Modernizing a beloved field guide app to support birders and serve the mission of Audubon.
The National Audubon Society already had the most comprehensive North American bird field guide on the market. Their app had millions of downloads and over 250,000 monthly active users enjoying an enormous data bank including thousands of bird songs, calls and photos. But the app was getting creaky, it was intimidating to inexperienced birders, and the design needed a refresh to reflect modern best practices. Audubon came to Postlight to do a total overhaul.
From a Field Guide…
The Audubon Bird Guide is still the most comprehensive field guide on the market, but after it’s refresh it’s also a journal, life list, and learning tool. It even includes a tool called Bird ID, which is based on data collected by Audubon biologists. Bird ID lets you enter observations like size, location, and color to find species matches instantly. Now, users of all experience levels can identify and remember the birds they’ve seen, search for new birds, and connect to the environment around them. Users can also see where the birds are in real-time with nearby birding hotspots and sightings, powered by API integration with eBird. Of course for app users, this is all seamless—it’s one app.
To a User-Oriented Platform…
Postlight conducted surveys, tests, and even phone interviews with power users to ensure that the new app captured the same aspects of the original app that made it such a success, while also offering a major upgrade in terms of design and experience. The field guide features over 3,000 photos, over eight hours of audio clips of songs and calls, multi-season range maps, and in-depth text by leading North American bird expert Kenn Kaufman. The design of the app reflects the rich history of the organization, including art from John James Audubon’s original illustrations from the 19th century.
The result is a beautiful, easy-to-use app that brings experienced and new birders together while supplying endless knowledge on every possible bird sighting a user may encounter. One reporter described it as an app that could “make birding the next Pokémon Go.”
Supporting the Conservation Mission
Finally, the app is designed to support the mission of Audubon by prompting users to take action for environmental conservation. The app includes editorial content that raises awareness of laws and policies that might threaten wildlife, and highlights actions that users can take to protect birds and their habitats.
With this modernized bird guide, the Audubon and Postlight partnership aims to further instill a love for environmental conservation in new generations of birders.
What We Did
- Product Design
- User Research
- Mobile iOS/Android Development
- React Native Engineering
- API Integration