Designing Drought Indicators

Purdy, A. J. ; Kawata, Jessie ; Fisher, Joshua B. ; Reynolds, Margaux ; Om, Gina ; Ali, Zahin ; Babikian, Justin ; Roman, Christiahn ; Mann, Laura

Année de publication
2019

Drought indicators hold great potential to assist water management. However, drought information products are traditionally designed by scientists with little input from the end users. This has resulted in an inundation of products ill suited to stakeholder needs and requirements, limiting the potential for improving management through the use of these products. In a different field-the field of product design-product designers and strategists have matured methodologies for optimizing the creation of material products, such as shoes and cars, for example, for customers. A multitude of design-centric strategies are employed to determine customer needs and requirements (e.g., lighter shoe, more cushioning, breathable, reflectivity, arch support, width options, color options). These approaches can be extended from material to information or data products. Here, we describe how the methodological approaches within the field of product design can be interdisciplinarily employed to data products for drought indicators, with water managers as end users (i.e., the 'customers'). New results for drought data products may be transformative in how drought indices are constructed, communicated, and delivered, with potentially significant improvements for water management.</p>

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