2011, Lead designer, Bureau for Visual Affairs


Researchspace is a tool for academics, developed in collbaoration with the British Musuem and the Carnegey Mellon fondation. It combines the collections data sets from multiple institutions, using a common taxonomy based on semantic web technologies.

Creating and easy to use Semantic search for power users as well and users unaware of the power of triple data was one of the largests challenges of this product. The video below illustrates how users can create complex queries.

How would you like to search?
If you could choose anyway to find information how would you prefer to do it? By formulating complex sparql queries or writing it as you would say it? By using an innovative UX we created an experience which replicated natural language to help users search through all datasets.

The power of this search is the combination of the multiple datasets with relational mapping. This allows users to determine what they mean by each keyword as well as the relationship that keyword has to the next search term. eg. a painting from India, rather than painting about India. 

An interface that guides and informs
Prompting the user at the point of need, aides learning through use, which they are more likely to remember for next time. Hints and animation were added to the interface to guide users through creating complex searches. At each point of the search they can add another term, edit the type of relationahip or remove part of the query.