Qualities of a good Digital Humanities project

Five qualities of a good digital humanities project:
1) The project is aesthetically pleasing
2) It is easy to navigate/clean interface
3) Includes context about the data and proper credit/citations
4) There is a functioning search feature
5) It incorporates a vast amount of relevant material

How each person defines a “good” digital humanities project will vary depending on who they are, what they are building, and their perception of the world and the way everything operates. Each person has their own cultural lens of experience that they understand and interpret everyday life with. With that in mind, I feel that in my own experience, a good digital humanities project will incorporate each of the five qualities I listed above. The purpose of a digital humanities project seems to be a tool or interface that is created not only to display information and data for a particular agenda but also to benefit the greater community of people doing research. Projects should be attractive and easy on the eyes. People will be more inclined to use your project or database if the colors and layout appeal to them. This also connects to the idea of simple navigation. I feel that a good project will be straightforward, clean, and easy to peruse. If there was a project or archive we looked at in class that was hard to read or navigate, I found myself straying away from it. Context is critical for a good project. If someone does not know the context of the material they are viewing, how are they expected to effectively use it? A good project should explicitly describe the mission of the project and provide adequate background information on what is being presented. Citations of any sources is also crucial for a good project. If there is one thing I learned, it is to give credit where credit is due. Having a search feature for a project may not be necessary depending on what type of project is chosen, although with an archive or other similar type of project, incorporating a functioning search feature is very helpful for the researcher. Having a search engine allows user to quickly browse for exactly what they are looking for in order to extract whether or not the project is something they could benefit from using. The final quality on my list discusses using a vast amount of evidence that is relevant to your topic. I feel that in most cases the more data you have, the stronger your project will be. Having a lot of information may be a lot of work to find and incorporate, but it will be worth it for strengthening the final product.

Digital humanities is a significant and exciting emerging discipline. It is constantly evolving and creating new perceptions on how academic research is done. Through different digital tools and archives, the creator enables scholars to actively engage and interact with what they are studying. It challenges classical methods of academic research and allows researchers to understand topics in different perspectives. Using digital outlets to display information allows participants to collectively collaborate and share ideas which is a fantastic benefit to digital humanities. Seeing topics in different lights enables scholars to raise new questions about what they are studying. Projects can create new ideas and discussions that may not have been easy to identify using classic methods of research. Digital humanities is an important, growing, and interesting field that allows scholars to research in new ways and raise questions that had never been thought of before.

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