With an unprecedented increase in illegally hunting and trading of animals, organized criminals networks across the globe continue to threaten species with extinction. United for Wildlife is an initiative led by the Duke of Cambridge to stop wildlife crime.
Edenspiekermann worked with United for Wildlife to create a solution that prevents traffickers from exploiting unsuspecting transport businesses to move their contraband. Taskforce Wildlife provides a space where transport representatives and wildlife rangers can share intel about risks and routes so that decisions are made from the most informed and global standpoint. During my internship at Edenspiekermann, I worked with a visual designer and technical director to see this project through its iterations to the MVP release in summer 2018.
Establishing trust and awareness
Problem: Traffickers heavily rely on transport businesses to move their cargo and go to elaborate lengths to ensure their operations go unnoticed and unreported. Without live reports from the frontline, businesses resort to dated news reports from scattered sources to make logistical decisions. As a result, businesses often unwittingly enter trafficking situations.
With the problem identified, we defined the following prompts for the solution:
- How might we create and maintain a platform that businesses can bank on during times of uncertainty and urgency?
- How might we help businesses ship their cargo from the most informed and global standpoint?
- How might we introduce updated and alerts without overwhelming businesses?
Taskforce Wildlife aims to collect real-time reports from onsite rangers to inform transport businesses on which routes traffickers have comprised and how they can make their cargo more resilient.
Starting with clarity
After asking users to enter information about their cargo, the Risk Calculator creates a tailored risk report for that route and shipment. The page needed prompt action from the businesses without alarming them with an overload of warnings but also without downplaying the severity or urgency of the issue. To achieve this, we made sure the platform was focused on clarity and brevity. This was imperative for Taskforce Wildlife to curb trafficking at a global scale.
Designing for efficiency
As a decision support tool, Taskforce Wildlife needed to keep the user's flow of thought and attention until they find the information they need. Understanding a bit of the magic behind calculating trafficking risk allowed the design to better follow the inner workings of a logistician or wildlife ranger’s workflow. By focusing on streamlining each task, users can procure the information they need and return to their real life situations quickly.
Rangers needed to be able to access Taskforce Wildlife in rural locations and precarious conditions to send reports in real time. It needed to be lightweight, yet reliable. This meant working closely with developers to create a design consisting of a component set that was fluid across all screen sizes and browser versions.
The most valuable takeaway from being a part of this project was learning how designers, developers, engineers could work in close proximity to make projects more future proof. For instance, Taskforce Wildlife was implemented as a series of micro-services that allowed huge amounts of data can be shared in a scalable manner. This meant that each of the tools within the platform is autonomous and modular. This allowed our team to implement different parts of the design simultaneously while understanding decisions behind the decision from multiple perspectives.
Elsevier, Schiphol and Internal Projects.