A Sprint for Better Data Presentation


In a week-long sprint in summer 2014, I worked with Map Kibera for a redesign of the Open School Kenya site. We had two goals:

  1. improving the legibility of the website’s identity, and
  2. creating a better presentation for a broader audience to understand the school data (from Open Street Map and Kenya Open Data)

For no.1, I designed a landing page with call-to-actions geared towards specific audience (“find your school”, “read our blog”, “visit our data”), which the previous version lacked. As the actions became clearer, I was able to develop the content for the page.

No.2 was the more interesting problem. The original school page highlighted some metrics for the chosen school (selected via the map feature), but unloaded the rest of the metrics all at once.* If you didn’t know what you were looking for, it would be difficult to read.

To make the data more visually accessible, I grouped it thematically and created a layout to establish a new page hierarchy.

As I studied the datasets, I suggested that another step to more digestable information was to translate the complex data keys—useful to super users, but not so much to an average viewer — into plain English.

*As the project iterated over years, the project no longer displays individual school information.