These are a few pictures that may supplement my home page revision of the bat conservation website.
I would like to incorporate a few different things in my proposal. First I took a look at the research on white nose syndrome (WNS) and other bat conservation websites. This gave me a good understanding of WNS and what organizations are doing. I got pretty absorbed in this step watching videos and reading about possible interventions like heating portions of caves, artificial cave construction (http://blog.nature.org/2012/10/cool-green-scientist-cave-man-cory-holliday/), and use of fungicides. The sites vary a lot from a purely text and scientific or government website type formatting such as the following to a more graphic based.
These have about the appeal of a wikipedia page. If you were already interested, these pages provide lots of up to date information and details that are beyond what the OBC needs to provide. The other type of pages are more like what OBC should have. They are graphic based and have videos and other media to create an appealing page for the audience. The main points can be taken away quickly and easily.
Here is a cute one geared to children that uses a picture book format.
This is a site similar to OBC that does a good job of highlighting WNS.
The second thing I looked at was the OBC page itself in order to better understand the organization and its mission so that this could be reflected in the proposed changes. Doing this I found that what others mentioned as a focus on Mies’ ego seem to me to be a focus on education through live animal demonstrations and outreach. The BatZone is a center for rescue and care of bats for demonstrations. According to the website the majority of WNS work is done through research grants to other individuals and groups. The information they provide does seem to be a bit out of date though and the research that resulted from their funding is not highlighted or linked.
My proposal will included changes to both the home page and the WNS section.
1. Reorganization of home page to aid in navigation and highlight WNS (5.7 million bats dead).
2. Separation of WNS page into multiple sections including more images and videos
a. animated map of spread of WNS 2006 to present
b. infographic that provides view of bats’ importance and inclusion in natural ecosystems and economic value – e.g. $3.7 to $53 billion in agriculture costs per year and one million bats eat between 660 and 1320 metric tons of insects per year (http://www.usgs.gov/newsroom/article_pf.asp?ID=2743)
c. Add linkable content to text so that more information is available while reading through.
d. Highlight and include the research where OBC provided funding
e. Update information to include current intervention and prevention research – breaking news section?
I think this is getting pretty close to what I want to pitch to the class. I’ve stuck to the original website for the most part but moved some things around and added and changed some others. I think I will still be on track as far as the budget goes and think this new site will adress some of the issues we talked about in class. Any responses would be great even though i’m posting this late Wednesday night.
Th website of the Organization for Bat Conservation currently appeals to a fairly narrow audience. The nature of the information provided on their website would appeal mostly to people who already care about the conservation of bats. The dwindling of the bat population, especially due to white nose syndrome, is a major issue that will affect all of us. Not enough people are aware of that.
Changing the design and accessibility of information on their website could result in a broader audience and a higher level of public awareness. The question is, how can we change this design so that it becomes more appealing, but still retains the important and accurate information provided?
My first decision was to change two key things: the color scheme and the header. Neither stands on their own and they certainly don’t go with each other. There are a few different directions which I’m considering taking with the colors:
1. Make it clean, simple, and efficient- mostly white with a few bold color accents
2. Make it dark and in sort of a “Batman” color scheme- because people relate batman with awesome.
The question is, which will be more visually appealing to a wider variety of people?
My second decision was to create a hook. Many people, myself included, find Rob and the Organization’s work with bats to be quite interesting, but not as many know about the important role bats play in our ecosystem. One approach to this is to
Create a homepage or video on the issue and encourage it to go viral.
-Promote it on social networking sites, have it be really funny or sad, or have it talk about how the loss of bats effects us directly.
Who are they trying to communicate with?
They should be trying to reach Farmers and caver’s to inform them of the impacts on the environment and how the disease is transferred. They should be trying to reach anyone who is in agriculture and they should also start with elementary schools to implement awareness at an early age.
Who is effected by bats and why?
Every one is effected in one way or an other. Prices of food may increase due to the use of more pesticides not to mention the problem with pesticides and water run off. Uncontrolled infestation of nocturnal insects.
Are bats harmful to humans?
NO they are not!
Here are some preliminary changes to the website that I’m suggesting. Still trying to figure out how to implement with low-budget.