OpenReserve is an online global biodiversity reserve, made up of individual plots of land by individuals and/or institutions wishing to show their support for and commitment to the protection of biodiversity.
This online community is also a gateway to knowledge of local/global biodiversity and local initiatives to protect it.
There already exists a visual identity, an initial approach to web usability (perfectible) and a crowdfunding strategy (exploitable).
(At the beginning of the project, we recieved previous deliverables made by other students who work on a first version of OpenReserve in the past.)
We were to propose to the partner the choice of a design solution adapted to the development of its project, by working on the classification of the living and the strong moments to support the creation of a world community.
Naturally, we also had to put forward an argument highlighting our aesthetic and ergonomic choices in relation to the intended use.
This was the first project of our Master's curriculum. We all came from different fileds (Loîc studied motion design, Victoire, set design and Yash, web design in another school) and had never worked together before.
As I was familiar with the UX tools and our school's methods, I took the lead and managed my classmates. It was the first time Victoire and Loïc used Figma and had to design an application so they were not familiar with the components or prototyping features but we split the work so that everyone bring something to the table.
At the end of the project, I was in charge of quality insurance with Victoire, making sure that everything was in place in its right place and working for the presentation. Loïc was our chief video editor, and unfortunately Yash had to leave the project earlier.
Identify the problems
We began the project by developping the personas we had been given in the brief. Because we had very little time and no resources, we could not conduct interviews with potential users.
The point of our personas was therefore to explore the different types of users OpenReserve will be designed for.
Jules and Galatea
They live together in the 15th district of Paris. They live together in a small apartment, with an 6m2 balcony. Jules also works part-time on Saturdays. After the confinement, they have developed the desire to do more for the planet, but do not know where to start.
Antoine lives in Nantes with his family since he joined Tan a few years ago. He is very sensitive to the environmental cause and interested in the OpenReserve project, he would like to do more to preserve the planet.
Alain and Patrice
Alain and Patrice are managers of a 3500 hectares nature reserve in South Africa. They have a great knowledge of biodiversity that they try to share during conferences for example. Their goal is to make the population aware of this cause and to make Open Reserve more known.
Jules and Galatea
Alain and Patrice
How to raise awareness and encourage biodiversity-related initiatives through a digital tool?
- Create a sharing platform acting as an ecological mirror
- Showing the extent of biodiversity through a classification of living things
- Stimulate the idea of improvement through different learning levers
- Create a real community that brings people together around biodiversity online and offline
Propose a suitable concept
To answer this issue, we set a design guideline :
Adopt a horizontal hierarchy of members and land to value all efforts.
We oriented our project toward a mobile app because it is easier to use outdoor, it enables the use of the camera to identify species and it follows the habits of social networking in smartphone
We also created a map with non-proportional sizes of the plots represented in it. The number of layers corresponds to the amount of information about the plot.
Alongside, we worked on the features and information architecture of the OpenReserve application.
Develop the concept
After set having set our concept, we create the first screens to develop its main features.
The application is divided into to mains spaces :
- On the map, you can acces to OpenReserve plots around you or randoms ones from everywhere. You can edit the plots you are allowed to and add new ones like your own garden! Of course, plots you add can stay as private as you want them to be.
- With OpenReserve social media features, you can stay updated about the spaces, groups or users that you follow. Groups and chats are made to help people share their practices and learn about biodiverty in general.
Unfortunatly, for this project we coud not have people testing our prototype nor our features. We used our critical thinking and the feedbacks given by our teachers and the partner to make the most relevant UX choices we could. A following phase would be to get feedbacks from newcomers and potential users in order to iterate.
Adapt the graphic charter to the new concept
We updated the graphic charter that have been designed for a previous version of OpenReserve. We tried to balance the colours and adapt the icons and illustrations to the the map system we defined.
We also get rid of the blue because it would be ambiguous to have blue areas that does not represent water on the map.
The final product
On the first time you open the app, its features are presented to you by its founder, Laurent.
Map & social media
Use the random map we designed navigate through the plots saved in OpenReserve. Our position is that you cannot know which plot your are opening when tapping it. We made it this way to invite people to travel and discover from a plot to another. You can only search for a plot to edit it.
OpenReserve is also a sharing and chatting place. On its smal social platform, people and communities can help eachother identifying animals and plants or promote local event related to nature and its protection.
Sometimes, you will be the first OpenReserve contributor to see a particular tree or bird in a particular park. Your role is to identify it so that other members know can find it here.
There is much more to say about this project but I think the best way to tell how it works it to show you with the prototype below.
It was an interesting project to work on because of the thematic it addresses and the social benefits it could have. We were a young team with little experience but I am proud of the results. Fot me, this project highlights the facts that with a good methodology and by taking the time to think, to challenge ideas, we can achieve great design projects.
Nonetheless, the concept we made during this project is far from being a working application and being viable. It would be a good starting point to develop more complex social features and to raise awarness about biodiversity and environmental risks.
To be part of engaged projects like OpenReserve reinforces my belief of designers' role, the possible impact of the choices we make and so, our responsibility to act for good.