Let's Talk About Data


Cambridge University Information Services

Being the top university in the world, Cambridge University Information Services have well established information management tools in place to enable the success of the collegiate University in achieving excellence in research and education. The service provides data storage for all departments, disciplines and project types: from gene sequencing to astronomy images. Dovetailed undertook detailed user research to understand the needs of the academic population, drawing out user insights and using these to rapidly design an accessible service for all users with varied storage needs.

“We thoroughly enjoyed working with the Dovetailed team on this project. Well thought through research, solid recommendations and innovative designs”

Head of Project

User Research 

To better understand user needs, we organised and ran a series of structured workshops with real users. This allowed us to systematically collect rich insights into how Principal Investigators, Researchers, Administrators and Students work and what their needs are in terms of their data storage. We then analysed this qualitative and quantitative data to draw detailed insights, which we then presented as User Journeys and Personas. 

Data Driven Service Design

We talked to many users and ran surveys to understand what language they use when they talk about their data, how do they manage their projects, their delegation habits, and what happens at the end of funded projects. We even surveyed how much they would be prepared to pay for it.

After drawing insights, we started prototyping and creating wireframes we could show to internal stakeholders. We then ran usability tests with different user groups that would be using this service across multiple departments. We measured their responses, feedback and actions.  

Testing with Real Users

We recruited real users, such as students, admin staff and academics and asked them to complete a set of tasks that mimicked their everyday data storage practices. Our studies revealed how users interacted with our new storage system. 

We worked closely with the development team which allowed us to rapidly make and test changes in-situ.


Our research, testing and feedback helped shaped a service that is now being used by thousands of students and academics. This measurably improved the University service and took out long standing pain points for users. 


• Design strategy

• User research

• User experience (UX) design

• Qualitative and quantitative data

• Data analysis

• Wireframes and interactive prototypes

• Usability studies

• Participant recruitment


Physical and Digital​


UX for Complex Domains

Made with       from our homes worldwide © Dovetailed 2020

Read our Privacy Policy