Conservation Hero Mobile v5

Auckland Council Tiaki Tamaki Makaurau | Conservation Auckland

Helping unify conservation efforts across the community. | Conservation Auckland

Following a six-month-long research and design process with DNA, Auckland Council Environmental Services released a brand new platform to increase the effectiveness of the conservation work they are undertaking and promote Tāmaki Makaurau’s cultural and historical values.

There are many parties involved in doing conservation work in Auckland, from individual landowners to community groups of various size and reach.

They have a unifying goal but often unique and specific needs and agendas, which can sometimes overlap. Auckland Council’s challenge was to demonstrate its effectiveness in fostering conservation work by identifying and addressing all these complex needs and inputs into a single, user-centred digital solution.

The new conservation portal is positioned as an open partnership, funded and initiated by Auckland Council's Natural Environment Targeted Rate (NETR) but presented as a neutral, collaborative and engaging space.

Simple guides / Many conservation efforts are cut short by not knowing where to start. The portal addresses this issue by presenting short and sweet step by step guides for topics such as controlling pests in your backyard or looking after waterways.

An improved community service.

Interactions with the community and conservation groups happen through numerous departments and branches of Auckland Council, which was known to create challenges for the public — and council.

Our first task was to evaluate community engagement and provide recommendations to help unify Auckland Council’s actions and responses. The portal was one of the central components of this cross-channel experience.

A strong partnership with Mana Whenua.

The desire to uphold the principle of kaitiakitanga and give the local caretakers of the land centre-stage was a driving force in the design process. The website structure aims to reflect Te Ao Māori, and the inclusion of Te Reo was the intent from the get-go.

User Research
Several rounds of research with key audiences yielded a definitive list of features and functionality that were prioritised with the project team.

Making conservation accessible to all.

Workshopping with all key stakeholders enabled us to identify all potential audiences and flesh out assumptions around what their needs and challenges might be.

Through user research with landowners and community groups leaders, we validated and tweaked these assumptions and defined what would become the core framework for content on the portal.

Experience Frameworks help project teams to evaluate and refine the digital strategy – through prototyping, testing and validation with priority audiences.

Setting the vision. 

Communicating our vision and getting input from key partners such as Mana Whenua was critical for the project’s success. To share our learnings and gather feedback, we outlined potential scenarios and created an experience framework that helped render the future platform tangible for all parties.

The DNA team handed over a design system of all the prioritised components to be implemented but the Auckland Council team. Not all components were built for the first release of the portal.

Effective collaboration.

The DNA team worked closely with Auckland Council designers and development teams from the get-go to shape the structure and content model of the platform.

When it came to delivery of the Design System and components, the focus was on making the most of existing patterns for standard elements – to ensure that the visual connection with Auckland Council was consistent and to make the development as efficient as possible.

We paid special attention to components that were unique to this new platform – the signature experiences that created a differentiator to make the portal stand-out from its related websites.

The design was shipped for implementation by the Auckland Council team – alongside completion of the content for the platform. As is common with these sorts of projects there is some variation between the design and the final built platform.

Simple guides
Simple guides

Many conservation efforts are often cut short by not knowing where to start. The portal addresses this issue by presenting short-and-sweet step by step guides for topics such as controlling pests in your backyard or looking after waterways.
Find a group or event

Conservation work is all about the community. For those who want to get involved in taking care of their local environment, the portal offers a calendar of conservation events and a conservation directory to connect with other groups and initiatives.
Resource library

Finding the right information on what you can and can’t do and how to go about it can be hard. The resource library on the conservation portal gathers everything you might need from various conservation partners, all in one place.
Online conservation map

Through the dynamic mapping system, users can learn more about the natural taonga that surrounds them. The map can help them discover protected areas and land of significant ecological value, as well as find out where environmental management activity is taking place.

Get in touch if you would like to find out more about this project, our digital experience projects or about our sustainability practice.

Project Summary

Timeframe: 2019

Deliverable: Digital Experience Strategy

Client: Auckland Council

Project: Tiaki Tamaki Makaurau | Conservation Auckland

Activities: Experience Framework, User Testing, Design System