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Visualizing project data using compelling storytelling techniques.

PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency is a national research institute for strategic policy analysis in the fields of the environment, nature and spatial planning. Part of the Dutch Government, PBL carry out independent research to improve the quality of political decision making. This site was set up to specifically communicate the outcomes of the Nature-based Solutions research, making it easy for policy makers across the globe to understand and implement the required data and techniques, in order to curb biodiversity and climate change trends.

Information design that tells a compelling story.


When approached by PBL the project had a wide scope and a lot of information without a logical structure for creating a digital product to communicate their outcomes. By breaking down and understanding the study’s complex data it was important that we found an intuitive way to design the information and user experience, while staying true to the desired customer story, all in a user friendly way of course. We begun the project by mapping the story and the interaction that users should make to ensure they understood the key messages, before breaking down the data to understand how the user would interact with it.

Mapping the design with the world as inspiration.


Our design team took the key messages and looked for a way to convey the client story visually. The design functions as a guide for the user and fits the important narrative that PBL’s report told, helping guide governments to implement policies that would improve land use across various landscapes. Using aged maps as inspiration, the time aspect was emphasised, signifying a greater sense of urgency. For the solutions, it was important to communicate the landscape quickly while making these visually beautiful with artistic techniques, helping emphasise the beauty of the world and the importance of keeping it that way.

Allowing the user to interact with the data.


With a lot of data and different messages to convey using the data, we initially set out to create one dashboard to communicate as much as possible, putting the user in control of what they accessed. After wireframing and testing, it soon became clear that the complex nature of the data meant we needed to break down the information further and design a stepped and controlled approach to what users would view. We referenced the key messages from the report and created different graphs for the different data sets, allowing users to interact with only one graph at a time to keep the experience solid and structured.

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Keeping it interesting using the Rijkshuisstijl.


The Dutch governments branding is well known and quickly understood by the Dutch people. As a governing body, PBL requires the use of the style and branding. It was therefore was up to the Booreiland team to push the style as much as possible to help this thematic site stand on its own, while remaining completely recognisable as a part of the Dutch Government and all the trust that comes along with.

Developed with accessibility and safety in mind.


For the thematic site, we needed to ensure it met all the safety requirements of the Dutch Government as well as meeting AA accessibility standards. Without a CMS and using a custom markdown structure, our development team built a robust and secure site, while safeguarding the accessibility of the site for all.

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