The State of the States

UX, mapping, information design, visual design


Mapping education policies across the states

San Francisco, CA

State of the States was developed for the Center on Standards and Assessment Implementation (CSAI), a partnership between WestEd and CRESST.

This project was begun while at WestEd and continued as an independent contractor.

The State of the States is an an interactive map application that compares components of individual states’ standards and assessment implementation efforts.

Together with the Center on Standards and Assessment Implementation (CSAI) team, I took a look at their wide-ranging data sets, and brainstormed some interesting visualizations the team wanted to explore. The intial brainstorming sessions were fun: we spent time with pen and paper, sketching out rough ideas, and then took a deeper look at the data sets to see what patterns we might find in the data.

I designed a series of thematic maps to illustrate patterns across the United States (and making a wish list of new features to build out in future phases). I led the creative direction for the project, designing the UX/UI, base map materials, and the visual design of the application, while my colleague developed built on my SVG map base with the Raphaël JavaScript Library.


The State of the States map illustrates how different states approach education policies in several topic areas: English Language Arts and Math Standards, Science Standards, Assessment, ESEA Waivers (flexibility in adhering to some policy provisions), and Pre-K and Kindergarten assessment.

Screenshot of the State of the States map application