Less than 1% of the world's landmass contains 7% of its biodiversity. This project aims to illustrate the adverse effects drug trafficking is having on the climate and natural habitat in a way that might encourage global environmental policy makers to combat more local narcotics operations.
The first task was to come up with a list of features that could be measured and visualized in a dashboard format. Then, in order to show the most important information in the most glanceable way, a lot of time was spent sketching various graphical repreentations of these features on paper and on the whiteboard.
One of the reasons we were so prolific in our early ideation phase was that we were following the Design Studio method for quick co-design. In this method, each member sketches ideas on their own for three to five minutes, followed by a quick presentation of each person's sketches, and then without questions OR discussion, everyone engages in a second and possibly third round of individual sketching. After the final round of individual sketches and subsequent presentation, the group picks one idea for everybody in the group to work on together. This method facilitates cross-pollination of ideas that usually results in greater buy-in to the final product for everyone involved in the ideation session.
Once the features and layout began to crystalize on paper, we moved to Sketch to start playing with color, typography and overall visual style.
This treemap represents the percentage of land taken over by three types of drug-related activities. As these areas grow in size, the map suggests a physical "squeezing" of the natural wildlife habitat, forcing different animals to live in a smaller, increasingly crowded jungle.
One of the elements I designed for our dashboard was a visualization of the level of endagerment of four keystone species in the region, on a scale from "at risk" to "extinct." Each animal's position on the scale represented its current status. In order to reflect the delicate balance of nature - if one species goes, they all go - I chose to balance the scale on a fulcrum, similar to a seasaw or physical scale. As species' status changed over time, their positions would shift on the scale, tipping it closer, or farther (hopefully), from extinction.