work /
Raceway Pier
landscape architecture
urban design

Integrating algae farming with public space in Biscayne Bay, Florida.

context /

Harvard Graduate School of Design - 2014

team /

Scott Liang

Greetings, Citizens!

Welcome to Raceway Park! Spend a wonderful evening with your family amidst the beautiful backdrop of algae production. (Raceway Park is an exploration of how the unique conditions of algae farming can be beneficially integrated with public space.)

The many layers of Raceway Park respond to the conditions of the sea

Algae Production

A catalog of the algae strains to be produced at Raceway Park

A typical raceway pond (left) and bioluminescent algae (right)

Comparing annual cycles of tourism and growing conditions (notably, nitrogen-rich wastewater runoff can be harvested to feed algae)

Park Formation

Prototyping raceway pond layouts at site

Bioluminescent algae's wonderful appeal in the evening

Next Steps

Give the opportunity, I would have loved to further develop:

  • The public space itself, including what kinds of programs and organizations could be involved
  • The financial models of algae production and park maintenance

5. Researcher Portal

Lastly, the third leg of the stool: the product that researchers (Vetty employees) use to actually conduct the background checks.

Product principles:

  • Speed. Make tasks easily identifiable.
  • Efficiency. Focus on minimizing redundancy; at high volumes, every redundant action is magnified (even eye movement should be considered).
  • Memory management. The UI should work to minimize information that the user has to hold in memory.
  • Power users. Due to training, higher complexity in exchange for higher power is OK.

This is a basic researcher workflow. Note that it is divided into 3 stages:

Generally, teams of researchers are assigned to different accounts, with each member taking on a specific phase. Due to Vetty's limited resources, individual researchers take on their own accounts and conduct all 3 phases.

5.1. Researcher Dashboard

The main focus of the researcher dashboard is the "Adjudication Needed" column, which uses a simple "yes" or "no" to indicate when there is a pending task. Hovering over the cell in the column brings up more detailed information.

Because researchers are trained users, the dashboard can adopt more complexity for more power. Below, custom components that allow each column to be independently searchable:

5.2. Candidate Details

Much like the client portal (for account managers), the candidate details are where most of the tasks are done:

Key items:

  • The reference panel can be brought up at any time for glanceable information (for example, the researcher may need to compare SSN trace results with national criminal results). The panel eliminates the need to scroll back and forth. Furthermore, it includes a notes section for each candidate, eliminating the "mountain of sticky notes" that researchers previously had to deal with.
  • All top-level information is easily glanceable in the left navigation panel.

The researcher portal is now undergoing a major redesign to accommodate larger teams. Stay tuned!


Whew, that's it! A complete Consumer Reporting Agency platform from scratch. As of this writing, Vetty has experienced a 10x increase in MRR and is now undergoing a serious M&A bid. If you have any questions, or would like to work together, please don't hesitate to reach out at