For some years, a PhD candidate from UC Davis' Biogeochemistry Graduate Group has wanted to create a website that educates the public on the importance of soil health. I was brought on to design how the website would function and look, in collaboration with her and a programmer.

When I came on board, the logo and a few icons had already been designed, so I developed the color palette and then focused on designing screenshots of the pages that will be featured on the final site, as well as creating infographics. We are still hard at work on the final product, and you can see below some of what I've created so far for the project.


Our target audience is millennials who may not know much about soil but who want to make the world a better place. Soil Life's aim is to educate them on the importance of soil in environmental and human health, the economy and other relevant areas.

We wanted to keep the message positive: instead of conveying how humans are damaging the planet, we would create interest in learning more, and offer easy ways anyone can help ease the strain on resources.

This color palette works because it's lively and inviting without being overpowering: these colors can be used as backgrounds to icons as well as for infographics (scroll down to see these).

Acre is a friendly typeface with its wide letterforms and bubbly appearance. No caps are used throughout Soil Life's materials so as to continue the casual esthetic (the logo being the only exception).


The site scrolls vertically from the home screen and is divided into six sections:

  1. It's All Connected

  2. The "6 Fs" of soil

  3. Media Hub

  4. Deeper Digs

  5. Get Involved

  6. About Us

Users scroll horizontally from each of these sections to view subsections; from each subsection, they scroll down vertically to see even more detailed information — like roots growing downward!


Click here to see a very initial draft of the site if you want a better idea of how it will function.


An animated wheel shows the basic connections between healthy soils and healthy people—and much more!


Scrolling to the right, users get a more in-depth blurb about each connection. We are working on developing more information in each section for people to scroll down to.


This section reminds users that everything they rely on in their lives ultimately originated from soil, starting with this animation.


As before, users get a little more information as they scroll to the right, then even more once they scroll down.


The more users scroll down through the main sections, the more in-depth information they access. This method avoids overwhelming visitors with too much information up-front while still providing them the information they need.

Users can thus choose how "deep" they wish to get into the topic. Each subsection below will feature infographics that teach about soil processes and the hidden world of soils.


Now that users have become familiar with the importance of healthy soils, they can find out what they can do to help. When they scroll down from each subsection, they're presented with links to easy things they can do to make an impact, from shopping at the farmers market to starting a community garden. 


Soil Life's infographics are meant to inform without being neither complicated nor patronizing.


While they were designed for the website, they could one day turn into a series of posters for high school teachers to hang in their classrooms. They're already being adapted for Soil Life's Instagram feed.

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