[Day 3] Understanding user profiles: documenting open science hardware

[Day 3]

Tobey Wenzel
Anna Lowe
Maria Frangos (facilitator)


This workshop was created in response to some of the key points raised during the Documentation session on Day 2, namely that in order to improve access and minimise barriers, we need to consider the different user* profiles who use, make and modify open science hardware, when making decisions on how to document our work.

The primary goal of the workshop was to identify different user profiles of open science hardware and work towards building empathy for them so as to better understand their needs. The secondary goal was to transfer knowledge about how to run the workshop activity itself, and provide access to assets so that others can use them.

The activity itself was broken down into a number of steps:

  • List different user profiles
  • Using an ‘empathy map canvas’ for each profile, identify who the user is; their tasks; what they see, feel, think, say and do, their motivations and influences; their pain points; and overall goals
  • Read through each of the profiles

Following the activity, I took photos of each empathy map, and input the text into a Google sheets document. This is a work-in-progress and a starting point for the next steps.

[I will provide links to the Google Slides presentation (with annotations on how to run the activity), the Google Sheets doc, photos of the outputs as well as a template of the empathy map once I get back home].


Near future: Gather insights on the different profiles:

  • Create an open-ended survey and distribute it to different communities within the open science movement to gain more insights
  • Collect and analyse responses and, from there, create more detailed descriptions of who the users are, how they use open science hardware and what their needs are in terms of documentation.

Over the next 18 months: Create a guidebook for best practices


Thanks a lot for the great session. Tomorrow I am holding an unseminar workshop at Heidelberg, together with @jarancio , the Heidelberg bioinformatics community and the Biotop biohacking community. That would be a great opportunity to keep working on our OSH user profiles. Can you please send me the template(s) either here or on tobias.wenzel@embl.de?
Thanks and let’s continue the effort!

Thanks Tobias! I’ll do both this morning.

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Awesome, thank you! The session took place with 4 new user profiles being filled out. It is another small step towards more material and a better understanding of OSH users/stakeholders. :slight_smile:


Wow! That’s fantastic Tobey!

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Thanks to Maria for the link to her Google doc slides! For comments only: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1J4ZqszMnhzardvHWrch2Qy77NpqYzK6RRFi7YUd9M3g/
Seems like the documentation team should also have thought a bit more about their audience for the report after getting to see all this (i.e. we should have gone through this! before delaying so many deadlines! :wink: