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Challenge Summary

Welcome to Scout - Data Visualization Design Challenge – Part 1!
Our client the Department of Energy’s Building Technologies Office (BTO) is developing a modeling system called “Scout” that will help measure some important metrics, based on those measures the people in charge will take some important actions to enhance our lives.
The goal of this challenge is to help those decision makers with their job and make it easy for them to answer some important questions by visualizing the data provided by “Scout” modeling system.

Round 1

Round One (1) - Submit your design for Checkpoint feedback:
- We would like to review your initial design and provide feedback.
- Please make sure to include a “Notes.jpg”. Please ensure that it provides a brief explanation regarding your submission, the reasoning/thoughts behind the design and any other detail you may want to provide.

Round 2

Round Two (2) - Final design plus any Checkpoint feedback:
- Your final design and files.
- Any updates and refinements from the Checkpoint review.
- Please make sure to include a “Notes.jpg”. Please ensure that it provides a brief explanation regarding your submission, the reasoning/thoughts behind the design and any other detail you may want to provide.
Challenge Description:
The purpose of this challenge is to design visual concepts for a web interface that helps users answer important questions.
You are encouraged to submit rough concepts for the Checkpoint (so we can provide feedback on your submission and overall graphic/illustration choices) and then clean them up/finalize your design for Round 2.
Design Requirements:
- One of the desired features of the web interface is interactive visualization of results from a set of predetermined model runs. These visualizations should enable users to answer, at a glance, one or more of several key questions regarding the simulation results:
1- Which ECMs yield the largest (energy, CO2, or energy cost) reductions?
2- How much (energy, CO2, or energy cost) can be saved/avoided for a given (ECM, end use, in total)?
3- How do the potential (energy, CO2, or energy cost) savings compare to the total baseline (energy use, CO2 emissions, or energy cost) for that end use?
4- What is the cost-effective savings for a given (ECM, end use, in total)? (Cost-effectiveness can be indicated by metrics like internal rate of return (IRR), payback, cost of conserved energy, and cost of conserved CO2.)

Note: For part 1 challenge we are concerned with covering questions 1 and 4 only.
-- It might be possible to answer multiple questions with a single visualization, but you should not sacrifice clarity for density of information. You can submit multiple visualizations for each question.
- Visualizations developed during the design challenge should be able to represent uncertainty in simulation results (e.g., several outcome variables will be reported as a range of possible values with a lower and upper bound).
-- See some examples of visualizations with uncertainty; different methods for visualizing uncertainty with the same data set.
- Figures developed during the design challenge should be able to be implemented using web standard approaches (e.g., d3.js) and, where appropriate, incorporate interactive features.
- Some illustrative examples of the state of the desired final product – code to create the visualization from a source JSON database (on an otherwise empty HTML document) – includes:
-- The New York Times Iowa Caucus results.
-- BART ridership patterns.
- All visualizations must ultimately be compliant with Section 508 accessibility requirements.

Design Notes
- No istockphoto allowed in this contest. Use your own designs and illustrations.
- Please make sure you list all fonts you’ve used in your design to avoid failing screening.
- Color theme should not be boring - remember this should be engaging!

Supporting Documents
- Scout Variables (Scout_Variables_Codebook_Simplified_071816.xlsx): In this excel sheet you will find the variables we need to visualize to answer the questions, and mapping between those variables and each question. You can use any values between minimum and maximum values to represent the data.
- Visualizations developed by the Scout team (visualizations developed by the Scout; just provided for reference.

Branding Guidelines
- For the sake of the best visualization there are no branding requirements.
Target Audience
- Technology and program managers within BTO.
- DOE offices.
- Federal agencies.
- External BTO partners (e.g., universities, national labs, industry organizations).
Judging Criteria
- Visual representation of the data in a way that can be used for comparisons and making decisions.
- Cleanliness of your graphics and design.
- Simplicity of design / strong, clear design concept.
- Visual representation of the data that does not lead to mistaken conclusions as a result of the way the data are drawn. (For reference, see “39 studies about human perception in 30 minutes”.)

Submission & Source Files
Submission Notes
Please make sure to include a “Notes.jpg”. Please ensure that it provides a brief explanation regarding your submission, the reasoning/thoughts behind the design and any other detail you may want to provide.

Preview Image
Please create your preview image as one (1) 1024x1024px JPG or PNG file in RGB color mode at 72dpi and place a screenshot of your submission within it.
Submission File
Submit JPG/PNG for your submission file.
Source Files
All original source files of the submitted design. Files should be created in Adobe Photoshop and saved as layered PSD file, or Adobe Illustrator as a layered AI file.
Final Fixes
As part of the final fixes phase you may be asked to modify your graphics (sizes or colors) or modify overall colors. As part of final fixes you may be asked to fix or update your screens to meet any missed Requirements, Forum requirements or Checkpoint requirements.

Please read the challenge specification carefully and watch the forums for any questions or feedback concerning this challenge. It is important that you monitor any updates provided by the client or Studio Admins in the forums. Please post any questions you might have for the client in the forums.

Stock Photography

Stock photography is not allowed in this challenge. All submitted elements must be designed solely by you. See this page for more details.

How To Submit

  • New to Studio? ‌Learn how to compete here
  • Upload your submission in three parts (Learn more here). Your design should be finalized and should contain only a single design concept (do not include multiple designs in a single submission).
  • If your submission wins, your source files must be correct and “Final Fixes” (if applicable) must be completed before payment can be released.
  • You may submit as many times as you'd like during the submission phase, but only the number of files listed above in the Submission Limit that you rank the highest will be considered. You can change the order of your submissions at any time during the submission phase. If you make revisions to your design, please delete submissions you are replacing.

Winner Selection

Submissions are viewable to the client as they are entered into the challenge. Winners are selected by the client and are chosen solely at the client's discretion.

Challenge links

Screening Scorecard

Submission format

Your Design Files:

  1. Look for instructions in this challenge regarding what files to provide.
  2. Place your submission files into a "" file.
  3. Place all of your source files into a "" file.
  4. Declare your fonts, stock photos, and icons in a "Declaration.txt" file.
  5. Create a JPG preview file.
  6. Place the 4 files you just created into a single zip file. This will be what you upload.

Trouble formatting your submission or want to learn more? ‌Read the FAQ.

Fonts, Stock Photos, and Icons:

All fonts, stock photos, and icons within your design must be declared when you submit. DO NOT include any 3rd party files in your submission or source files. Read about the policy.


All submissions are screened for eligibility before the challenge holder picks winners. Don't let your hard work go to waste. Learn more about how to  pass screening.

Challenge links

Questions? ‌Ask in the Challenge Discussion Forums.

Source files

  • Layered PSD files created in Adobe Photoshop or similar
  • AI files created in Adobe Illustrator or similar

You must include all source files with your submission.

Submission limit

5 submissions

ID: 30054799