Project: Science & Engineering Indicators 2016 Website



Transforming a scientific publication for Congress using a custom content management system and innovative design.

PROJECT OVERVIEW

Science & Engineering Indicators Website: Summary

The National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES) is required to deliver a bi-annual report to Congress called the Science and Engineering Indicators (SEI) report. In the past this has been a lengthy printed volume, but in recent years NCSES has also made the information available online. For 2016, NCSES was directed by the National Science Board (NSB) to take a “digital-first” approach to publishing the report. PenBay Media provided the analysis, architecture, web design and development services from start to finish, for a successful on-time release of the new SEI site in January 2016.

Challenges

NCSES desired to transition the report from a print-focused approach to a digital-first approach. While the content remained in a book format (chapters), the website needed to facilitate online reading, cross-linking of content, and multiple ways to access data and report text. The report included complex tables of scientific data; footnotes and references; and data charts. Customized printing and PDF-generation features were also a requirement.

Solutions

PenBay Media worked closely with NCSES to determine site requirements and developed a new website design through an iterative process using wireframes and mockups. The new design enabled easy access to the report data and the narrative text, with cross-linking by topic areas. The digital publication provided user-friendly views of data tables and interactive data visualizations, as well as downloadable data files and report printing options. As part of the project, PenBay Media developed the first phase of a custom web content management system to facilitate site production and content publishing for all NCSES publications and data.

Results

The Science and Engineering Indicators 2016 report website with the full content of the report in HTML and PDF formats was released on-time in January 2016 and received very positive feedback. Members of the National Science Board praised the new site as: “a big hit,” “wonderfully done,” “fabulous,” and “opens a new era for SEI.”

In addition, NCSES praised PenBay Media's work in developing a custom content management system to streamline the production of the website for 2016:

"The development of an interim CMS to handle the content and display of the 2016 Science and Engineering Indicators in only 9 months shows the dedication and professionalism of the team."

PROJECT DETAILS

Client National Science Foundation, National Center for Science & Engineering Statistics
Dates 2015-2016
Website http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/2016/nsb20161/#/
Skills Website Design
User Experience
Application Development
Content Management Systems
Data Visualizations