Critiquing a Digital Project

From time to time you will be called upon to critical appreciate a digital project, a DH initiative or a piece of academic digital infrastructure. Doing this collaboratively as part of a UCC DH programme means that we bring a variety of perspectives to this and we can all learn by the exercise and the contributions of our peers.
What we suggest as an approach is to ask deep questions as you browse and attempt to interact with the digital artefact. Ask the basic questions (this is a starter, rather basic set. Let your own questions spring from this process):

  1. Why Did they do what they did?
    1. What does/did the project propose to accomplish/deliver?
    2. Was it successful in this?
    3. What can you do with it?
    4. Is it useful?
  2. How did they do what they did?
    1. What digital tools, platforms, frameworks have been employed to accomplish this project? (When best practices are employed this will often be found in an about section of even better in a methodological essay);
    2. How else could they have done it?
    3. Do you enjoy using it?
    4. Can you navigate it easily? Is it intuitive?
    5. How could it be improved?
  3. Who are they?
    1. How was the project funded?
    2. Where do/did the participants come from?
  4. The larger ecosystem
    1. Do other projects do this?
    2. Could it be done easier?
    3. Could it be done better?
    4. How sustainable is it? Will it still be around next year?

What does it tell us about ourselves?