A creative solution encouraging local coastal communities to take action and help preserve their coastal environment.

The Nitty Gritty

Client: Adobe x Rip Curl Australia
Project Timeline: 14th — 16th August 2020
Team: Jessie Newton, Rohan Gerrard & Eleisha Kubale

Summary: For this project, we created an app aimed at engaging tourists with coastal preservation and sustainability practises using Adobe Xd. The app takes users through a day trip to Torquay and provides them with choices and information about how to make that experience sustainable.

The Beach Please Team — Exploring conservation through personality

Client’s Expectations

Adobe Creative Jam aims to provide students with the opportunity to solve real-world issues through designing experiences that bring ideas to life. The Jam is a virtual event running over the course of 3 days, with client briefs, skill-building sessions and feedback. For this Jam, Adobe partnered with Rip Curl Australia.

Adobe x RipCurl

Rip Curl is a designer, manufacturer, and retailer of surfing sportswear and a major athletic sponsor. They are one of the largest surfing companies in Australia, Europe, South America, North America and South Africa. Sustainability is at the heart of their mission through its initiatives such as Rip Curl Planet and environmentally conscious products. The three pillars of Rip Curl Planet are

  1. Preserve and Protect Our Oceans
  2. Environmental Products
  3. Act Sustainably

The Client requested that we create a third party app encouraging local coastal communities to take action and help preserve their own coastal environment. The app did not need to have the look or feel of the Rip Curl Brand and could approach the topic broadly or focus on a specific community or issue. The app needed to be produced using Adobe XD and their cloud functionalities.

My role

In this project, I predominately worked on the research, story design, copywriting, UI and sound design. I played a supporting role in the prototyping process.

Design Process

Time efficiency and strong communication were vital for our project due to the quick turn over time.

Software

After the briefing, it was important to outline how we would interact as a team. With the event being completely digital and our team separated by Covid-19 restrictions we relied on communicating and designing with:
+ Microsoft Teams (General conversation, video calls)
+ Miro (Brainstorming and Planning)
+ Adobe XD (Design and prototyping)

Brainstorming

Each member of the team went away and brainstormed some general themes around sustainability and topics we could focus on. These topics varied from community initiatives, flora and fauna preservation, tourism, global warming and more.

We wanted to take a different approach to other teams. This lead us to focus on tourism and the role of tourists to be sustainable when travelling. We explored the idea of visitors feeling like they are part of the communities they visit. Feeling part of something will hopefully evoke their need to be considerate and care for the environments they visit. Focusing on the community of Torquay also allowed us to be more specific about which activities tourists could make changes around.

A snapshot of our Miro brainstorm and workflow

Target Audience

Identifying a target audience will help us better design our app through considering their needs and wants.

We identified our target audience as local Australian tourists who are looking to be more sustainable but have not yet found an entry point to sustainability. They are typically aged between 18 and 35 and would identify as low to medium-income earners.

A glimpse into our audience

Visualisation

Based on our target audience we decided to gamify our app. Using animation and illustration to communicate our story aligns with the animated sitcoms which are currently popular with our target audience. For us, it became important to develop both a strong storyline and fun visuals. These would help to sell our concept and make it engaging for viewers. We spent a lot of time ideating who our characters would be and how they would interact with each other.

Sense of humour quickly came through as a strong storytelling tool. The apps name is a play on words from B*tch Please set the tone for our funky characters. We developed a list of characters refinding them and aligning them to a specific conservation task based on those listed on the Great Ocean Road Coast Committee’s how you can help list. I spent time further researching these issues to develop a clearer narrative around them whilst collecting a range of resources to reference, adding trust to our information.

We also explored the use of surfer and coastal slang within our application. It’s use played homage to the brand's roots.

Slang terms explored in the app

In this stage of the project, I focused on building a story outline. Rohan and I worked together on pulling together the basic wireframes needed to convey that story while Eleisha started to develop the agreed look and feel.

Basic Wireframe

Prototyping
Rohan took the lead on prototyping our app. He set up the screen flows allowing me to drop in the content and body copy for each screen. Eleisha worked through the illustrations and adding them to the file when complete.

Low fidelity prototype of our character interaction and an adaption of a basic user journey to the story plan

Rohan spent most of his time creating more complex animations whilst the rest of us created basic links based on our agreed screen layouts. I took lead on sound design. Bringing in quirky sounds helped to add an extra bit of fun and unexpectedness to the app.

The Solution

Beach Please introducing visitors to simple sustainable practices they can embody in their everyday life through a gamified app. The user is intuitively led through a sustainable and coast friendly day trip to Torquay, teaching them and reinforcing behaviour that is friendly to our beaches and oceans through the collection of characters. Users can learn additional information such as specific communities initiatives and surf slang through pop-ups. Our design utilises gestures which are familiar to users such as tapping and sliding allowing them to intuitively use the app. The illustration style is set in parallel to the slang and humour filled dialogue in the app. It’s vibrance and relevant style mirrors that of animated sitcoms currently popular with those aged between 18 and 35.

Explore the app yourself!

Challenges

As with any project we expected challenges. Surprisingly, these were few and far between. Overall, the team worked incredibly well together considering it was our first time collaborating on a project. We were able to assign tasks to make the project move smoothly and quickly. Certain decisions took more time as than others such as making decisions about colours and typefaces.

We had some issues with the functionalities presented by Xd. It would have been fun for users to navigate through the app and only collect characters is they made the correct decision. Doing this created far too many variables for the landing beach page so we had to scrap the idea.

Like any prototyping process, we had times where links were broken. Working on a collaborative document meant that sometimes one person’s movement would affect what someone else was working on. We navigated this by having a video chat running at the same time as prototyping. This allowed us to quickly make decisions quickly whilst alerting team members to which screens we were populating of prototyping.

Beach Please was selected as one of the top solutions

Project Success

As a team, we were incredibly proud of what we created in just 3 days. Our application had over 60 screens and allowed users to interact with 7 individual scenarios. The design was strong and cohesive through the bold illustration style presented by Eleisha with witty yet subtle humour to match.

Our project was selected as a top 10 finalist for the Jam. We received the 5th highest score across 162 teams.

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Jessie Newton is a problem solver, thinker and explorer. She currently works on User Experience and graphic design projects.