STRUDEL is an open source science project advocating for and advancing the inclusion of User Experience (UX) practices & tools in scientific software development.

Motivation for User Experience in Science Software

The user experience and sustainability of scientific software are pressing challenges since these foundational products impact the production of knowledge and scientific progress.

Iterative scientific inquiry results in constantly evolving user needs.

Software sustainability & efficiency requires regular UX investment.

Science projects often lack UX processes & best practices.

Commercial software practices require translation to science contexts.

User experience is often an afterthought in scientific software that impacts usability, accessibility, design, & functionality of products. Today the UX community for scientific software is growing and tackling these challenges.

Our Vision

STRUDEL is supporting scientific software development, and the growing science software UX community, through advocacy and the stewardship of key products. We aim to make adopting UX in science easier and more effective from project planning through product development.


STRUDEL is generously funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Liz Vu & Josh Greenberg Program Officers, initial grant #10074.

Project History

The STRUDEL project emerged from the experiences of members in Lawrence Berkeley National Lab's computing sciences applying UX to scientific software products.

STRUDEL Design System v1.0 — Winter 2024

STRUDEL launched the initial version of a design system oriented around Task Flows, including visual design templates, guidelines, and code.

Formation of US-RSE UX Working Group – Nov 2023

STRUDEL shepherded the formation of a working group dedicated to UX within the US-RSE organization to help bring together UXers across science communities.

Construction of initial Design System — Summer - Fall 2023

Task Flows were implemented in visual templates and code that can be downloaded and used as a starting point for scientific applications.

Characterization of initial sociotechnical typology — Spring - Summer 2023

STRUDEL team organized elements of surveyed projects & sociotechnical literature to identify key questions and concepts shaping scientific software development work.

Conceptualization & design of Task Flows — Winter - Spring 2023

STRUDEL team generalized common patterns uncovered during the audit to generate Task Flows which can be used across different science domains and use cases.

Audit & survey of DOE-funded science software UIs – Fall 2022 - Winter 2023

STRUDEL team gathered and documented screenshots and artifacts from several DOE funded product’s UIs and conducted interviews with software teams to identify common patterns.

STRUDEL project founded — 2022

The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation funded the team at LBNL to create a typology and design system for scientific software after team participated in a DOE workshop on the Science of Scientific Software Development and Use.

“Experiences with a Flexible User Research Process to Build Data Change Tools” paper — Sept 2020

Team members published experiences with adopting a flexible UX research process to influence scientific software development to raise awareness of user experience challenges.

“Ten Principles for Creating Usable Software for Science” paper - Oct 2017

Data Science & Technology group leaders published eScience conference paper outlining core principles for building usable science software based on team’s experiences.

Experiences applying user centered design to workflow APIs paper — 2014

Team published experiences applying user centered design practices to scientific workflow API development.

UX research & design across projects to create usable data abstractions, APIs, and more – 2013 - 2020

Data Science & Technology Department UX group funded by DOE ASCR to conduct foundational R&D with UX approach across variety of products.

Initial application of user centered design in LBNL projects - 2006 - 2012

Teams in Data Science & Technology Department (now Scientific Data Division) began adopting user centered design practices when building scientific software.

Questions? Ideas? Looking to stay up to date?

Get in touch at strudel@lbl.gov

Join our mailing list by emailing strudel-community+subscribe@lbl.gov

Visit us on GitHub and join the Discussion

STRUDEL is an effort of the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab Scientific Data (SciData) Division UX team.
The project is generously funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Liz Vu & Josh Greenberg Program Officers, grants #10074 and #10572