A bit of the backstory
Thanks to a grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, I joined the Zooniverse in 2011 as the team's first visual designer. At the time, Zooniverse had a number of wildly successful projects—like Galaxy Zoo—but no coherent design vision or user interface continuity. The "Design Builds Trust" motto began with Zooniverse in an effort to help our teams of scientists and developers appreciate that good design can lead to trust in a product and the establishment of a vibrant community of participants.
Case study: snapshot serengeti
Snapshot Serengeti presented a unique problem: how do you create an interface that allows folks to quickly identify animals they're familiar with (zebra, lion, etc.) while also teaching them about animals they've never heard of (hartebeest, kori bustard...)
The images that need to be classified are also quite varied. Sometimes you get really lucky and find a perfect image of a zebra. Other times, you might just see a portion of an animal's rump and tail, in the dark, obscured with motion blur.
Because of this image variance, we needed to design and develop an interface that allowed for easy searching based on what (potentially limited) characteristics you could deduce from the image. Plus, if you knew it was a lion, it need to be easy to select "lion".
The original list of animals and identifiable traits from the Snapshot Serengeti science team—in serious need of design.
The same list of animals and identifiable traits, designed to be organized and searchable. This UI led to quick classifications and learning about animals.
Snapshot Serengeti classification interface. More than 28,000 registered participants contributed 10.8 million classifications to the project.
The zooniverse brand
The Zooniverse's diverse project set can make it difficult to brand online. I decided to create project-specific social media avatars for each Zoo, all using the Zooniverse's primary icon.