Blog Update 16 March 2018

Hello and welcome to the latest update!    This week we have been working closely with our design team on the website itself, as well as planning the upcoming workshop on the 21 st  May where we hope to introduce our plan.   Work continues on getting the layout for the website right, and the web team have also been building the system for us to enter projects.    We’ve also been consulting with our student team for keywords and feedback designs for the website, and hope to send this out to further survey soon so that we can get some comprehensive information there. Our upcoming workshop will introduce the website and give an opportunity for our participants to provide feedback on the design.    We’ll be running through how we intend to use the website, including how to upload projects and how the match system will work. We’d really like to facilitate discussion here, and finally, discuss our plans for the future and how people can get involved.    If that sounds interesting, see

Blog Update 9 March 2018

This week has been an important step for our design process, with some significant decisions made so far.  Early on we met with our student design team to settle on colours for the website and send these over to our web team.  This was a really useful and enjoyable session, and it was great to bring people together and consider the different requirements the website might have.  We also worked to refine our logo ideas which we should be able to present soon.  Currently we're working on constructing digital versions of these Design team meeting!  Students Tom, Jon, Keana and James helping me with the colour and logos for the website.  I'm in the hat - it was cold! We also made significant progress on the model for the match system itself.  We have now essentially settled on a design pioneered by professor Rick Stafford.  We know that we will be able to adjust elements of the model when the website is constructed, so we have the scope to adapt to the preliminary results

Blog Update – 05.03.2018

Hello again!  A significant milestone last week as the construction of our website has begun and we have a coming soon page up!  We’re also working on some early design questions about the logo and colours for the website. We have been meeting with some more conservation organisations, last Monday with Brian Heppenstall, the head ranger at Hengistbury Head, and are due to meet volunteer managers from several other organisations,   this week with the New Forest National Park authority, and Dorset Wildlife Trust in the near future.   It’s really important that we work closely with these organisations, so we have also been contacting a few more people and are working on getting ready for our upcoming   conference in May. The main work so far has been on adjusting and improving our questions to make sure our system of linking people to projects works effectively.   So far the feedback has been amazing, and we are increasingly confident that we are really getting things going here.

Workshop Report - Early Design Session

Introduction & Background Our initial design workshop was hosted on the morning of Monday 19 th February, with some of our partner organisations and their volunteers, together with student volunteers.  The goal of this workshop was to introduce the website to some of the target audience, and get their feedback on how some of the key features of the website are proposed to work.  In particular, we were interested in how volunteers chose volunteering or citizen science projects in relation to our model criteria.  This was to make sure that we are measuring these important features appropriately in preparation for matching people to projects when the website is in use.  Additionally, we looked at how types of people and types of project could be categorised, which will be used to provide feedback on projects once they have been completed.  The aim of these exercises was to define as few groups as possible, whilst ensuring that they have meaningful definitions.  We had a total of 1

Choosing our name

Just a quick update to show how we chose our project name.   We have also been busy running a workshop today with some of our volunteer friends, helping us to refine the website plan and what information our model will collect.   More on the workshop in a future post, but it was great to see so many people engaged and the feedback was incredibly useful. We generated several different names for our project, being somewhat cautious to avoid already existing websites or project names.   These ranged from the adventurous (“Go Nature”) to the descriptive (“Volunteer with Nature”).   Sending this out to survey, in a short amount of time we have gotten responses from 132 people, including conservation organisation staff, students and student volunteers, other volunteers and university staff.   Our conclusion from this is to go with “Nature Volunteers” as our project website name, as this was the overall leader with about 30% of the responses (volunteer with nature was second with a

Introduction & Welcome to the Blog

Hello and welcome to our project blog! We’re building a website to increase engagement with citizen science and volunteering with nature conservation here in the UK.   Our goal is to have a system that can match people to projects, based on a few select preferences, and help to suggest volunteering opportunities that are local and interesting to them.   We started in detail about a month ago and now have a web design team on board, have completed a draft website layout and requirements and we are really looking forward to making progress in the coming months.   We are also working closely with our project partners from the New Forest NPA and National Trust, and have gotten great feedback so far. We have a workshop coming next week to finalise how we will measure projects and people attributes ahead of getting into the detailed planning stages.   For naming our website, we surveyed over 130 people from volunteering, student and conservation background for their preferences, comin