Following our successful meeting with Simon Lannon from the Welsh School of Architecture at Cardiff University here are our first iterations of the user interface to the energy efficiency visualisation tool.
Our initial discussions regarding the user interface has separated out the policy scenarios from the ‘user generated’ interface features and options. Our first whiteboard draft (as captured by Fiona on her iPhone) is as follows:
Using Balsamiq this was tweaked to provide us with an interim overview (much disliked by graphic designers I’ve heard!) as below:
Prior to handing over the interface to our software engineer (George Hamilton) our graphic designer mocked up the interface complete with EDINA/JISC branding. This will form the basis for which George will link into the back-end and his ideas for incorporating Memento functionality:
Over the coming weeks Simon will supply us with the raw data and text for the pre-defined policy scenarios (these will be ones that fit in with the Government’s described scenarios) as well as a simple description of the modelling process. We’ll be aiming to provide full metadata explaining all variables and scenarios (most probably via PDF, pop-up, or separate web page). The map window will have a number of different overlays to choose from representing different outputs from the energy efficiency model. Each output will be associated with several decades (1990-2050) allowing the user the option to ‘move through time’. How this is represented has yet to be decided (radio buttons, slider, dial etc). We’re also considering the option of including a facility to download an ASCII version of the output data dependent upon the model/scenario run. This may be useful should the tool be scalable to incorporate and deliver energy variables for the whole country.
A decision was made to expand the sample area to include all 55,000 properties in the sample area. Our initial ideas of visualisation at the ‘house-level’ however may not be realistic due the spatial granulaity being too fine for any meaningful representation of energy efficiency. Our thoughts are now turning to the use of Output Areas (a postcode-based geographic unit of approx. 125 households, used in the population census for statistical reporting – http://www.statistics.gov.uk/geography/census_geog.asp) as the mechanism through which we can thematically represent the energy variables with accuracy and meaning. Digressing from the use of TOIDs and MasterMap (i.e. the individual house) may have ramifications in terms of how we approach our interface with Memento and will require further thought.