Research – Concept – Prototype
In partnership with the Aquarium of the Pacific, we learned how to channel the power of storytelling into communicating impending environmental issues.
40%User Experience Design
40%User Interface Design
One ocean under threat.
More than 10,000 species are at risk of extinction every year, among them a swelling number of marine animals.
Humans have profoundly decreased the abundance of both large (e.g., whales) and small (e.g., anchovies) marine fauna. Such declines can generate waves of ecological change that travel both up and down marine food webs and can alter ocean ecosystem functioning. Climate change threatens to accelerate marine defaunation over the next century.
Marine Biologist | UCSB
Wildlife populations in the oceans have been badly damaged by human activities.
We may be sitting on a precipice of a major extinction event.
We should act quickly to slow the advance of marine defaunation.
Doubling down on diamonds.
Since we would be meeting with clients on a bi-weekly basis, we decided early on in the process to utilize the double-diamond methodology into our process.
This involved rapidly generating lots of different ideas in the initial phase; then, with feedback from the client, we would continue to refine and filter down to surface more potent ones.
Meet and greet with scientists and experts.
Brainstorming various ideas.
Client meeting, bounce off best of ideas.
Further refine finalists.
Conclude ideation phase, begin building prototype.
Conduct usability tests, verify UX assumptions and revise prototype as needed.
Prepare prototype for stakeholder presentation.
Within the fast-paced and iterative creative process, we established a clear goal and set design criteria for the project for the weeks to come. These guides, though simple, often came in handy for re-evaluating our concepts.
- This idea is cool but does it successfully communicate the reality in a clear and engaging manner?
- That being asked, what do we use to differentiate levels of engagement?
- How memorable is the interaction? Can we measure it?
- What are the potential call-to-actions?
Communicate the story of vanishing marine animals
via an engaging and memorable interaction.
A story of great recovery.
Instead of capitalizing on the tragedies, we chose to tell the humpback whales’ great comeback story, notably during the last 40 years.
Their resilience and a strong recovery in population is proof that a coalition of international policy-making efforts and collective human activism can make a big difference.
After a few iterations, we found out that the optimal form factor consisted of two planes conjoined at an angle equal or greater than 90 degrees.
To accomodate both adults and children of small sizes, the angle of the joint would become more dramatic as the bottom plane moved closer to ground. Hollowing out the supporting structure for the bottom plane was also considered for better wheelchair support.
The setup is perfect for a shared experience in which the parent assumes the co-pilot position while the child is the main driver of the narrative.
Crude and humble as it was, our first prototype served beautifully as the first foray into the heart and mind of our users.
Upon seeing users interact with the mockup, we believed we had found an intuitive way to communicate our story.
Starting the session
Navigating the timeline
Ending the session
2-up design was a big hit!
Controls were easy to grasp
Need more data points!
We quickly assembled another prototype consisted simply of color-coded post-its so our users can begin sorting data into various ‘tiers.’