Our mission was to create an online interactive environmental program in partnership with The Gould League that would help people create a blueprint for a garden brimming with biodiversity.
The first step of the process was to work out what the big drawcard for the site was going to be. Through a series of brainstorming sessions and mentored workshops, we developed a concept...
A user chooses animals they want to attract to their garden, they are then given a list of plants living in their growing zone that would entice those critters, and finally they can actually design their dream garden using an interactive garden planning tool.
The idea sounded simple, but the execution of it was certainly not going to be trivial!
A key focus of the project was to generate real, measurable results in environmental development - Even though the website itself was to be a completely virtual tool, it needed to get real people growing real gardens to support real indigenous animals.
A Strategically Diverse Team
This project was unique in every way, it incorporated a development team that consisted of design and technical people from DDSN, environmental content experts from The Gould League, marketing and design staff from The Nursery and Gardening Industry Association, and financial support from Environment Australia.
A prototype for the garden planner technology and database management system had been designed and constructed back in 2001 for the Wildscape project. The initial "garden planner" concept was extended during the course of the Flora for Fauna project to incorporate a very content rich website that allowed visitors to access information in a wide variety of ways.
Creating the Content
The site includes information sheets, download-ready plant and animal databases, a huge array of targeted links, and a whole bunch of other useful information. It needed to tie in with the national marketing campaign which involved nurseries all over Australia stocking the "Flora for Fauna" plants.
A vital aspect of the project was the authoring and production of the simply amazing array of content. Thanks to the convenience of an early version of cm3 Acora CMS, after we designed the information structure for the site the actual content entry was all done by experts from The Gould League working on-site with us.
The Home Stretch...
For nearly three weeks our boardroom was transformed into an environmental library, the walls covered by huge stacks of books and journals. It was a sight to behold!
Copious amounts of energy drinks were consumed during the last month of the project. We may even be responsible for a few new Red Bull addicts...
We're proud of this one, and so is everyone who worked on it. The site is in active use by a wide range of Australians, and continues to rack up design awards both locally and internationally. If you have an interest in gardening and/or indigenous animals - or even if you're just interested in seeing a really fantastic website - you have to try it out.