IATE (Interactive Terminology for Europe) is the European Union advanced terminology management system. Since 2007, language professionals, academics, national experts, policy advisers, private sector companies and the general public have had the possibility to freely consult and use validated terminology in the 24 official EU languages.
After a 4-year cycle of constant improvements, enrichment and consolidation of content, the IATE Management Group decided to gather feedback about the existing features and gain deeper understanding of users’ experiences to further improve IATE. Two anonymous surveys, one for internal users and another for external users, were conducted in November 2022.
The questionnaires included 35 and 32 questions, respectively, on several areas, such as general use and settings, search and search results, documentation and download of data. An interinstitutional group consisting of central terminology coordinators had the task of organising the survey and analysing the responses.
The IATE Management Group would like to express its gratitude once again to all those who participated in the IATE survey. The high response rate and the considerable number of comments added by respondents were greatly appreciated, as such feedback is extremely valuable for further enhancing the user experience of this tool. The profiles of the respondents were very diverse, ranging from language professionals, such as translators, interpreters and terminologists, to experts in different subject fields, drafters, engineers and lawyers, which shows the wide range of user needs the tool is expected to respond to.
The survey revealed some interesting findings. While the great majority of users found IATE relatively user-friendly, several improvements were suggested, such as simplifying domain filtering and improving the predictive typing functionality. The benefits of logging in and the use of various functionalities needed further promotion, via tutorials or more accessible documentation.
Regarding the search results, the survey revealed that 10% of respondents were always satisfied, while 70% were often satisfied and 17% were sometimes satisfied. Respondents identified two main issues: the absence of results (silence) and the presence of too many irrelevant results (noise). To enhance the usefulness of search results, users proposed some alternatives, such as a contextual display of terms with their definitions and improving the filtering options.
We are pleased to share here the survey results and findings for external users.
Hopefully, IATE users will find the survey results interesting and representative for the future development and improvement of IATE.