Funding In National Parks.


A digital media approach to encourage
micro-donations by increasing the
connection between donors and parks. 
Mentored by Frog Design.

interaction design | design research
TEAM: cindy bayley, Dylan Fox, Melissa Lim, 
Betsy McColm, Bez Reyhan, Aryn Shelander


Documentation taken from Behance post here

Berkeley Innovation is an undergraduate student group focused on human-centered design. While working on this project, our team was mentored by professionals from Frog Design who met with us periodically to keep up with our progress . The goal of the project was to develop a way to improve the National Parks, potentially using the new technology of digital media or social networking. The scope of the project started out rather broad, and we found ourselves exploring a variety of possibilities before arriving at our final design. We followed a human-centered design approach to this project and the general process is outlined below. We conducted a variety of user interviews and needs analysis before deciding to focus on increasing funding to parks. Our final concept was to encourage micro-donations by increasing the connection between donors to the parks and those who directly benefit from those donations.  

User Needs & Stakeholders

We began this project by conducting interviews of all possible users and stakeholders.  We then reviewed the interviews as a team and organized needs based on the primary users & stakeholders.  We identified  main user/stakeholder groups and compared needs related to each in order to find commonalities and the overarching needs for the project. 


Comparing the needs of all user/stakeholder groups, we identified six needs that were expressed by many of the informants. We then investigated each need and conducted research of current attempts within parks to address each of these needs.

Keeping all this in mind, we developed our first mission statement for the project. To strengthen the user experience and attachment to the parks.  We see this most effectively accomplished by promoting community-facilitated research and volunteer opportunities.

Finding a Focus

Our initial research and benchmarking revealed that many of these needs are already being addressed by other organizations and parks. In order to aid us again in determining a scope for the project, we developed three main criteria: Feasibility, Scalability, and Group's Interest. As a team, we then discussed how strongly each of us felt about the importance of this criteria and whether we were content with a design that was conceptual or one that we would begin implementing by the end of the semester.
We narrowed needs in three main stages according to initial research, our selection criteria, and quick concept generation.  After several iterations, we settled on exploring the possibilities related to increasing funding to national parks. We used a Pugh selection matrix to evaluate how effective each of our six top concepts address the goals we identified for our team.  Our final mission statement became:

"We will create a Positive Feedback Loop for donators in order to increase funding for National Parks. We will need to identify specific donators who will receive this positive feedback for their donations, thus in order to do this we may set up a website for specific donation opportunities."



One aspect of our final concept was to establish a texting service that would collect positive feedback while people are spending time in parks.  We decided to use the UC Berkeley campus as a first step in prototyping. 

  • Prototype 1: We created low fidelity prototypes of signs welcoming users to text feedback about their experience to the number provided. Unfortunately, after weeks of the signs being in place we only received one text in response. We posted signs at a variety of locations around campus in areas where people tend to congregate outdoors.
  • Prototype 2 & 3: We created a second prototype that was a modification of the sign depicted below to interview 20+ residents of the International House.  In addition, we created an online survey asking users to imagine themselves donating to the parks.  All of our initial prototypes revealed that signs partnered with texting were not an effective means of gathering positive feedback.
  • Prototype 4: Using the feedback from the initial prototypes, we then created a prototype designed to collect analog feedback from users.  This prototype received more than 19 responses in only a fraction of the time the other prototypes were in effect.

Final Prototype

Our final design incorporated the lessons learned from our previous prototypes, particularly emphasizing the importance of analog feedback. Features of the final prototyped concept were:

  • A collection box located at popular spots outdoors such as rest spots and trail heads.  The idea is that users would fill out feedback forms and place them in the collection bin.  
  • Online database of positive feedback from users of the parks.  This would require that someone working in the park would collect the analog feedback and upload it to the database.  Donors are then able to view the feedback online.
  • A mail service that would then send the physical copies of the feedback directly to the donors.  We believe that donors will be most likely to donate again if they receive personal, handwritten feedback.   

We'd like to thank the professionals at Frog Design for their guidance throughout the project: Mike Shay, Anton Ljunggren, Catherine Sun, and Paul Bradley. Also, our Berkeley Institute of Design advisor Lora Oehlberg and the members of Berkeley Innovation.


  • concept development with team through multiple iterations of design process
  • prototyping of concepts using Adobe Suite and rapid prototyping techniques
  • user research with key stakeholders on campus and in surrounding Berkeley area 


rapid prototyping | human-centered design | Adobe Photoshop