From paper sketch to Citizen Science observation data entry dialogue

Wednesday, 03 October 2018 15:19

Today we want to take you on a little trip in our blog. We want to take you on the journey of going from a paper sketch to a custom built Citizen Science observation entry dialogue alongside the most recent addition to the SPOTTERON Citizen Science platform - Brushturkeys.

First sketch

Matthew from Australia started his travels with SPOTTERON when he entered his project for the Competition of the Australian Citizen Science Conference in February 2018. After the notification that he had indeed won, we started where every project really gets started: A Skype Call in which our design lead Philipp talks to you about your project, to get a better idea and pin down what functionalities and input methods you need.
This conversation leads to a first sketch of something that is probably one of the most important features of your apps: the data entry dialogue. This is so crucial because the Citizen Scientists contributing to your project have to fill in this questionnaire every time they enter an observation. Therefore it needs to be easy to understand and well-designed, but also able to provide you with all information necessary to meet your research requirements.
This sketch resulted from Matthew and Philipp's skype talk:

BlogImage 03 sketchtodialogue

First draft

After this first talk, we create a first draft of the sketch. This includes the design of the buttons with pictures or icons and the fields to enter the data. Should you not have one already, we are also happy to design a project logo. Through this visualization you get a much better idea of what it the app will actually look like and we get a basis for further discussion. This is what the first drafts we sent Matthew looked like for example:

BlogImage 01 sketchtodialogue

Blog Image 02

Final data entry dialogue

After you got the draft and we discussed it once again, we implement any necessary changes in the design and let our developers get to work. A few weeks later, your Citizen Science apps can be downloaded from the Google Play Store and Apple's App Store. You will also be able to implement the web-app (the interactive map) into any website and thereby offer another way to add observations for your Citizen Scientists.

BRUSHTURKEYS sketchtodialogue 02

Having a conversation about the project with a designer can be crucial, because in the end, it really matters whether an app has a short and concise name and is designed to intuitively lead the user through the questionnaire. We are always happy to help with that and have more than 15 years of design experience and more than 4 years of Citizen Science app design experience to bring to the table.
Find out more about the different SPOTTERON Packages and all features they offer here.


  • At SPOTTERON, we love it when science, design and art come together to create something quite special and unique. One of those special things are the clay animation videos by Max Helmberger. We asked Max a few questions about him and his work. Read more on the citizen science blog!

    Monday, 09 December 2019
  • The Release Notes of the SPOTTERON platform has been updated, the new version 2.9. brings the new "Validated data" feature with wihich the administrators now can set observations to "checked" and build a validated Citizen Science data set for scientific research directly in the Citizen Science app.

    Wednesday, 04 December 2019