Urban Transportation Content Map

My Role

  • Graphic Design
  • Infographic
  • Communication Design
  • Print Design


DSGD 104: Intro to Graphic Design

Client & Scope

Our hypothetical client is SPUR, a nonprofit whose aim is to research and advocate for better urban planning. The scope and topic for this project series is Urban Transportation.

Project Brief

"to provide a detailed, logical, hierarchical research reference on aspects of the topic 'urban transportation”' for the purpose of developing concepts and content for the projects that follow. this research should not be limited to aspects or geographic locations addressed by SPUR or other organizations referenced in this project description. use appropriate text gathered and developed through your research to outline significant and defining aspects of or related to the subject. seek clear arrangements of sets and subsets of words, statistics, etc. that provide a context for analyzing and evaluating this body of knowledge. consider divisions and intersections of information with appropriate structure, hierarchy, relationships, and visual links. footnote all sources.

required content: 1000 or more words are required. within the design and in your own writing, include 3 to 5 brief synopses of your research conclusions in paragraphs of no more than 60 words each. use typefaces from the helvetica or univers families only

measurements: 15"x20"vertical or horizontal

colors: any that clearly enhance organization and communication"

Iteration 1

3 x 3 Chart

I roughly organized the content on a 3 x 3 chart, with the columns representing the classification of transportation (motor vehicles, public transportation, private transportation) and the rows representing the three elements of the Triple Bottom Line* (economic impact, environmental impact, and social impact). Content in rounded boxes affect their respective element positively while content in sharp boxes affect them negatively.

I found it difficult to organize the content this way because many of the modes of transportation affected more than one category. For example, my chart indicates that bicycles have a positive social effect (by improving our health, freeing up congested roads, etc.) but I could've also said that they have a positive economic effect (due to their affordability compared to cars).

*Triple Bottom Line is a framework used to evaluate and measure performance at a firm, organization, or, in this case, the broad concept of urban transportation.


Iteration 2

X, Y, and Z Axes

This time, I tried a different structure for the same organizational concept. Instead of plotting the content on 3 rows by 3 columns, I placed them on the x, y, and z axes of a graph. The x-axis is the environmental impact, the y-axis is the social impact, and the x-axis (the depth of the plane) is the economic impact, with the bright green representing positive impact and dark green for negative impact.

Although this structure works better than the previous iteration, it lacked a clear hierarchy and the structure is not immediately obvious to the viewer. It also doesn't allow for overlapping of concepts/ideas.


Iteration 3

Overlapping Boxes

To remedy the flatness and single-dimensionality of the two previous iterations, I used tinted and dotted boxes to wrap boundaries around related concepts. As you can see, each box shares its space with at least one other box, allowing for multiple classifications of content simultaneously.

I also added a diagram at the top to create a dialog with the viewer and to tie all the content together. It's my answer to, "Why does this map matter? What's the point?"


Iteration 4

Better Overlapping Boxes

I changed the classification for the overlapping boxes in a way that better fit the content. Instead of grouping content by things that are unrelated and don't exist on the same level (affordable, public, ideal for short distances), I grouped the content by the type of fuel/power it uses (electric, manual, gasoline). This gives the map a much tighter, neater structure that it needed.



Details, More Hierarchy

I added supporting copy to help build a better understanding of the content and I fleshed out the top diagram to give the viewer a fuller picture of why this topic matters to them. I also added subtle hierarchy to the connecting lines, using thick lines to denote major connections, like wide highways, and thinner lines to denote minor connections, like residential streets. Then I finished it off with a cool color palette of blues and greens to improve readability.