Tag Archives: design

Minutes from the meeting held on 13th October, 2011 – 5th ALUIAR Meeting

Meeting group

ALUIAR meeting October 13th


Received from Mary Gobbi, Lisa Harris and Lester Gilbert.

Minutes from the Meeting.

E.A provided feedback from Torsten with an overview of the final stages of the project and reporting.  It was confirmed that reports would come in the form of blogs and more information can be found on the blog about at projects “Usability Workshop – Emerging Themes from jiscUX The email that followed mentioned “a few of the headline requirements for final reports:

  • 3 final blog posts:
    • Recap – what you set out to achieve, what you didn’t achieve, why?
    • How successful have you been? What are your metrics?
    • Lessons Learned?
    • Edited version of your posts
    • Send us your final budget and complete the JISC completion survey (we will send you these documents near to the end of your project)

This was followed by a discussion around the Qualitative Data Analysis Steps (Adapted from Creswell and Burnard) that had been provided by Mary earlier in the week – see previous blog.  

It was decided that the points made in the slide should be related to our use of the ALUIAR version of Synote.   Debbie noted that the IBM transcription was not very accurate with a group,  unless each one has a microphone with clear speech –  this makes the speech recognition system rather hard to use – Most researchers are having to transcribe manually. The transcription service is only available at University of Southampton unless others wish to have a license.  The difference between working in the transcript section as opposed to the synmark area was mentioned and where coding occurs etc.

It was felt that it was important to note that the ALUIAR version of Synote will work for qualitative analysis but not in depth Conversational analysis due to the multitude of extra coding features required for a full transcription.   Conversational analysis is best done with specialist software.  However, Synote can be used with other languages (there are some problems with texts that go from right to left), it is possible to share and collaborate over open transcriptions and research projects, transcriptions can be exported along with their annotations and tags can be sorted and saved as a way of generating themes or categories.

The second half of the slide mentions more about the research side of transcriptions and Lisa said that “it is important to note that the researcher must still do the analysis and the system can only manage the data”

Yunjia then introduced the new interface for the system and there were several design features where decisions had to be made – these were captured in the photograph below.  Some buttons and actions in the list of recordings needed moving, a rich text editor with a chance to colour code annotations was requested and Footpedal control only needed for stop and nudge back.  The ability to upload images was felt to be important and the possibility of being able to use the play controls wherever one is in the transcription or synmarks (annotations)

white board notes

White board notes

A walk through of the new interface was completed with a promise to provide the URL in the next two weeks so that we can begin the interviews for the final phase of evaluations with at least 5 users.  Each interviewee will be provided with a consent form so that we can share comments and a chance to try the new version of Synote before the meeting.

Synote screen grabSynote Guide as the public version
ALUIAR Synote screen shotALUIAR Synote with a recording 







There will be a meeting with Diana Galpin as the University’s Legal Adviser to cover all aspects of ethics, privacy and other legal issues involved with the change of use of Synote although as in the past Synote itself will not be hosting the recordings – these are held on the users’ chosen server, whether this is a private one, belongs to a faculty with security settings or is public but offers a URL link as in the case of YouTube.  All transcriptions and annotations have chosen permission levels and once again Synote can be held on a secure server for each Faculty or University.

The meeting was wrapped up with final thanks to Yunjia for all his work on the project and a decision to have the interviews with researchers in the early weeks of November once new features and further testing of the new interface has been completed. The URL for the new version will be sent out with suggested dates for interviews.

Next meeting – to be advised on Doodle.

Suggested Solutions to Synote ALUIAR Issues – 4th Meeting

The 4th meeting of the ALUIAR team was set up to finalise the storyboarding of the ideas suggested in previous meetings and to present the outcomes from the data gathering plus options for some functional solutions.

Those attending were Mike Wald(MW), Garry Wills (GW), Seb Skuse (SS), Yunjia Li (YL), Mary Gobbi (MG), Lisa Roberts (LR),  and E.A. Draffan (EA)


Apologies were received from Lester Gilbert,  Lisa Harris and Debbie Thackray.

Mike opened the meeting with a discussion document related to the functionality issues discussed at the outset of the project and comments collected from initial interviews.   Accepted ideas are in red. 

  1. Greater flexibility of movement backwards or forwards through a recording (e.g. by typing in new time) as at present can only move in 5 second  ‘nudges’ or move time slider or change speed if recording format and player allow.

Possible Solution(s)

a) Enter time into time entry box and player will move to that time

b) Change ‘nudge’ time from 5 seconds to 1 second

c) Add additional ‘nudge’ time of 1 second as well as existing 5 seconds

d) If in editor and transcript text is selected for the editor text box then move player time automatically to the start Synpoint time

  1. A drop-down box listing frequently used tags (e.g. for coding name of speaker and category code)

Possible Solution:

Implement drop-down box listing frequently used tags. E.g.

a)    tags they have used on this recording

b)    tags anyone has used on  this recording

c)    in alphabetic order

  1. foot pedal control of player

Possible Solution:

Find available foot pedal that works or allows pedals to be assigned to keyboard shortcuts – Research the issues – EA to contact Hagger about suitable foot pedals

  1. When manually transcribing a recording it is possible to also annotate this with the start time of the clip entered automatically but the end time needs to be manually entered. Synote allows a section of a created transcript to be selected and the annotation to be linked to that section with the start and end times of those sections to be automatically entered. It would make the system easier to use if it was possible to also do this without having first to save the transcript.

Possible Solution:

If there is text in the editor text box then when selecting create, automatically enter both the start and end Synpoint times into the Synmark start and end times

  1. Facility to download the annotation data (e.g. to Microsoft Excel for statistical analysis and charts and graphs or for a report or into other annotation tools). At the moment the information requires copying and pasting

Possible Solution:

Add csv export for Synmarks and Transcript to print preview

  1. Making it harder to exit without saving and so losing changes made.

 Solution: Already done this in the current version

  1. Allowing the user to control the recording playback when annotating by providing media player controls in the annotation window. (at present a user can annotate a recording and the annotation can automatically read the time of the recording but the user cannot easily replay a section of the recording while writing the annotation)

Possible Solution:

Add the javascript player controls to the Synmark panel

  1. Redesign of interface to improve learnability

Possible Solution:

This is related to the current interface work and can be seen in the PowerPoint slide show below. 

  1. Organise recordings into groups and categories to make them easier to find and manage

Possible Solution:

Add tags to the title field

If categories were to be used they would have to be hard coded and not all the categories would be suitable.

  1. Ability to replay just the video clip from a search (at present plays from the start time and manually have to pause at the end time of the clip)

Possible Solution:

Using linked multimedia fragments – not feasible in the time scale

Additional Issues NOT in original Proposal

xiii Users find it difficult to understand how to store and link to their recordings in their own web space

Possible Solution: (Yunjia is currently investigating this) 

Allowing recordings to be uploaded into database rather than only being linked to in user’s own web based storage area

There then followed a presentation by Yunjia to show the work already carried out on the uploading of videos and audio recordings as well as changes that are happening to the interface. A discussion followed and the ideas were accepted.  The website is not public at present but below are a series of slides to show how the system is changing.

There was no other business and possible dates for the next meeting have been added to the Doodle Calendar for October.