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© heather grates 2017

2014

The Urban Water Blueprint

Overview

THE TASK

The Nature Conservancy approached Stamen to help them to create an entirely new project about water resources in hundreds of cities around the world. Tasked with both a standalone microsite and a custom map, we also faced the challenges of visualizing a variety of statistics about the cities, as well as bringing city narratives and images to complement the data. 

THE TIMELINE

This project was roughly two months. 

Create a microsite with TNC's data that:

  • Teaches about urban water resourcing and how it could be helped

  • Includes a custom map

  • Highlights certain cities' narratives and stories.  

  • Can be embedded in other sites

THE GOAL

UI / UX

Visual design

Image curation 

Map design

MY ROLE
THE TEAM

Project Managers

Engineers

Designers

While my data-counterpart consumed data and began to generate raw visualizations, I began an intensive audit of TNC's provided content. I started wire-framing and sorting out flows.

Getting started

Once I got to content, it was clear we would need more. My PM worked with TNC to get enough content and visuals to make a compelling site.

 

Next I was on to developing a system of symbols that could permeate the experience, and designing a basemap that would match the microsite's style.

The site is still live though! 

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Take a look. 

Like many of the projects that came through Stamen, we were on a tight deadline. There was very little time to refine, and no time for a v2. 

A QUICK TURNAROUND

The Final Design

Opportunities

  • My team was awesome at getting me what I needed and the interactions I wanted. They were on-board to make this project as good as the time would allow. 

  • If I had the chance to do it over, with the same restrictions, I would have asked to be in the kickoff meetings with the client to get a first-hand account of the purpose of this site and who the primary users would be. I had to get a lot of the information through the grapevine post-kickoff. 

  • Lastly, I would spend more time working out the symbol system and stress-testing it. A bit of time for user testing would have also been fabulous. 

I think that considering the incredibly limited scope of this project, we did pretty darn good. I was lucky to have an amazing engineer and project manager on my team.