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DVR Week: Veronica Smith and Chris Metzner on Creating a Fuzzy Logic Model on a Budget

We are Veronica Smith and Chris Metzner. Veronica is principal of data2insight, an evaluation and research firm with data visualization expertise and Chris Metzner is a freelance graphic designer.

Matt Keene and Chris created the popular fuzzy logic model for the Oregon Paint Stewardship Pilot Program. The fuzzy logic model concept (FLM) evolved out of the desire to make the traditional logic model dynamic, non-linear and stakeholder-friendly. This logic model embraces fluid and approximate reasoning and provides an evaluation reporting framework.

Oregon Paint Stewardship Pilot Program Image

We provide tips, tricks and resources for illustrating and disseminating your FLM.


Rad Resources: Creating a FLM begins with a sketch of the theory of action and theory of change (get out your pencil and paper!). Once finalized, it’s time to digitize. For DIY’ers, we recommend OmniGraffle 5 Professional ($199.99), Adobe Illustrator CS5 ($599.00) or DoView ($79.95).

OmniGraffle offers quick page-layout design and is great for Mac users. DoView turns outcome models into user-friendly web pages. Adobe Illustrator is the graphic design industry standard. It allows total control over the project and is a complex tool.

Hot Tip: Hiring a graphic designer can cost can anywhere from $60-100/hour. You save time when the designer translates your sketch into an illustration tailored to stakeholders’ needs using sound visual design principles.  The illustration for the Oregon paint program (above) would cost somewhere between $2000-3500.


Rad Resources: With a digital illustration you are ready to get online. First, purchase a domain name ($12.99/yr) and hosting plan ($6.99/yr). We recommend DreamHost or Hostmonster.

If your FLM doesn’t require advanced user interaction, purchase a pre-built website from the hosting company. WordPress, free software installed by your host company is another option. WordPress offers easy blog creation and site-enhancing plugins, but requires basic web development knowledge. Apply a theme to give your website for a professional look. Using Adobe Dreamweaver CS5 ($399.00) is for someone with advanced website coding knowledge.

Hot Tip: You can also hire a designer to bring the FLM to life. A web designer will charge $100-150/hour. Meet with the designer and communicate your goals in order to get a cost estimate for website creation. A designer can create a site for as little as $1000. The value add of a good designer is the expertise to secure the website, monitor traffic and optimize content for search engines. Website design costs can be offset by time and money saved disseminating results electronically.

Beyond the basics

Cool Trick: Employ social media and video technologies to increase stakeholder engagement and evaluation use.

Run with it

FLM opens the door for enhanced stakeholder engagement, reporting, results dissemination and evidence-based decision making. Let us know how you use FLMs to meet your client needs.

We’re celebrating Data Visualization and Reporting Week with our colleagues in the DVR AEA Topical Interest Group. The contributions all this week to aea365 come from our DVR members and you may wish to consider subscribing to our weekly headlines and resources list where we’ll be highlighting DVR resources. Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice.

1 thought on “DVR Week: Veronica Smith and Chris Metzner on Creating a Fuzzy Logic Model on a Budget”

  1. Pingback: Why Understanding What You’re Evaluating Is Central to an Effective Evaluation | Wright Evaluation, LLC

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