Climate4impact User support system

The User support system aims to help users using the climate4impact portal. It aims to answer questions related to technical questions and also scientific questions related to data usage. It is foreseen IS-ENES2 WP8 (DKRZ) will host the user support system for climate4impact, at least for the duration of the IS-ENES2 project. WP8 will organize the 1st level support and moderation. The 1st and 2nd level support is provided by DKRZ, KNMI, WU, CERFACS and SMHI.
The user support system shall be integrated into the climate4impact portal. The ‘contact the expert’ form should be replaced by the user support system. Mailing lists: we can use the existing mailing lists (from ESGF and DKRZ). No new mailing lists will be created.

Workflow user

  1. User searches for information on ‘scenario’s’, he looks at the FAQ and uses the site search, but does not find the expected answer.
  2. He will click on ‘contact the expert’, which will open a new tab with the user support system.
  3. Here he can search for answers to his question (again?), cannot find the answer, creates a new question.
  4. Moderator (1st line support) will be notified, will look if there is an answer, answer the question or forward the question to 2nd level support. The 1st response time should be within 24 hours (8/5, not 24/7). Other users can also respond to the question. 2nd level support will answer the question. The answer is available in the User support system.
  5. User will be notified of the answer. The user can verify the answer.

Requirements for the Climate4impact User support system

Users side

  • Web based
  • Questions searchable
  • Questions answered searchable by other users
  • ESGF OpenID login or standard username/password
  • Notification of answer provided to a question by a user

Admin side

  • Users need to be logged in to be able to ask questions; for searching login is not required.
  • Moderation needed
  • 1st level user support, forwarding questions to 2nd level support
  • Assign questions to staff people to answer (by moderator)
  • Keywords added automatically or by moderator
  • Users can only use existing keywords
  • Add experts
  • Monitor response time
  • Refer to existing answers


  • Provide presentation to KNMI/WU (Torsten)
  • Which user support system is best suitable? (DKRZ)
  • Look at the costs for the user support system (what is the budget?) (DKRZ)
  • Workflow: Look into integrate the site search interface and user support system (KNMI)
  • Propose a list for 1st and 2nd level support people (KNMI)
  • Generate questions for the user support system for testing and demonstrating purposes, based on FAQ (WU, KNMI, SMHI, CERFACS)

Goal: Working (prototype) version of the user support system: 11 June 2014 (to show at GA)

Later: organize a test group for this (WU), discuss at next telco.

Telco for discussion on a user support system selection: Wednesday April 23th, 10:15h.