Sarah Klein

PennDOT Dashboard

A transportation dashboard for PennDOT.

Every day PennDOT officials need to stay apprised of changing conditions all over the city of Pittsburgh, in order to make quick decisions about setting up detours, opening or closing roads, turning traffic signals on or off,changing the direction of the flow of traffic, and sending out road crews for safety-related work. I was asked to create an online dashboard design that displays critical road conditions for officials at the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. The dashboard was to be a single, non-scrolling information display with one simple animation incorporated. 

The Final Design

I chose to make the background color of the dashboard black so that it was unobtrusive in the PennDOT employee's work environment and so that data visualizations and notifications would stand out more. I selected the animation of a bright yellow frame appearing around a visualization showing that a threshold has been passed. Additionally, the part of the visualization displaying quantitative information lights up in yellow. Blue is strategically used to indicate that a threshold is being approached so extra caution should be put into monitoring the related situation. I chose this layout for the dashboard so that not one specific visualization draws attention because of size. This way, the dashboard maintains scanability and notifications stand out. Another visual tool I use in this design is that of density and spatial relationship. In each visualization, besides the color blue, viewers can also see thresholds being approached as bars get closer to threshold lines, snow and rain lines get more dense, cars approach the limit line, etc.