User Research

Research we did

Hcdr team1 interview structure.jpg
  • we were looking for arguments for and against Creative Commons on the internet
  • we conducted some interviews
    • our criteria for selecting the interview participants was that people publish something on-line
    • we knew all people personally and so we also knew, that they publish something on-line
    • it was difficult to find people and specially professional artists, because you can't find very easy, who use Creative Commons and who not, if you don't know the interview participants
    • we asked some pre-formulated questions and also some other during the interview
    • pre-formulated questions were:
      • Do you know Creative Commons? If yes, from where do you know it? In which way do you use it or why do you not use it?
      • How do you license your works?
    • questions during the interview were, e.g.:
      • Where have you downloaded the images?
      • Where do you publish your works?
      • this questions were depending on the situation
    • persons, who we have interviewed face-to-face:
      • computer science student with facebook-account
      • computer science and media student with facebook- and deviantart-account; she paints in her free time and publishes some scientific results to her university website; she corrected grammar and orthography in wikipedia articles
      • media student with facebook-account; he also works as a dj
      • business student with a facebook-account; she photographs in her free time
      • web designer
    • we recorded the interviews and made to ourselves a few written notes

Problems we identified

  • some people have never heard Creative Commons or they knew little about it
    • anti Gema movement, wikipedia
  • not all people have the same level of familiarity with CC licenses, but mostly people, who earn money with creating images or music, have more experience with that
  • people didn't use Creative Commons or they unconsciously use it
    • example: Somebody writes an article or something else in wikipedia, but don't recognize that wikipedia stands under Creative Commons license.
  • people didn't know something of Creative Commons filter, which can be used for searching with google, youtube, ...
  • people saved images on the computer, but after a while they forgot the place, where the image was downloaded
    • they don't save any extra information (license, author, ...)

We identified the following motivations and goals of users

  • people don't want to search long after the license information
  • they want a plain overview of the licenses
  • if they remix contents, they want to be sure of using the licenses in the right way
  • they want to see at the first glance which contents are good or bad

We identified the following important activities

Our Ideas


What is the essence of this solution?

brief explanation
The trading place for images should help that less people copy and paste images without looking for license of them and the registered users can trade some special images among themselves. Also they can rate and organize the uploaded images.

more details...

Hcdr team1 trading place idea.jpg
  • problem of this solution: users do not want to pay credits for pictures without watermark, if they can download it without watermark elsewhere (e.g. flickr)
  • the idea should solve following problems:
    • that people don't simply copy images and publish them without calling the author and the license
    • that people must not search long after the license information
    • that people deal more with CC licenses
    • that good artists can increase there degree of popularity
    • that people have a place, where they can see at the first glance which contents are good or bad

Why are current solutions unable to support users in this?

Existing solutions in this section (e.g. flickr) haven't got the advantage, that users can download the image with watermark, so that they don't search after the license information. Mostly artists don't edit Image-Metadata-Formats like ITCP and so it is difficult to remember the correct license and the author and our idea solves this problem through watermark or with the workspace area. Also we concentrate us to spread the Creative Commons thought and so the users can trade, but they can't buy with money. For that reason the users can find only images with Creative Commons license in the community. Other existing solutions gives the choice to use CC-license or the normal copyright.


This is our preferred idea in the moment. -- Elisabeth 17:41, 26 May 2013 (CEST)

What is the essence of this solution?

brief explanation
User can search pictures with CC license (flickr, google, ...) with the program and they can also structure and save them. Additional information (license, author, source, ...) of the image is stored locally on the computer and the user can decide to copy and paste an image with or without watermark.

  • Did you have a look at Image-Metadata-Formats like ITCP? ITCP is a established standard and offers fields for Copyright (The CC licence could go there) and Credit (The Attribution text could go there). So licence info could be saved with the file without changing the file itself using an established format. (ITCP can be shown using an image processing or -management app e.g. RawTherapee, exiv2, Adobe Software etc.)

more details...

Why are current solutions unable to support users in this?


How could be your solution(s) implemented?

  • first paper-mock-ups for the second idea

Mentor's comments

Larissa's comments (Mozilla)

User Research

  • I would like to learn more about your process for selecting your interview participants. What criteria were you looking at, and what research questions were you curious about in choosing your participants?
  • Based on the interviews, did all the students have the same level of familiarity with CC licenses? If there were any differences, what accounted for them?
  • I liked the "important activities" you mentioned because they're very specific. It seems that you've observed your participants very carefully. I'd like to know how some of these activities might be related to CC, such as bookmarking things to revisit, or looking at specific sites for particular types of content
  • I like that your user research captured needs related to licenses in general, not just creative commons licenses because it provides insight about how people understand the broad concept of a license.

Product Ideas

  • I would like a little more explanation about the "Trading Place" idea. Which of your users' needs does this product solve? What is the reason for distinguishing between what a registered and non-registered user?
  • I think that the second idea, about an "image management program" is interesting because it relates to one of the needs you found (that people copy the license then forget what the actual license is). How do you think having the license on the work change users' behavior when using CC work? What other ways could you remind the user about the licenses associated with what they're using?

Bill's comments (Mozilla)

User Research

  • I would suggest interviewing people who are not students. Perhaps Flickr or Soundcloud users, or professionals who use these or similar services. The important thing is to interview some people outside of your primary and secondary social circles. People in similar social circles have similar interests and uses and are exposed to similar channels of information.
  • More functional questions would be interesting to ask. For example, what happens when you mark a work with a specific CC license? What does it mean you the creator can do with it? What does it mean a non-creator can do with it?
  • What were participants' mental models of non-CC copyright licenses? How do they believe such licensing schemes are different from CC?

Zhenshuo Fang's comments (Mozilla)

User Research

  • I'd also like to see more research process, for example how you select the participants and example of questions you asked during the face-to-face interview.
  • The research goal is to "find arguments for and against CC on the internet" It would be helpful to organize your research results in a way that matches the goal. For example a summary of which users are for or against CC and the reason behind it.
  • Some of your participants are also creative content creators (artist, photographer), I'm curious that is there any difference between creative content users and creators when using CC, what are the insights you got from the interviews.


  • For the first idea, what is the advantages of this solution compare to other website/services that's currently online?
  • More explanation on the second idea. Also why you prefer this idea.

Bram Pitoyo's comments (Mozilla)

First idea: Rather than creating a service from scratch, have you considered creating a service that can connect to existing services people already use to look for images, sounds and videos everyday?

Second idea: Your research found that copy-and-paste is popular. The paste activity here usually involves uploading and sharing. How can your app not only support image management, but also uploading and sharing, while respecting CC at the same time?