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Geoplanning web application

Databout - Case Study

databout logo

Designing an intuitive interface for creating spatial analyses

Jan Solecki
Jan Solecki ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE
AT MONTERAIL

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The Company

Databout is a company that provides engineering and consulting services for any kind of infrastructure project.

 

By providing the conceptual frameworks, investment blueprints, and by running the projects, Databout helps to build roads, railways, distribution hubs, and transport strategies on a country-wide scale.

 

They also calculate the carbon footprint and environmental impact of investments and provide in-depth analysis of potential investment locations using advanced tools like drones and 3D modeling.

 

 

New Analysis - Table on map Updated – 5
andrzej jarosz from Databout
One year after the project finished, we’re still using 90% of the interface delivered. Andrzej Jarosz GEOANALYTICS MANAGER AT DATABOUT

Scope and Highlights

The Challenge

One of the crucial analyses required to complete an infrastructure project is the spatial analysis that seeks to predict spatial patterns in the growth of urban systems and networks. Databout previously conducted these analyses by hand, so it was difficult to structure the process.

Databout wanted to develop an intuitive web application that would allow unifying the analysis process, and that would be much friendlier in use than Geographic Information Systems used by experts. The application was directed to both Databout’s internal users as well as outside users.

The backend containing all the algorithms and logic necessary to complete a spatial analysis was prepared by Databout’s experts. They needed, however, an outside expert to design an optimal User Experience and corresponding User Interface. That’s why they chose to partner with us.

Key challenges of the project included:

Group 196
Databout-notes-and-app

The Process

During the kickoff phase, we reviewed all written materials and sketches prepared by Databout to identify use cases and user types. Because Databout experts were giving us precise answers, we could quickly progress to the next stage.

The client prepared a backend API that allowed us to get results from the algorithms running the spatial analyses. First, we focused on preparing clickable UX maps, and once they were accepted by Databout, we progressed to designing the interfaces.

For the tool to be as intuitive as possible, and to allow users to relatively easily set the analysis parameters and read the analysis results, we selected the map to be a focal point of the entire solution. We added sliders for users to modify the analysis parameters but we also allowed them to enter the variables by hand. Since the map was the most important element, we designed the interactive elements in a way that they didn’t cover the map at any point.

To add user-friendliness, we designed the tables with analysis results so that the most important outputs are visible at once. Since queries with a lot of parameters can take a lot of time to calculate, we also added a graphical prompt that lets the users know that the results are being prepared.

We kept delivering mockup after mockup, holding acceptance meetings after each iteration, until Databout received all the required interface elements.

Key actions from our side:

julia-szablewska
The process of designing the Databout app was extremely smooth. We had the pleasure to host our client in the office frequently what gave us the opportunity to iterate design increments fast and have a lot of valuable product discussions. Julia Szablewska PROJECT MANAGER

The Outcome

Databout received a fully functional interface, created according to best practices in User Experience design. The resulting solution is considerably more accessible than specialist Geographic Information Systems.

One year after the project delivery, 90% of the interfaces delivered are still in use.

The success of this project hinged on the following factors: