ecoEXPLORE Children’s Educational and Citizen Science App
ecoEXPLORE is a program of the NC Arboretum that was created as a citizen science project to engage kids across the state of North Carolina in outdoor learning.
What I Did:
- Designed the public-facing website
- UX and UI design for the app
- Designed UX improvements for the staff’s administrative tools
- Project management
EcoEXPLORE is a program of the NC Arboretum that was created as a citizen science project to engage kids across the state of North Carolina in outdoor learning. The primary function of the site allows kids to submit and identify photos of nature sightings. Their participation is incentivized with badges and prizes for correct identifications.
In 2019, my previous company, FullSteam Labs, built a full reboot of their outdated and insufficient WordPress website using a custom content management system backed by a high-performance database. This allowed ecoEXPLORE to break free of the constraints imposed by the limited WordPress platform and expand their program in profound ways.
The result was a huge success, providing a highly performant platform, allowing EcoEXPLORE’s program to spread across the state and grow to more than 6,000 users (and counting!)
After the initial launch we continued to work with the EcoEXPLORE team to design new functionality, improve user experience for both the kids and the volunteers processors, and dream up new ways to make the app even more engaging.
In 2021 we launched a new badge earning system, EcoExplorer dashboard version 2.0, and a brand new “Challenges” component. And in early 2022 we rolled out new administrative improvements based on user feedback and testing. These improvements greatly enhanced the UX, bringing more automation, improved efficiency, and ultimately greater joy to the staff and volunteers that work hard to encourage and inspire the young learners.
I am honored to have worked with ecoEXPLORE during such an exciting time in their evolution. Their program aligns with my mission of environmental stewardship by cultivating citizen science and nature education that’s fun! I look forward to the future of this program providing impactful and joyful experiences for the children, staff, and volunteers.