Rainforest Alliance is a nonprofit working to reduce and reverse the global effects of deforestation by championing sustainable lifestyles, agriculture, and business practices. For this project, starting copy was provided in order to be transformed into a branded three-page microsite that would convert viewers into donors. This student project was awarded a Dayton Chapter Bronze Hermes Award
Edited provided blog copy for use on the microsite
Strategized and designed the site to communicate the points in the provided copy as an informative, persuasive, and interactive story
In general, people don't know the vast effects of deforestation. Rainforest Alliance is working to change that, and they need an infographic microsite to share impactful truths about deforestation and support other marketing efforts.
Transform existing Rainforest Alliance blog post content into a shareable infographic microsite that would pair with a future social campaign and convert viewers into donors and activists.
The Rainforest Foundation works on the ground to secure land rights for indigenous people. We strengthen indigenous land security and train indigenous communities to use technology to protect their forests.
The Rainforest Foundation website makes it clear that the fund focuses on resourcing and supporting indigenous peoples that are close to the effects of deforestation. The website also relies heavily on deforestation news.
Information on The Rainforest Foundation’s website about the effects of deforestation is not shown in an enticing way, causing viewers to miss out on the reasons why they should support the organization.
“Every day, more of our planet’s ecosystems are destroyed. But our partners work on the front lines of conservation. By supporting one of these projects, you can help protect rainforests, stop habitat loss before it begins, and save endangered species.”
The Rainforest Trust website communicates the urgency of deforestation, equips users with a variety of ways to support their cause, and quantifies the organization’s impact.
Users of The Rainforest Trust website may not know how deforestation impacts them directly, and therefore not feel connected enough to support the cause.
I knew I wanted this infographic site to tell a story, not just give information. Analyzing the existing copy for themes and defining possibilities for the flow of the microsite was the first step in crafting this narrative. Then, it was time to rough in the layout of the site based on the adjusted copy. Finally, in order to transition from planning to design, I went back to sketching and pushing my first layout and data visualization concepts a little further.
The blog post this site originated from was a listicle of seven little-known rainforest facts. With the goal of designing a site that would be persuasive for viewers, I reorganized the content into two possible narratives: one that emphasizes the effects of deforestation on people, wildlife, and climate, and one that explains the effects from small to large. With a storytelling approach in mind, the small to large-scale narrative was selected.
After sketching along the way to choosing an overarching content approach, building the wireframes for how the selected direction applied to home, blog, and donate page layouts was the next step.
Time to iterate. Keeping the structure of the home page the same, I considered new infographic approaches to each of the sections, incorporating some new interactive elements in several sections.
The final design of this microsite is intended to warmly communicate the importance of rainforests to viewers from near to far. Not only do each of us benefit from the rainforest in our everyday lives, but entire livelihoods and species, regional weather patterns, and global temperatures all hinge on rainforest health. As viewers scroll down the page, their understanding of rainforest importance builds with each new section. An organic design feels comfortable, softening the blow of potentially harsh information.
Although nearly every word of the original blog post was remastered to meet the goals for this microsite design, the foundational concepts remain. Below are two examples of how the original content was adapted for the medium.
Many parts of the tropical rainforests are inhabited by indigenous people, who have been living in the jungle for millennia without any contact with the rest of the world. About 250,000 indigenous people call Amazon Rainforest their home. They have built their culture around the deep respect and traditional knowledge of the rainforest and its riches... Unfortunately, the livelihood of these people is now endangered... The majority of these people... get their food, tools, and medicine from the forest.
Many parts of tropical rainforests have been inhabited by indigenous people for a millennia. 90 percent of the world's poor people fall into this category. Click to support local economies.
... As the name suggests, rainforests strive in rainy areas of the world with around 100 inches (2,500 mm) of rain throughout the year... Temperate rainforests can grow anywhere between the tropics and the polar circles... The largest temperate rainforest spreads along the Pacific Northwest coast of North America from the Prince William Sound in Alaska all the way to Northern California... Tropical rainforests, on the other hand, lie in the tropical regions. They are found in tropical areas of Asia, Africa, Central America, and the Pacific Islands... This slow process of evolution probably facilitated the great biodiversity of plants and animals that live in the tropical rainforest.
Temperate rainforests grow anywhere between the tropics and the poles
The Pacific Coastal Temperate Rainforest of North America is the largest temperate rainforest in the world, spanning 2,500 miles from the Prince William Sound in Alaska all the way to Northern California.
Tropical Rainforests are believed to be the oldest ecosystems on earth
Jungles in tropical areas around the world have been evolving for more than 60 million years. This slow process of evolution has contributed to the vast biodiversity within these ecosystems, including the Amazon Rainforest.
Stories are powerful, and so is the internet. With this project, I learned how many tools web designers have to make a difference in the world. Real storytelling changes the impact of otherwise boring information by making it relevant to viewers. Interactive content can convince them to engage, making the content even more powerful. And finally, there are a lot of subtle elements that can make or break a donate/checkout user experience!