Mind the Gap: Towards a Typology of Climate Service Usability Gaps

Literature on climate services presents a large diversity of different services and uses. Many climate services have ‘usability gaps’: the information provided, or the way it is visualized, may be unsuitable for end users to inform decision-making processes in relation to adaptation against climate change impacts or for the development of policies to this end. The aim of this article is to contribute to more informed and efficient decision-making processes in climate adaptation by developing a typology of usability gaps for climate services. To do so, we first present and demonstrate a so-called ‘climate information design’ (CID) template with which to study and potentially improve the visual communicative qualities of climate services. Then, two climates services are selected for a further, qualitative explorative case study of two cases in the north and south of the Netherlands. A combination of focus group sessions and semi-structured interviews are used to collect data from Dutch governmental stakeholders as well as private stakeholders and NGOs. This data is then coded to discover what usability gaps are present. We then present twelve different types of usability gaps that were encountered as a typology. This typology could be used to improve and redesign climate services.


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