WWF Free Rivers

WWF US

An Augmented Reality app to educate people on the value of Free-Flowing Rivers and the need to keep them free. Explore the story of how dams impact habitats and communities in an immersive engaging experience.

Presentation of the app at an Apple Keynote event

The story of a key partnership

We were fortunate to partner with Apple on this app. They supported the app by launching it in an educational event in Chicago and by giving it a big exposure in the App Store. The result for WWF has been a huge number of downloads. 

Storytelling experience in AR

The river and the dam

We created a very big 3D model that represents five different habitats and created a storytelling guided experience to generate awareness on the consequences on habitat and people when a dam is built.

Creating the story and the experience

Creativity for AR is a new game

One of the most complicated factors on the project was understanding how people were using AR when there were practically no educational AR apps created when we started. Being a pioneer is fun, but it made us work and rework on all the flow of UI and UX. This is a wireframe of usability for the app.

Creating the story and the experience

Creativity for AR is a new game

One of the most complicated factors on the project was understanding how people were using AR when there were practically no educational AR apps created when we started. Being a pioneer is fun, but it made us work and rework on all the flow of UI and UX. This is a wireframe of usability for the app.

Creating a Landscape

From concept to reality

We had a lot of fun in the process of creating the landscape and its elements. We used tools that we had never used before to assess what was needed from the model. For example, we built a Lego model almost at full size to understand sizes and proportions. We also worked very closely to the Communication’s officer at WWF to decide the habitats (African Savannah, Amazon grasslands, Himalayas, Mekong Delta) and the elements To be included.

Moodboards and storyboards

Creating the look and feel of the story

We did a moodboard to find the right look and feel for the experience where we laid out references for every single element. We also did a 3D storyboard to have an audiovisual approach to the experience.

Texture reality

Creating a realistic outlook

Going from a geometrical mesh of the obejct to applying texture to the lansdcape

AR: UI less is more

Unobstrusive design for AR

We were aware from very early on that in AR less is more. People are so immersed in the experience and the 3D object, that any other element becomes redundant. We kept the user interface very minimal and used only markers over the object to lead people through the story.

Iterate until it feels right

Nobody said it would be easy

Be prepared to try and try and try until it feels right. Because AR is still a new media, there is a big process of iteration before you land on the optimal usability and design of the experience.

In search of an Icon

The iconic icon

We went to great lenghts to make sure that even the last detail was important. We did a lot of tests with the icon that had to represent our app. And I think we found a really good one!

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