An app to help save endangered species of fox
Allies is a mobile app for helping save endangered species of fox. Many fox species are endangered and there are not many ways for the general public to help save them. My goal in solving this problem was to design an app to help save endangered species of fox that is easy to navigate and have more options other than donating.
Designing for social good
The focus of this project was to design a mobile app that can help make a difference in the world in a positive way. The Allies mobile app is focused on allowing anyone and everyone to help contribute to the conservation of endangered fox species. Commonly a social cause for zoologists, biologists, naturalists, ecologists, etc. to talk about, there were not many ways for interested people or even the general population to engage in taking a stand and be vocal about helping save endangered species of fox.
Different ways to contribute
The Allies mobile app was designed to let anyone contribute to the cause, which meant offering more options than donating was significant to the user experience. The Allies mobile app offers three ways to contribute to the conservation of endangered species of fox: donating, signing petitions, and purchasing merchandise. Donating is the main method of contributing and most people who truly want to contribute choose this option as it makes the most difference in the social cause.
Signing petitions is another way of contributing to the cause and while it is does not provide direct aid, it lets people assist indirectly by calling activists and other contributors in the field to action. 
The third method of contributing to the cause is purchasing merchandise, in which a small portion of the proceeds go to the conservation agencies. This method would work in a similar way as the donation method but the main takeaway here is that the user makes a direct transaction to purchase items, rather than a one-way donation. While thank you gifts can be received with the donation method, this method purely concerns logistics and internal systemization to reflect a transaction between merchant and customer.
Design process
I did sketches for navigation within the mobile app. My focus was to provide information on different endangered species of fox so users can learn more about them even if they do not want to contribute.
I also brainstormed different ways of supporting endangered species of fox other than donating, such as support by purchasing merchandise.
Accessibility considerations
The Allies mobile app features clear labels for interactive elements that can be read by screen readers. Text and interactive elements are layered in tiers and are readable without difficulty, by humans and screen readers.
Navigation is kept simple with a navigation bar at the bottom, but many pages can be reached in multiple ways. The color coded navigation button at the bottom and the large colored header at the top signifies the page the user is currently viewing to ensure the user does not get lost in navigation. Colors used for headers and sub-headers are also high in contrast and easily distinguishable.
What I learned
In terms of visual language, I learned that the use of drop shadows can provide sufficient contrast between UI elements and the background. For an app that is already heavy on text, I noticed the user interface could get cluttered and overwhelming very easily if I am not careful of where I place elements. To solve this, I used only drop shadows to identify buttons and separate headers.
While thinking about different ways of contributing to the cause, I learned that offering more ways to contribute to the preservation of endangered fox species other than donating opens the cause up to a wider audience. Donating remains the main method of contributing but people should also be able to contribute in other ways if they want to, without feeling like they need to donate. The solutions I came up with were signing petitions and purchasing merchandise, in which a small portion of the proceeds go towards the conservation agencies.
Style Guide
The design of the Allies brand identity revolves around the right-angle triangle shape motif with rounded edges. This shape was originated from the characteristic of a fox ear and represents a fox ear in an abstract way in the Allies logo.
The orange and brown colors were chosen based on the most common colors fox species are seen to bear. These colors also provide a clear contrast on white backgrounds for readability and can be distinguished between each other for a clear hierarchy. The blue color was similarly chosen for distinguishing purposes alongside the orange color.
Try the prototype!
The Allies mobile user experience to help save endangered species of fox is available as a high-fidelity prototype below.
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