Attracting, & nurturing, new citizen scientists

Citizen Science

Researching, and mapping, the citizen science recording experience enabled the design of experiences that engage, encourage, & reward contributors.

The problem to solve

These citizen science apps required updating from desktop web interfaces to ones suitable for accessing via handheld devices. New, younger, contributors needed to be engaged to join the existing older demographic.

Process

The redesign of these two citizen science apps started with a successful pitch, followed by discovery, definition, and delivery of both apps. Over the course of the work the team variously included, researchers, strategists, creatives, designers, and developers.

Audience research

Audience research

The research highlighted barriers to participation including; the poor digital experience, the high degree of expert knowledge required, and poor value exchange in terms of the contributor seeing the impact of their data gathering.

Mapping the recording ecosystem

Mapping the recording ecosystem

Mapping the end-to-end journeys highlighted opportunities to engage, encourage, educate, support, and maintain motivation.

Hurdles to participation

Hurdles to participation

Some of the recording processes require expert knowledge, skill, and a large amount of time. However, many simpler tasks could be separated out, with gamification strategies used to encourage participation with low effort.

Engagement strategies

Engagement strategies

Potential engagement strategies included creating location-based trails designed to engage and educate as the participant completes simple tasks.

A helping hand

A helping hand

Educating contributors as they record means that learning becomes a side effect of recording. Consequently, a step up in expertise levels might not be as much of a hurdle as it might otherwise have been.

Data and processes

Data and processes

The existing interfaces often display a quantity of data that was both overwhelming and unnecessary. Collaborating with stakeholders and developers enabled rationalisation of both data display, screen layouts and user flows.

Workflows and Journeys

Workflows & Journeys

The new recording journeys are based around entirely new flows. These guide recorders step-by-step through a linear journey, and have been optimised for use on handheld devices.

Team collaboration

Team collaboration

Collaboration with stakeholders and colleagues included; facilitating workshops, sprint presentations, production of artefacts to explain and document, and being on hand to answer questions and solve problems through design and development.

Outcome

Outcome

The two new apps feature recording journeys that are both easy to use and designed for mobile. The platform is engaging and extensible to work with future engagement strategies.