Chattahoochee RiverLands

Comprised of a 100-mile public space along the Chattahoochee River, this area connects the river to the surrounding region, consisting of urban, suburban, and rural communities, and is in the process of transforming its public perception from being detached and hidden into Metropolitan Atlanta’s greatest natural asset.

Web Design & Development

Project Overview
SCAPE, an award-winning landscape architecture studio with offices in New York and New Orleans, is researching a long corridor of the Chattahoochee River, and needed to convey the work to the public and stakeholders through an easy-to-use website. Our challenge was to present the geographically-oriented historic tales and future plans within an intuitive map-driven interface, bringing a series of interactive maps to the placeholder site already established.

The main website goal was to create a positive impact on community engagement via location-based storytelling and documentation. We hoped to achieve this through an elevation of the website to match the effort and quality of SCAPE’s ongoing research.

Project Goals

  • Ease of use: Improve connections with the project and access to the research and planning, limit frustrations users could have with the website, intuitive controls, and orienting statements and objects.
  • Exposure: Raise public awareness & reimagine the region’s relationship to the river. Create something that people would actually want to interact with.
  • Demonstrate subject-matter expertise: Show that the project is built around a legacy of ecological conservation and protection.
  • Inclusion: Appeal to a broader & more diverse community through storytelling about the river, while showing sensitivity towards the sometimes-rough history of the area and region.

Wireframes

The wireframe process for the RiverLands website was a bit unique compared to our normal process. Since the website’s intended primary interaction was going to be geography/location based, we decided the best course of action was to dive right into prototyping the interface for the map-based pages first, followed by the Homepage and remaining subpages.

By focusing on the map interface first, it gave our team a full understanding of how we needed these pages to function, allowing us ample time to do the proper research to ensure that all of our goals were achievable with the Mapbox integration.

Another important factor we had to keep in mind was that a good portion of users would be interacting with the website on their mobile device while on the trails along the river. For this reason, a heavy focus was placed on the mobile map experience during the wireframe phase as well.

Web Design

The majority of the heavy lifting, in regards to the layout decisions for the map interface were decided on in the wireframe phase. This allowed our design team to focus on integrating the Chattahoochee RiverLands already-established branding into the site in a way that was both visually pleasing and functional. Since the stories included within the maps spanned several categories, and each category had its own map associated, we installed a branded color-coding system assigned to each category/map.

The Outcome

The new website achieved the goal of providing an improved user experience and map functionality that is easy to use across all devices and demonstrates the subject-matter expertise of SCAPE through the integration of educational/research-based stories into the maps.

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