What makes a good DH project?

There are several components that are needed in order to create a good Digital Humanities project:

1. Clarity – DH projects must have a clear outline of what it is the person is making. The point of the project and what it is describing or showing must be obvious and helpful to the viewer.

2. Easy to understand/navigate – To have a successful DH project  it must be easy to understand. Whatever it may be, the best DH project is easy to navigate and accessible to everyone. If it is a word cloud, it must be legible and not distracting or over the top. If it is an archive, navigation must be clear and not confusing to the users.

3. Aesthetically pleasing – A DH project must be aesthetically pleasing and interactive. When looking at it, while it should be pretty or fun, keep in mind that to it should also be easy to understand. And although beautifying the project has no impact on the content, it does help catch people’s attention and draw them in.

4. Theme topics – DH projects must be consistent and have clear thematic topics. The information within the project should all have the same themes and subject ideas; you would not want to have a project that is compiled of random topics that do not go together or make sense.

5.  Made for a reason – To make a DH projects, there must be a reason behind it. You must use scholarly sources and have a reason for creating whatever the DH project is. Do not just make  a project about something that no one is interested in. DH projects are for the public, and should be made with the needs or interests of others in mind. It should be created to help scholars, students, or people who are studying the subject that you are creating the project for.

A good DH project contains all of what I have listed above. It should be clear and concise, and give information that people are genuinely interested in. The project should be attractive and grab peoples attention, pulling them in so that they can enjoy looking and learning. Whatever you project is, it should be easy to navigate and understand. The archive, word cloud, website, map, etc. should be accessible to everyone and not a confusing labyrinth. The theme(s) should be evident as you enter the project and should stay consistent. All the topics within the project should remain revolving around the big theme idea and should use reliable, scholarly sources. Finally, the project should be made with a goal in mind. It should not be made with a completely bias or pointless subject or range of subjects that do not make sense. Since others will be looking at your project, they need to be able to rely on your information and use it for what they need. DH projects bring up ideas and topics that one might never have considered before. It should also be able to reach people all around the world, and be interactive so that people can work together, even if they are separated by the ocean. DH projects should make people think and come up with even more project ideas.

With new DH project topics and ideas, scholars are able to question and considered this material from different angles. This then leads to new ideas and further questioning. Since DH reaches all over the world, projects are able to give people glimpses into a culture they might not know about. Through this, people are able to educate one another about traditions that might not be celebrated in other parts of the world. It can also show people information that needs to be acknowledged on a larger scale.

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