New Infopanel Design: Learning by using Citizen Science Apps

Tuesday, 08 May 2018 21:50

Today we released the SPOTTERON platform update 2.1.4 for all Android and iOS apps and interactive maps. 

As usual, there were a few improvements and and fixes included in the new update. For example, all users can edit the category field now when using the edit mode, thereby it just got a whole lot easier to change small mistakes which might occur accidentally.

But the most exciting new feature we were able to add in the course of the new update sure is the new info panel layout TWO. Therefore, we gave the previously only text-based infopanels a new layout and design. This new layout, as must be in SPOTTERON, is of course adaptle to the project's info layout and can now also include pictures or external links to even more information. 
The Nature's Calendar App already added quite a lot of additional information and pictures, so if you want to see an example of the new infopanels, check it out in the ZAMG's Nature's Calendar Android or iOS apps or through the interactive maps on www.naturkalender.at.

Screenshot of the new information panel design in the Citizen Science apps
(Screenshots of the german Naturkalender Citizen Science App, species: blackthorn)

After choosing the category you can simply click on the small icon pictures with an i (for information) next to it in the list and you will get right to the infopanel. That offers reassurance in case of uncertainties and/or also leads to picking up on new information.
The new pics also support art recognition in our brains, this way the brain doesn't have to go through the entire written list again and process it every time. We took care of humans as visual beings here to appeal preferably simple and easy. Also keeping usability in mind, the info panels offer two options. By clicking ok, the information that was just looked at, is selected for the observation and you can simply continue the questionnaire from there on out. If you click back, you will get back to the list and can choose something else or check out other info panels first. 
This new feature really supports the learning effects of Citizen Science! On the one hand side, it can improve data quality, on the other hand side it allows to give something back to the Citizen Scientists.