The product of the University of Michigan Health Retirement Study (HRS) is survey data. Visualizing the number of publications in the form of journal articles, books and book chapters, dissertations, and working papers using HRS data is the best metric to measure this product's scientific productivity. No funding or grants will be available without the visualization of this metric. This visualization will be updated using an iterative design process.
The online bibliography was also being updated alongside the visualization. This online bibliography update utilized the Parallel Design Process to evaluate 3 possible solutions instead of the iterative design process. Although this article covers the process behind the data visualization, the bibliography will also factor into the user personas below.
The design goals were to improve functionality of the online bibliography and portability of the data visualization for the target audience based on user research:
"I am the director of the National Institute on Aging and I want to show the director of the National Institutes of Health this study's influence on the scientific world."
"I work for the New York Times. I need to write an article about published research by a Health Retirement Study investigator. "
Members of the Press
"I am a researcher, faculty or student and need to cite an HRS publication in my own paper."
"I am helping one of our investigators prepare a presentation for a conference and need to create a bibliography."
The first iteration was a hand drawn sketch. It allowed incorporation of feedback into design changes very quickly.
The third Iteration and final iteration was with the Google Charts library.
This process was based on approval from the director of the study in an intensely political environment. Nevertheless, incorporating the iterative design process and user personas into such a personality driven product environment yielded great results.