Quantifying biodiversity

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How do you visualize the health of an ecosystem?  How do you create a meaningful dashboard for a long horizon problem?  These were the major issues we had to struggle with on this project.  Our goal became figuring out a way to define and display meaningful, actionable information in a clear and attractive format.  

Our process involved research, wire framing, designing, user validation studies, and design revisions.

As our client was a watch dog agency we determined that the content in our dashboard should be highly specific and technical.



The first thing we had to do was learn about the ecosystem; the types of species in the region, as well as the critical factors and indicators that might be important to track.  To identify this information we used a combination of primary and secondary research methods including literature review, competitive analysis, and interviews. 

Dragonflies as a species are dramatically affected by even small changes in their environment.  This makes them a great indicator of the health of the ecosystem as a whole.  By tracking this and other factors we were able to paint a fairly complete picture of the health in the region.



We began by wire-framing our dashboard, trying to figure out what widgets would be important for displaying the critical, actionable, and contextualizing information our client would need to see.  We quickly moved through a number of higher resolution iterations before settling on the version we felt was most communicative.