Aqua Calc Infographics


Challenge

Background: I got into the planted aquarium hobby a couple of years ago. Since then, I have been visiting online forums day in and day out. New to the hobby, I had to learn from scratch: first read a lot then practice and experiment on my two planted tanks.

Problem: The process of  finding information is extremely frustrating and time-consuming. Complex topics have multiple view points from forum members and one has to read  through sometimes 300+ threads to get the crux of the solution. With data been highly de-centralized and uncategorized, the experience of problem solving is pathetic. The process is even worse for new-comers/amateurs and can keep them away from the hobby as well.

Solution

Research: While taking notes and making visual cues for myself, I started laying it out digitally. The infographics were then published on forums to get thoughts and feedback from forum members. I kept updating the graphs with content and scope as the members discussed and debated. The infographs were a huge success as some of them were made sticky (permanent featured threads) and for others, I was receiving requests for translations to post on German, Polish and Brazilian forums. Seeing the greater need, I created a web service to collect and store all infographics and their translations under one single roof. And so was Aqua Calc Infographics, born. The project’s central aim is to empower communities by using the collective intelligence of communities.

Development: The website layout was designed from a series of wireframes. Only three templates were needed. The look, feel and colors are derived from insights from the word cloud. (emotional map). The website is custom coded using CSS, HTML, PHP and Jquery. The website is built on the Sandbox wordpress theme.

Results

Aqua Calc Infographics is a new way to visualize forums by condensing and synthesizing information rich, text dominated forum threads into visually aesthetic and interactive creations. The project encourages external collaboration as well. The infographics continue to get updated as and when new content is suggested by forum members.
 
RECOGNITION “Plant Deficiency Diagram” is a sticky post on APC Forum (49,648 views) and on several forums is the gold standard in diagnosing plants. So far it has been translated into Danish, German and Spanish with international translators further diffusing it into the hobby world-wide.

Works under Graphic Design User Experience Design Visual Design