Leveraging the use of social media and personalization to shed light on the current state of the world's coral reefs, as well as how we can help.

ADOBE CREATIVE JAM x THE OCEAN AGENCY—TOP 10 FINALIST
Timeline—
April 23rd to April 26th
‍‍
Role—
Product Designer alongside Vanessa Seto, another participant
The Ocean Agency is an international non-for-profit that focuses on developing unique and engaging campaigns to accelerate ocean and marine conservation. For this designathon, Adobe Creative Jam partnered with The Ocean Agency to create digital solutions for ocean protection. I worked alongside another designer over a 72 hour period to create myCoral; a mobile solution that teaches and spreads awareness about the depletion of the coral reefs through a fun, interactive experience.
Placed in the top 10 out of over 300 submissions.

An overview of our process:

Due to the short, sprint-like nature of the event, following the double diamond process helped us to quickly ideate and identify a solution for the given problem. That being said, the majority of our time was spent creating the prototype of our project, as this was what would be submitted and evaluated for the competition.

PHASE 1: DISCOVER

Discovering insight into the problem

For the first time in human history, we are on the verge of losing a major planetary ecosystem, one on which we depend. But the scarier thing? Not a lot of people know about it. Why? Because at the core, this is a communication issue. 99% of people can’t dive, and consequently, they also cannot see how quickly global warming is impacting the corals. As a result? Not a lot of people are doing anything about it.

PHASE 2: DEFINE

Defining the area to focus on

For the first time in human history, we are on the verge of losing a major planetary ecosystem, one on which we depend. But the scarier thing? Not a lot of people know about it. Why? Because at the core, this is a communication issue. 99% of people can’t dive, and consequently, they also cannot see how quickly global warming is impacting the corals. As a result? Not a lot of people are doing anything about it.

OUR USER GROUP

Inspire people to take action on ocean protection and marine conversation. I think we need to be a bit more specific here. Which user group should we focus on? Given the time constraint and limited resources we had available to us, we decided to design for ingroup members: teens and young adults. As such, our personal experiences and perspectives would allow us to better empathize with our users.

CONSTRAINTS

In addition to the issue outlined by the Ocean Agency, we were also given some additional constraints from the Adobe team. As part of our project, we needed to incorporate the features of Photoshop Camera and Adobe Sign, two of Adobe’s newer products. To begin, we did some research on the limitations and capabilities of these tools.

  1. Adobe Sign: An e-signature service that allows user to send, sign, track, and manage signatures from their phone or laptop
  2. Photoshop Camera: Coined as the "Magic of photoshop in your camera." A camera app that uses intelligence to suggest insta-worthy camera lenses and filters—before you even take the shot
PHASE 3: DEVELOP

Developing potential solutions

IDEATION

When trying to come up with an idea for this project, our ideation process was really split into two parts. First, we needed to really understand the user journey of how teenagers and young adults receive, process, and take action on societal or environmental issues. Where do users typically learn about these issues, what motivates them to invest time into learning more, and how do they usually take action or show their support?

Then afterwards, we needed to ideate on how we could creatively incorporate our constraints in a way that built on-to our experience and did not take away from it.

From our ideation session, we narrowed down what we wanted for our feature:  Users should discover the feature from social media, it should tell a compelling and educational visual story, and users should be able to sign a pledge and share their support with their community.

PHASE 4: DELIVER

Delivering solutions that work

CONSTRUCTING A FLOW THAT IS COMPELLING AND LINEAR

Given the fact that teenagers and young adults have a relative small attention span (~8 seconds), we knew that we needed to tell a story that was compelling and linear. In other words, it needed to use the following magic formula: Outrage + Optimism + Excitement = Action. This is a formula that the Ocean Agency has proven to be effective in their social campaigns, especially with a younger audience. To better visualize the steps of our user journey, we first created a flowchart to map out our ideas:

WIREFRAMING

Then, this flowchart was converted into low fidelity wireframes to build the base of what would become myCoral. In particular, we focused on portraying the four parts of the magic formula for action.

1. OUTRAGE

Shed light on the current state of the coral reef depletion.

2. OPTIMISM

Show users how they can help alleviate the issue (by adopting a coral!)

3. EXCITMENT

Get users excited about sharing their coral with custom Photoshop Camera filters.

1. ACTION

Allow users to share their signed petition and coral creation with their communities!

VISUAL ASSETS AND BRAND

Taking inspiration from previous Ocean Agency campaigns, we knew that we wanted to highlight the vibrant colours of the coral reefs and the underwater ecosystem. Images provided by the Ocean Agency were used to communicate the urgency of the issue, while illustrations were used to add a playful and engaging tone to the story.

FINAL PHASE: SOLUTION

Our final prototype

myCoral is a mobile experience that allows users to adopt their own coral and pledge for ocean protection, all while learning about corals and their role in the marine ecosystem. Users adopt a coral by selecting a coral region and a coral type, then naming it and signing the pledge for ocean protection using Adobe Sign. Additionally, users can take a photo of themselves with their virtual coral and unlock customized filters in Photoshop Camera. In our design process, we conducted research on how millennials currently sign pledges, and how environmental initiatives succeed. We found that social media is the most effective method for spreading awareness amongst this audience. Thus, users are encouraged to share their adopted corals through online platforms, with the chance of being featured by The Ocean Agency and Adobe. In conclusion, myCoral unites people from across the globe to celebrate a community of ocean protection enthusiasts.

Project conclusions

LEARNINGS

How to design for a marketing campaign.

As the Ocean Agency was one of our main stakeholders for this project, we needed to ensure that we understood the values, missions, and goals of the non-profit. Since our project was meant to be used as a marketing campaign by the agency, there were some additional factors which we had to consider and emphasize throughout the process. For instance, identifying user entry points, drop-off, and having consistent interaction and engagement were of utmost importance.

Designing for advocacy and how to push for user action.

While conducting research into the project, we learned that the magic formula for user action used by campaigns at the Ocean Agency was the following: Outrage + Optimism + Excitement = Action. This taught us how to coherently tell a story that was linear, yet also effectively push for action.

UP NEXT
Prototyping a Figma plugin that aims to help new designers build case studies, focus on their goals, and gain confidence in their skills.

Camp Figma—

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