Monthly Archives: November 2011

Minutes for the 6th ALUIAR meeting, 15th November 2011.

Yunjia and Mike at the 6th ALUIAR meeting

Yunjia and Mike at the 6th ALUIAR Meeting

The 6th ALUIAR meeting provided us with the chance to showcase the final iteration of research version of Synote with the minutes as follows.

  • Apologies were received from Lester Gilbert and Lisa Harris, Lisa Roberts and Mary Gobbi was also unable to attend.
  • Outcome of Legal Discussions – we are awaiting some guidance from Diana Galpin as mentioned in a previous blog.
  • Overview of the present web site – overall the new look was well received and individual interviews are now underway – see notes below.
  • Foot-pedal experiments – these have been successful using the stop start foot pedal and software as mentioned in a previous blog.
  • Dates for user testing – three interviews have already been undertaken and transcriptions need to be analysed using the ALUIAR version of Synote.
  • AOB – see below
  • Date for next meeting – it is hoped this will take place on 14/15 or 16th December.

Under any other business Debbie mentioned some other options for coding conversations and data analysis such as AtlasTI.  Lisa Roberts provided us with a very useful link to reviews of all the desktop research tools that could be used for analysing conversations and some multimedia.  CAQDAS is a networking project which also offers training events on research software.

At this point it was felt important to perhaps look at the unique selling points of this version of Synote!   We collected several including the fact that it is possible to:

  • use if for free
  • work quickly and easily on any desktop with access to the internet
  • have web based data and multimedia for sharing research.
  • use the data presented for evaluation, appraisal and supervision
  • capture simultaneous conversations with similar timeframes
  • colour code annotations
  • tag themes and categories
  • use titles of annotations for sorting.
  • use a foot pedal to control the media player and other aspects of the interface
  • use keyboard only input and screen reader access (Equality Act 2010)
  • use speech recognition for re-speaking

There then followed a debate about a name for this version of Synote that will be released on Source Forge as a download for organisations or it could also be on a university server so that downloads can be monitored.

synote logos

Possible logos

Should the name be:

  • Synote Lite
  • Synote Research
  • Synote Scholar
  • SynoteXtra
  • Synote Extra

Please let us know what you think – voting is taking place!


So far three interviews have been carried out with researchers and the data will be made available on Synote with annotations – the majority of the comments coming out have been very positive including those from our external evaluator.  However, work still needs to be undertaken on certain icons, tooltips and compatibility with all browsers.

Final usability scores will be collected on the iSurvey version of the SUS evaluation form open to all the team.  Further interviews are planned in the coming weeks with final tweaks to the look and feel of this iteration taking place early in December when the last meeting will be held.

ALUIAR version of Synote undergoes final testing and evaluation

The final phase of the evaluation begins with our outside evaluator Dr Sarah Parsons,  kindly stepping in to help us with the discussion around this demonstrator for researchers and the work that has been undertaken by the team.  Below you can see a silent movie of the latest version of Synote with a transcription being added manually plus synmarks. This version will be available as a download from Source Forge.

We hope to have more samples captured via the resource itself once interviews get underway this week.  In this example you will see the JISC funded REALISE market place for open innovation and assistive technology being discussed – it has just received further sponsorhip from Devices for Dignity

Agenda for 6th ALUIAR Meeting.

white board notes

White board notes

The Agenda for the next meeting is as follows

  • Apologies
  • Outcome of Legal Discussions
  • Overview of the present web site as per requests above
  • Foot-pedal experiments
  • Dates for user testing
  • AOB
  • Date for next meeting.
Yunjia has been working on the ALUIAR version of Synote and we have been adding content to show the new features and discussing how they may impact on the user.
foot pedal

Start-Stop General Purpose Pedal Power Control System

Foot-pedal tests have been undertaken using a Start-Stop HDP-3S pedal from HTH Engineering Inc.  The software has allowed us to allocate controls as per the original Synote keyboard shortcut accessibility options.  This particular software offers the user the chance to set up any combination of keyboard short cuts to control the multimedia player.
So it is also possible just to use the space bar to stop and nudge back as mentioned in the previous meeting.
foot pedal controls
Foot pedal control for the keyboard strokes.
By the time of the meeting we would like to be able to not only continue with the user testing with more researchers but also return to our initial interviews and review reaction related to the changes that have been made to the interface in terms of usability and learnability.