Metropolitan Transportation Commission

Aimed at policymakers, the redeveloped Vital Signs website tracks and displays incredible amounts of data regarding the health of the Bay Area in an easily accessible format.


Vital Signs, an initiative from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), is an interactive website that tracks data, visualizations, and contextualized narratives on important trends in the SF Bay Area related to land use, transportation, the environment, the economy, and equity. The website displays vital information related to the Bay Area’s future and allows advocates, city officials, and community organizers to monitor trends. 

Exygy began working on the Vital Signs project in 2020 to overhaul the existing site by refreshing the design, building more functionality, and creating more robust data reporting. 

The Problem

Time and time again, we are reminded of the vital role that data plays in effecting change. In a cultural context that places such great value on data, we must collect and leverage it in our efforts to create a more equitable future. However, the availability of data is just one piece of the puzzle.

Data must also be easily accessible and understood by those who are looking for it. This is why websites like Vital Signs are so important. They bridge the digital divide between available data and those who are looking to leverage it for social change. 

A glimpse at how the newly designed pages connect site visitors with data 

The original Vital Signs website proved the importance and necessity of the site, but MTC knew that they could do more. They asked Exygy to partner with them to rebuild the entire website. The goal was to make it easier and more engaging for interested parties to find and utilize the rich data provided by the platform. It was also designed to be easier for MTC to maintain and update consistently, ensuring that the data on the platform remains as current as possible.

The Approach

“The Exygy team was instrumental in designing and delivering the new Vital Signs website. Exygy’s approach of re-platforming the back end for maintainability and redesigning the front end for user experience will undoubtedly position Vital Signs as a best-in-class resource for the Bay Area.”

- Elliot Huang, MTC Vital Signs Project Manager

Partnerships at Work 

At Exygy, we approach our work as a trusted partner to the organizations we are working with.
In our work with Vital Signs, we worked closely with the team by supplementing their in-house capacity with our team of experts. Our design team worked to boost capacity with design sessions, user research, and stakeholder interviews. This was crucial in defining and goal setting for the next version of the vital signs website.

An Evolved Platform 

One of the goals of the project involved re-platforming to make it easier to update and maintain, improving infrastructure for maps and charts, and giving the MTC team an easy-to-manage CMS experience that's lightweight and quick to set up. Creating an easy-to-update CMS ensured that the Vital Signs website could be updated for years to come. More frequent updates mean more accurate data. 

Designing for End Users

The team also focused on re-designing to improve usability and navigation. Our research pointed to a new strategic target audience who were “somewhat data savvy”. This guided our designs as we re-designed the website to better find the data you were interested in, better display the data sets, and create more space to interpret the results. The result was more intuitive data visualization across the site and enhanced granularity, better comparisons, and map-based representations of data.  

The “sweet spot” for Vital Sign’s target audience 
The Impact
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The new Vital Signs website was successfully launched in August of 2023 and is currently serving Bay Area residents. It's a massive step in making environmental and civic indicators available to the public, especially data sets that show the impact of COVID-19. Better access to information about our cities allows us to understand how to shape them to be more equitable for everyone. 

The infrastructure built during the redesign of the Vital Signs website has set MTC up for long-term success and continual development of the project. 

For more information about what’s new, check out
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