Paper produced by students for the Designing for People (DFP) research network, a center of excellence for human-centered design.
In recent years, the research on ocean science has increased noticeably. Given the impact of this research, communities near the ocean may want to enrich their environmental knowledge to ensure our oceans’ future health. However, there is limited accessibility to this research; scientific information that might be publically accessible is often difficult to find and understand without proper background knowledge. To bridge this gap between the non-experts and academic information, we propose a public information access portal that leverages a set of information visualization (infovis) and knowledge translation (KT) techniques. We implement our design as a medium-fidelity (med-fi) prototype with the goal of facilitating citizen engagement with the OceanCanada Partnership. We present the results of a usability test with 4 participants of varying expertise in ocean research to investigate the effectiveness of visualization and KT in our prototype. We find that representing scientific literature through visualization and simplified textual summaries might improve the accessibility of ocean-related research toward non-academic
audiences, though we lack the statistical power to come to any decisive conclusions.