top of page

title. Environmental Health Data Portal for New Yorkers

date. March 2022 - June 2022

client. NYC's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene

city. New York City

role. Program Manager, Design Researcher and Strategist

Challenge: The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) is seeking to make their data portal website accessible and relevant to a wider swath of New Yorkers seeking information on environmental health, particularly to help provide more critical information to more vulnerable populations. The DOHMH anticipated revamping the website to accommodate either a more or a different set of users. 

Process: 3x3 Design understood that DOHMH would need to redefine their value proposition and target population to serve as a guidepost when curating relevant content and designing for usability. We conducted generative research to understand non-white lower-income New Yorkers’ mental model of environmental health and relationship with using data. The research, involving a mix of resident interviews and diary studies, also aimed to unearth current behaviors, preferences and concerns and barriers to accessibility. Sampling targeted historically at-risk and marginalized groups in NYC, based on preliminary demographic analysis of race and income distribution to determine the relative samples that would represent marginalized communities within Environmental Justice areas. 

Outcome: We were able to classify potential users that we surveyed into four persona groups: at-risk individuals, concerned residents, socially-activated professionals and educators and researchers. Due to DOHMH’s professional leanings, existing data and targeted purpose, along with user leanings and preferences, our value proposition determined that DOHMH was best suited to target socially-activated professionals with content that focused on evidence-based editorials on environmental health. Our findings also led to recommendations on presentation and navigation within the site so that users were more likely to access, seek and return for information.

bottom of page