The ND-GAIN website optimization project began as an investigation into the concepts, theories, and methodologies associated with information design. My exploration focused primarily on the technological challenges associated with visualizing large datasets. Furthermore, I sought to understand the ethical implications of utilizing or manipulating complicated data to inform, persuade, or confuse an audience. The process permitted for rigorous evaluation of the basic tenets of information design. It also magnified the significant role we play as designers given the evolving relationship between visual communication, information, and data visualization.

In an effort to gain access to reliable datasets, I reached out to the folks at the Notre Dame Global Adaptation Index (ND-GAIN). ND-GAIN is a non-profit organization whose stated mission is to enhance the world's understanding of the urgency for adaptation to climate change. They graciously shared their research, made several datasets available for experimentation, and provided valuable insights throughout the semester. 

Current ND-GAIN website (As of 11/16)

Early proposal for a reorganized user interface.

Once ND-GAIN granted access to their data, I began a process of visual experimentation as well as an evaluation of their current modes of distribution, essentially through the organization's website. This process included an appraisal of similar organizations and competitors in order to develop a series of benchmarks for innovation. 

The principal outcome of countless hours of experimentation and exploration was a proposal for reorganizing the information on the organization's website as a means to improve the user interface and optimize its rich content.