Beginning in 1964 with just over 1,000 schools, the CRDC expanded to a nationwide federal mandate. The site provides critical educational data to track civil rights across U.S. schools and their impact on students. Collaborating with AEM Corporation, the U.S. Department of Education, and the Office of Civil Rights, we took on the challenge of modernizing and making the CRDC web presence more user-friendly.
Despite the need for a revamped website and a fresh approach to visualizing its crucial data, the client lacked access to a brand strategy or insights about their target audience's needs. Our mission was to uncover these needs, revitalize the messaging, and create a more accessible data visualization schema, fostering both emotional and rational benefits for the users.
Our diverse team of experienced educators conducted extensive research to identify different target segments and how the data collection could empower Black and Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC). We also engaged directly with data researchers, current users of the platform, and legacy website to gather and synthesize large amounts of qualitative and quantitative data. This data-driven approach led to the identification of key opportunities for change and formed the backbone of our redesign strategy.
To make the complex, multi-dimensional data accessible, we employed infographics, making the site easier to navigate for non-experts and widening the user demographic. For experts, we maintained transparent channels for accessing raw data. In terms of usability, we implemented user-friendly UI controls and elements, redesigned the typography, photography, and color palettes.
Our messaging focused on demonstrating how data collection can drive positive change and foster hope. We didn't shy away from the negatives revealed by the data, instead, we balanced them with the positive changes, honoring the users and their families by presenting the raw data transparently.
We successfully delivered a design system and web platform that made the rich dataset of CRDC more accessible, spanning 58 years, 90,000 schools, and millions of data points. Our approach established a specific emotional connection with the users, highlighting the symbiosis of form and function in enhancing the user experience.
This project underscored the importance of including users in the design process, particularly those from marginalized communities. It demonstrated how empathizing and incorporating their needs can result in a tool that not only fulfills their requirements but also empowers them to shape its future, furthering our commitment to design-led global branding for positive impact.