There’s a common theme in community organization where someone decides to make a resource guide, thinking that the problem is that no one has centralized the right information.
The lack of a database is usually just a small part of the problem.
Creating a database rarely changes people’s behaviors in a way that leads to significant changes in outcomes.
This is a design problem. Whenever you are aggregating data, you need to find the right way to display it. Too much information and people are overwhelmed. Too little information and people don’t have enough choices.
Design helps you find this balance. It helps you display the information in a way that the critical pieces are easy to view, and the details are available with a click. It helps you categorize, and organize the information so that users can navigate with ease.
If you embark on a project like this without considering design, you’re doomed to create another database. If you embark on this journey with design in mind, you’re on the path to making something that will matter to people. And that’s what we all want to do anyways, right?