RUSHLitter Intelligence Insights Dashboard
Submission # 196
Digital Design – Toi Matihiko
Impact – Environmental Stewardship
Impact – Social Good
Sustainable Coastlines is a registered New Zealand charity whose mission is to enable people to look after the coastlines and waterways they love.
One of their programmes is Litter Intelligence, and in close collaboration with the Ministry for the Environment, Department of Conservation and Statistics New Zealand, the programme collects litter data from Citizen Scientists to provide insights about the litter found on the beaches of Aotearoa.
This rigorous data can then be used to improve decision-making to solve litter problems, and turned into clear actions for the communities that enjoy them.
After initially opting for an off the shelf solution for the data visualisation, users began to spot opportunities for improvement; the litter data wasn’t easy to understand and information couldn’t be filtered in desired ways. Ultimately this made it hard to prioritise actions and mobilise teams without clear and easy-to-read data.
Sustainable Coastlines called in RUSH to reimagine the insights dashboard. Our brief was: How might we improve the UX of Litter Intelligence’s Insights page to make it easier for users to find answers to their questions, and in doing so increase the use of the Litter Intelligence Insights page?
Litter is a major risk to people, culture, environment and economy, especially when it enters the marine environment. A 2018 World Bank report ranked New Zealanders as the tenth highest consumers of urban waste per capita in the world, with Kiwis producing over 3.6kg of waste per person every day.
Litter Intelligence was launched in 2018 as New Zealand’s first national litter database to help build a better understanding of this solvable problem.
And in order to widely and freely share powerful insights from the extensive data that was being collected, the design of the dashboard is of high importance.
When Sustainable Coastlines came to us in 2020 they were at a critical junction in the growth of this programme. It was clear that there was a huge opportunity to create a tool that could better visualise the data, so that it could be used by anyone.
Schools and students can be inspired and enabled to make direct connections to their local coastline. Families can commit to taking ownership of their role in reducing waste. Councils and businesses can see the local litter trends in their area and take action. And Governments can use the reporting to pass important legislation.
The application of digital design to create clear, freely accessible insights dashboard around litter means that there are no barriers to being involved.
It puts environmental stewardship into the hands of every New Zealander, and inspires action for a litter-free Aotearoa.
Sustainable Coastlines came to us with a number of robust user stories and sets of data, and we worked together to better define the key users and understand their unique jobs-to-be-done. From there we prioritised key user stories and considered the features and functionality that could support these.
By focusing on a clear and simple priority goal, we were able to prioritise features that were unanimous across the different groups which gave us the most valuable slice for a bespoke data visualisation MVP.
We designed and developed the Litter Intelligence insights dashboard, which is an incredibly effective tool for anyone, from citizen scientists and statisticians through to Kiwi school children.
The visually clear and engaging interface presents users with view and filter choices to help them dive into and better understand the data and develop insights that are relevant to their work or local area.
Being able to visualise the breakdown and filter litter by type is one of the most rewarding insights available on the dashboard. This includes options to filter by location, litter type or time, as well as the ability to create comparisons within those same filter sets. For example, Auckland vs Wellington or this year vs last year, or plastic vs rubber.
Litter Intelligence is now monitoring over 200 areas around Aotearoa, allowing environmental data to be submitted by communities at the highest standard, so it can be used by government agencies for national and international reporting.
"Definitely a highly technical, insightful platform for identifying the litter landscape.
The site is cleverly laid out to take the user through the journey of education towards making a difference. The data comes first, the site then tells us what it means, finally telling the user how they can take action.
Throughout the journey, the user is also met with beautiful displays of large amounts of information, not an easy thing to achieve.
This project is highly important in today's ever-increasing cluttered environment. Full credit goes to the way it doesn't threaten the audience with doom and gloom scenarios. It all comes across with a message of we can do this!"
"An amazing and innovative tool which will probably help a lot of organisations and businesses"
Credits & Collaborators: RUSH: - Shrish Apte, Jason Bakthakumar, Tim Stewart, Jum Eivers, Gabriel Lantin, Scott Kennedy SUSTAINABLE COASTLINES: - Sandy Britain, Camden Howitt, Shawn Elise Tierney
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