Water science is an applied discipline, which therefore requires interacting with actors outside of the scientific community. Visualisations are increasingly seen as powerful tools to engage users with unfamiliar and complex subject matter. Despite recent research advances, scientists are yet to fully harness the potential of visualisation when interacting with non-scientists. To address this issue, this thesis explores how visualisations and novel design approaches can be leveraged to enhance the flow of information and knowledge within multi-actor water governance. I initially review the main principles of visualisation and discuss specific graphical challenges for environmental science. I synthesize a set of guiding principles and develop a design framework to help scientists incorporate effective visualisations within non-scientific contexts. Subsequently, I use the water supply system of Lima (Peru) as a case study to test whether an iterative, user-centred and collaborative approach to developing tailored visualisations could be effective within multi-actor water governance. To gain a detailed understanding of the study region and inform the tailoring process, I present and analyse the results of interviews with key governance actors focusing on how scale framings and policy storylines have shaped recent water governance processes. Following this, I present and discuss an experimental study that involved the co-design (in collaboration with hydrologists, a graphic designer and target end users) and user testing of three tailored infographic-style posters. On the basis of these studies, I conclude that an iterative, user-centred and collaborative approach to tailoring can contribute to the design of more effective visualisations than traditional approaches where the products are developed solely by the information providers.
|Qualification||Doctor of Philosophy|
|Place of Publication||London|
|Publication status||Published - Aug 2018|