Designing a Citizen Science App with user interactivity means elevating a project's scope from mere data collection to becoming a buzzing hub of communication, exchange, and learning. Imagine utilizing the power and immersion of digital social communities directly in Citizen Science and User Engagement Apps - this is what the SPOTTERON Platform can bring to your project out of the box. Every App on the platform features a full-fledged integrated community toolkit to enable communication and interaction between users, project teams, and scientists. Together with project teams worldwide, we constantly extend the SPOTTERON Community toolkit with new functionalities and user-oriented features to make Citizen Science and Public Engagement Apps highly interactive and welcoming places for newcomers and experts alike.
The power of digital social Communities in Citizen Science
Citizen Science is an interactive medium - in an extensive range of projects on the SPOTTERON platform, digital social communities play a significant role. Community functionalities increase motivation among participants through social interaction. Users can ask questions, welcome newcomers, and be active daily in the project's App. Through ongoing user interactions, the project's data quality is increased by enabling the community to help new users and give input on observation classifications. On the other hand, the amount of time necessary for project data maintenance is reduced by allowing community members to collaborate on validating data points or report observations to the admins for checking. Being part of a social community changes a participant's perspective on a Citizen Science or Public Engagement project from just contributing data to being a part of something that has an impact on one's own life. With being in contact with others, and seeing what friends in the App discover and interact with, a more profound connection is made - resulting in ongoing participant motivation and care for the project.
Integrated Digital Social Community Features
Representation of the user with basic information, optional fields, and profile picture
Chronological list of activity notifications and network news for staying informed
Enabling direct communication via the comment form on every user contribution
Likes / Hearts
Quick appreciation by giving a heart on spots or comments with a simple click/touch
Users receive a notification directly on their phone for new messages and user mentions
Writing @username in a comment results in a push notification sent to the tagged user.
Users can follow each other to create community networks. Connected users can see their activities in the newsfeed.
Time-based leaderboards of most active users for motivation, contests, or rewards
Badges & Achievements
Special rewards for ongoing user activity with popups displaying creative icons and witty messages
Users can use Emojis in comments and for observation descriptions. For project administrators, push messages are also compatible with Emojis.
Users can search for other users in the App's community based on the user's name or optional profile information.
Privacy & Safety features
A set of integrated features allows reporting and blocking of community content for users for a safe community environment.
Fostering User Interaction
Digital social communities create activity by fostering user interaction. On SPOTTERON, we have integrated a wide range of community functionaries to support the purpose of user-to-user communication and to enable the project itself to reach out to the whole community. With integrated technologies like push notifications and chronological news feeds, participants can stay in the loop with their connections. The platform's design allows functionalities for fostering user interaction to integrate smoothly into the App's interfaces and usability concepts. Community features and activities provide an immersive environment for your project's users to support ongoing participation and motivation.
Further effects of a deep community integration into Citizen Science Apps are widely beneficial for a project. With users being able to be active and interact with each other and the project's team, it helps with higher frequencies of participation, better data by community interchange, and promotion of the Apps with word of mouth marketing and peer dissemination. Working together as a community results in a better project environment and quality data.
Interactive Science Communication
When designing an interactive Citizen Science project, Science Communication and e-Learning are often important tasks besides data collection and user community building. With project-to-user communication enabling tools on the SPOTTERON platform, it is possible to reach out to the whole community to disseminate knowledge bits, background information, and links for more via custom Push Messages. In the Data Administration Interface, a short message can be entered, with supporting links and emojis. With a click of a button, it reaches everyone having the App installed directly on their smartphones. Such custom push messages are a powerful tool for Science Communication, making it possible to make visible what otherwise often gets lost in emails or newsletters.
Furthermore, projects with the SPOTTERON Package B can directly integrate website content into the Citizen Science App through information-Panels. Info-Panels are media-rich and can incorporate images, audio, video, or other forms of web-based content. Such panels, available as info buttons on the data submission form, can explain data aspects and scientific backgrounds or help with classifications. Additional sections in a Citizen Science App can contain more extensive information about your project and lead users and the interested public to further reads on the project website or the web.
The Community Pack is already included in all SPOTTERON packages without additional costs.
Example App Screens of various sections of the integrated Digital Social Community Tools
- Community Pack: User profile Community Pack: User profile
- Community Pack: Comments Community Pack: Comments
- Community Pack: Likes Community Pack: Likes
- Community Pack: Newsfeed Community Pack: Newsfeed
- Community Pack: Following list Community Pack: Following list
- Community Pack: Leaderboards Community Pack: Leaderboards
- Community Pack: User search Community Pack: User search
- Community Pack: Emojis Community Pack: Emojis