2017 | Self-Initiated for Visualized Conference

Verso

Dataviz, Experience, WebApp, and Mobile App Design

How can we use data visualization do to help create awareness about diversity in professional environments? Project ‘Verso’ is an interactive application that invites people to map and portray specimens of micro and macro environments a collaborative research tool to understand and promote diversity.

Brief

Project ‘Verso’ is a self-initiated research project we started at Accurat in 2017. It has first been prototyped as an interactive installation for the Visualized conference in Milan; after its first iteration, Verso became a dynamic tool that followed Accurat’s speakers through all the events they were invited at during 2017. Verso’s main goal is to make it easy —and fun— to analyze diversity within various environment, and ultimately to engage people and encourage the discussion about diversity by highlighting the uniqueness in their own social groups.

Accurat conceptualized, designed, and developed both the back-end and the front-end of Verso. The design revolves around a custom visual we designed to represent the richness of a population emphasizing its multiculturalism and — at the same time — giving back to its users a unique representation of themselves.

Solution

Verso is deployed at professional social gatherings, such as conferences and meetups, and a unique URL for the event is created: when users visit the website, they are asked to anonymously input their own gender identity, ethnic group and age. The first answer defines the angle of a segment, the second applies a color to it and the third pinpoints its position on a grid.
The result of this quick self-assessment is a sign that represents the single individual and that can be tracked only by its owner at any time inside an ever evolving grid which we have called ‘diversity specimen’. The user can also decide to skip the questionnaire and jump to any of the specimen pages collected in the archive. Once there, they can observe the framework of the selected specimen develop and reorganize it by gender identity, ethnicity or age.

Verso uses a very small set of elements – 10 colors and 4 segments with mixed angles – to capture a complex issue, the lack of diversity in many professional environments. The more the micro society tends towards heterogeneity, the more vibrant and colorful is the visual. When diversity is low or nonexistent, the symbol progressively turns into an uninteresting monochrome pattern.

Process

The first phase of the project was dedicated to craft a questionnaire that could be essential but at the same time representative of all the gender identities and ethnicities. After that, we sent the questions to a small group of design studios and collaborators to create a core of symbols and to test and validate the transition from the textual answers to the visual representation. In the final phase, designers and developers worked side by side to design a system able to display, animate, re-arrange and eventually archive the “diversity symbols”
The main goal is to engage people and encourage the discussion about diversity within micro and macro societies, by highlighting their uniqueness in their own social groups.
Visualized Participants
Accurat census - March 2017.
Accurat census - October 2017.

Results

Verso is particularly easy to use during events such as conferences, but can also map workplaces, rallies, government cabinets and any environment in which heterogeneity should be regarded as an essential feature. The immediacy and fluidity of fruition have definitely been key factors in the excellent response that Accurat received from audiences so far. At each event, 110 people on average have interacted with the web app, allowing Verso to collect samples which can efficiently represent those ecosystems. Besides being an expedient to create an immediate connection between the speakers and the audiences, in the long term, Verso can become a helpful end-to-end ethnographic tool able to collect, generate, analyse and compare the specimens of the most varied environments. Thanks to the involvement of staffs and audiences, Verso now treasures specimens of the ecosystems of several international design events and studios... and plans to continue expanding this great collection.
Team
Giorgia Lupi
Gabriele Rossi
Simone Quadri
Marco Fugaro
Stefania Guerra
Giovanni Magni
Giovanni Marchi
Alberto Massa
Tommaso Renzini
Marco Vettorello
Services
Dataviz
Experience
WebApp
Mobile App Design

Interactive, Dataviz, and Data Journalism

Interactive, Dataviz, Storytelling, and Expirience