Tribal Climate Adaption Guidebook

Todd tarpani

Photo by Todd Tarpani

Streamlining Complex Navigation for a Comprehensive Climate Adaptation Guidebook

“Our lands and resources are the basis for our spiritual life. That’s been our way since time began. By preparing for further environmental change, we can mitigate threats to our way of life.”

—Joe Durglo, Former Chairman, Tribal Council of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes

Tribal Adaption Guide Book, a collaboration between Adaptation International and various Tribal Nations, aimed to create a comprehensive resource that would assist Indigenous communities in their efforts to adapt to climate change. The project faced the challenge of organizing and presenting a wealth of content in a user-friendly, intuitive manner. Through innovative UX/UI strategies, the final website successfully provided users with streamlined navigation, enabling them to access vital information with ease.

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  1. Extensive content: The Guidebook contained numerous steps, activities, checklist items, traditional knowledges, resources, and definitions, which created a complex navigation system that needed to be simplified.
  2. Hierarchy and relationships: The content needed to be organized in a way that showcased the relationships between topics, sub-topics, and sub-sub-topics, while also allowing users to understand their position within the overall site structure.
  3. Accessibility and usability: The site had to cater to users with varying levels of expertise and familiarity with climate adaptation planning, ensuring that everyone could easily access and understand the information.

UX/UI Strategy

  1. Step-by-step format: The Guidebook’s climate change planning approach was presented in a step-by-step format, which supported adaptation professionals in their planning efforts and facilitated a logical progression through the content.
  2. Bespoke JavaScript solutions: Custom JavaScript solutions were developed to streamline navigation, help users visually recognize their position within the site, and maintain context as they moved through the different sections.
  3. Design elements and interactions: The following design techniques were employed to create a cohesive and user-friendly experience:
    • Color: Different colors were used to distinguish between various sections, steps, and activities.
    • Font-weight: Typography was leveraged to emphasize headings, sub-headings, and important elements.
    • Sticky navigations: Persistent navigation bars ensured that users could access important links and sections regardless of their position on the page.
    • Side navigations: Additional side menus provided quick access to related content and resources.
    • Actions on hover and click: Interactive elements offered immediate feedback and revealed additional information as users interacted with the site.
    • Modals/lightboxes: Content was displayed in pop-up windows, allowing users to focus on specific information without navigating away from the main page.


The innovative UX/UI strategies employed in the creation of the Tribal Climate Adaptation Guidebook resulted in a highly accessible, user-friendly platform that allowed Indigenous communities across the United States to access vital climate adaptation resources. By streamlining complex navigation and presenting content in an intuitive manner, the Guidebook has become an invaluable tool for Tribal organizations and adaptation professionals working to preserve their communities and way of life in the face of climate change.

Tribal climate guidebook