Complementary user-centered methodologies for information seeking and use: System's design in the biological information browsing environment (BIBE)

Patrick B Heidorn, Bharat Mehra, Mary F. Lokhaiser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations


Complementary, socially grounded, user-centered methodologies are being used to design new information systems to support biodiversity informatics. Each of the methods-interviews, focus groups, field observations, immersion, and lab testing - has its own strengths and weaknesses. Methods vary in their ability to reveal the automatic processes of experts (that need to be learned by novices), data richness, and their ability to help interpret complex information needs and processes. When applied in concert, the methods provide a much clearer picture of the use of information while performing a real life information-mediated task. This picture will be used to help inform the design of a new information system, Biological Information Browsing Environment (BIBE). The groups being studied are high school students, teachers, and volunteer adult groups performing biodiversity surveys. In this task the people must identify and record information about many species of flora and fauna. Most of the information tools they use for training and during the survey are designed to facilitate the difficult species identification task.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1251-1258
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2002
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Library and Information Sciences

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