As a part of an independent design course, I designed a dashboard for displaying how and where electricity is being used on campus.
There are three types of data at my disposal: amount used, timestamp of usage, and corresponding building. Approximately 400 buildings have been keeping track of electricity since 2003, with roughly 96 readings per building per day. The project, deceptively simple with only three main types of data, becomes quite complex when there are several million energy readings in the database.
With the assistance of professors David Hendry and Axel Roesler, I was tasked with finding a way to display energy use, and moreover, where electricity is being wasted.
Objective of the course
While working with developers on improving the structure of the electricity usage records, Professor David Hendry wanted a designer who could work on an accompanying design. More specifically, his goal was to have an 'energy clock' linked into the electricity usage database; a visualization that would show accumulative usage. In general, keep track of how much electricity has been used and how these usage patterns compare to previous usage patterns.
How it was executed
The process centered on a mainly iterative method of design. I had weekly meetings with Professor David Hendry to garner feedback on my designs. Hendry heads up the electricity metering project, and provided valuable insights on what would be desired in a monitoring dashboard. Bi-weekly meetings with Professor Axel Roesler provided design guidance for both the visual and navigation aspects of my project.
Further into the quarter, I was able to meet with Jeremy Park, a Power Systems Engineer at UW, in order to better direct my project towards clients like himself. This meeting aided in deciding which visualizations to pursue. Finally, the low-fidelity mockup was converted into a higher-fidelity mockup.