artiekuhn.com

Bioinformatics Resource Center

Overview

AJAX-powered web-based tool where researchers find applications and databases to aid in their research.

Flash Required

Problem » Strategy

Cincinnati Children’s Hospital is a world-renowned institution known for both its care of patients and ground-breaking research. A consistent problem in research is that there is a plethora of online tools and databases, but no centralized repository linking to them.

I was on a team that decided to develop a repository that both contained metadata on these tools and databases as well as visualize the strengths and weaknesses.

Process

I and another designer worked with researchers to develop the frontend that contained both the metadata and the visualization. I taught myself PHP and MySQL in order to implement the design. PHP & MySQL are employed to generate an XML file whose DOM is navigated through by Javascript. This enables the tool to react and animate in real-time just like a desktop application. Panes of new information slide out and ratings can be resorted in real time without the need for a plug-in. This AJAX-powered links to a Wiki where the researchers can comment on each tool. Their comments are curated and displayed on the front-end.

Results

The site is still going strong after being launched in winter 2006.