Flexibility Through SUMMA User Interfaces
From the beginning, the SUMMA consortium decided to build a common monitoring platform which is robust and flexible. Thus, initially, also one common user interface was projected. As the project progressed, though, we developed several UIs to cater for a variety of target groups, interests and use cases.
The initial, simplified SUMMA UI:
The advantage of this one is that it is simpler, more straightforward, clear and transparent for the uninitiated user and for introductory demonstrations of the platform.
The SUMMA advanced UI:
The newer, but also more sophisticated UI, and scalable version, offers extra elements and visualisations which are definitely worthwhile using. It is ideal for those users that are already somewhat familiar with the system. It is considered a next level available to users after having familiarised themselves with the tool and thus avoiding being overwhelmed by the many different features and the more complicated view. It contains an integrated tile view (“Trending Storylines”), although the overall preference is to have the tiles on a separate page (see details on the Tile view below). The separate menu option for live content is good and allows a look into live streams without disrupting the “regular” online content offer. Extra features such as the option to see a list of items (“List”) is also very useful – and especially the full-text search option and the geolocation view is a great addition to the output. This UI distinguishes more clearly between lists of (individual news) items and lists of stories and also specifically provides a view of latest trending content (latest 24 hours).
SUMMA UI for live channels:
This version targets live streams in particular and focuses on scalability. The scalable version is targeted in the first place towards processing a high number of live channels. Some features have been eliminated for the sake of scalability. Automated transcription and translation of live streams is extremely interesting and in high demand, as there is currently no viable alternative. It does pose a number of challenges to get clear and high-quality output.
SUMMA Tile UI:
This is a particularly popular view, as it provides a nice and clear visualisation. Each tile presents a story (referring to a cluster of related news items), and the bigger the tile, the bigger the story, i.e. the more items it contains. ) Thus, the boxes present the stories. When clicking on a story, we get the list of items. It works with color coding according to topic and allows the user to set the number of boxes (tiles) on the screen, to set the timeline, to filter on thematic categories and sources, amongst others. It is particularly useful to get a quick and clear overview of trending stories on a tablet. We envision using this for morning press briefings, for having a quick and clear overview of trending stories, with the possibility of going deeper into the tiles for more detail. This would be a preferred view for specific target groups.