NFSTC recently won a prestigious award from Graphic Design USA in their annual American Inhouse Design Award competition for the design of the website, www.ForensicScienceSimplified.org. These coveted awards are granted to outstanding work by inhouse designers.
Becky Carter, the graphic designer at NFSTC who was recognized with this award, consistently develops eye-catching, innovative designs. ForensicScienceSimplified.org is meant for non-scientists, and the design echoes that simple feel, using fun, pixilated icons and a simple, consistent navigation.
Carter used a “responsive” web design approach for the website so that it can be viewed from any type of platform – from a widescreen desktop to a smartphone. The site responds appropriately when accessed by any kind of device, with no adjustments required by the user. When viewed on a desktop monitor, additional graphic elements are added. When viewed from a smartphone, the extra graphics are eliminated and columns reduce in size to fit the screen.
While seamless for the user, this required that Carter create four different layouts – one for each viewing platform. The responsive web design also allows for a simple, intuitive home page that prompts the user to click on one of a dozen or more stylized icons to open each module.
The content was developed by NFSTC staff writers in concert with noted subject matter experts from each discipline. The text was enhanced using photos and short video clips when possible. Funded by a cooperative agreement from the Bureau of Justice Assistance (award #2009-D1-BX-K028), the website has proven to be a popular destination for anyone wishing to learn the basics of forensic science – from police officers to science students to crime fiction writers.