Scientific Data for Multiple Audiences
Interfaces for Different Users
Many types of audiences may be interested in the information in a given database, but the level of detail they want/need will vary dramatically. From the beginning NACSE has specialized in developing large scientific databases that present "different "personalities" targeted at different types of users.
For example, scientists specializing in the research discipline care most about the ability to find specific pieces of information very quickly; they may be willing to tolerate fairly cryptic interfaces as long as access is fast. Middle-school students working on term reports, however, want much more general information, with a very easy interface for locating facts and concepts. To see an example of just how differently the same data can be presented, see these interfaces to scientific data on lichens:
- National Lichens & Air Quality Database: How biologists from the US Depts of Agriculture and the Interior keep track of air quality by monitoring the amount of pollutants absorbed by lichens
- Synoptic Key to the Lichens(lower image at right): How professionals gain quick access to information on lichen species and distribution
- Lichenland (upper image at right): A fun way for novices to get into the game, with teaching aids to help you learn about lichens