Web Applications for Academic Bioinformatics Applications - case Study of Stanford FEATURE project


Mandar Modgi

Oral Defence Date: 



HH 301


Professors Dragutin Petkovic, William Hsu, Mike Wong


The main goal of this project was to improve usability and user interface of Stanford WebFEATURE which is a bioinformatics application to annotate and detect functional sites in protein structures. This web application is intended for use by bioinformatics researchers with minimal computer science background. This work is done in collaboration with Stanford Helix group which developed WebFEATURE and which provided main input in terms of requirements and feedback on our contributions. We improved WebFEATURE user interface and software is several areas such as: redesign of home page, adding new functions like registration and accompanied database, providing multibrowser support and finally testing and integrating the code with the rest of the system. During the project, we used Software engineering methods and processes like modern usability principles, User Centered Design and SCRUM processes, and had numerous focus groups and code reviews. The new WebFEATURE user interface we developed is fully tested and of near professional quality and has several advantages like improved usability, registration functionality to capture user information, meaningful email responses to user activities and improved robustness. It is sxheduled go live at Stanford University in Fall 2011.


Bioinformatics, Web services, usability, user interface


Mandar Modgi