- 360 Design Team
This is a global collaboration to discover the genomic basis of shared and specialized traits in mammals. Researchers use the data and power of comparative genomics as a tool for human medicine and biodiversity conservation. We contrast the most advanced science and visual representations with Darwin era etchings, creating a tension between old and new. The Mammalian Tree is a dynamic, engaging, and interactive visualization of the roots of species.
The first boards were very futuristic and super high-tech looking. We then started to look for something more human, more accessible, more engaging. This led to the exploration of historical scientific images of mammals. With a tiny budget, we were able to source free images and then combine those with very scientific, data-looking imagery. This contrast, along with modern fonts and color palette, made for a rich and dynamic visual language.
The content drove the thinking and the concept came from that. We wanted to look at a conventional Mammalian Tree and find a way to make it truly dynamic and explorative, using all the power of motion and interaction. We also used parallax to tell a story of data and mammals as the home page is scrolled through.
Zoonomia combines several different approaches and technologies. The homepage is a GSAP implementation of an After Effects animation. For the Mammalian Tree, we used an iTOL export with custom event handling to pull in backend data. The CMS is WordPress, and to implement the design, we use ACF for the homepage and Divi’s framework for other pages.
This is a new scientific project so we had full license to create a new brand and experience for the client. We presented them with two directions and this is the chosen one. They are thrilled with the visual look and feel and the brand identity that we developed for the project and the team.
We wanted an experience that will excite and inspire the scientific community, students and educators, and the curious public. Starting out, we had no idea if animating a Mammalian Tree would even be possible, then adding parallax and other dynamic animations brought the whole site to life.
This is a vitally important project. Animal species and habitats are under threat all over the world and we are in a rush to sequence the genomes of as many mammals as possible, before it is too late. The technology and capabilities to learn more and share knowledge with the scientific community have never been greater. How amazing that it is possible to build such a vast database of scientific data that may help save species and better mankind.