Thanks to all of you who participated in our Ensembl browser survey, which closed at well over 150 respondents. We appreciate hearing from users worldwide, and our responses came from Europe, the Americas, Asia, India, New Zealand and Australia.
We will be able to move forward based on the feedback, in order to make the browser smoother and easier to use.
Some of the things we learned.
The majority of our users (83%) access the Ensembl browser multiple times per week. (See pie chart above). A similar survey run by Ensembl in 2007 reflected a much lower figure: only 32% of users browsed as frequently, with the majority of respondents accessing the browser once a month or less. Genome browsers appear to have moved from being tentative, browse-for-interest curiousities to comprehensive resources that can be integrated into daily research.
We were pleased to see our users are accessing many types of Ensembl data, from transcripts to variations to comparative genomics. Most respondents found the tabs in our new interface to be intuitive, so we won’t change those! Many users scroll through views using the buttons on each page, so again, we will keep those in place.
More of you are finding the Pre! and Archive! sites helpful. And 65% of users voted that the most important aspect was good information.
Things we will work on?
In addition to custom data and user upload advances, we are focusing on graphical display of our comparative data. These improvements are already in our pipeline. We did get some new ideas from the survey, for example, some of our respondents could not find the Pre! or Archive! pages. We will think about how to make these links more obvious.
Speed of the browser could be faster. We will keep you posted on the Ensembl mirror on the US west coast.
Finally, more users are finding our help pages and videos, including a new YouTube channel. and we will be constantly adding to the tutorials page. If you have ideas about videos or tutorials you would like to see, please send your comments to our helpdesk. We find it immensely helpful to hear feedback from our user community.
Thanks again for the view of Ensembl from our users! We will be polling again next year.
The Ensembl Team