Using Design to Redefine Wild and Take a Fresh Approach to Fundraising

Erica Fasoli talks about the concepts behind The Wild Spectrum, her and Zachary Kay’s field studio project for Yellowstone.

by Patrick Faller

posted on 02-22-2019

Fundraising is a constant challenge for national parks, like Yellowstone; how do you engage people to not only visit, but also support the park with their hard-earned dollars? For students Erica Fasoli and Zachary Kay, visiting the park at the start of their design process helped them approach their project, to improve Yellowstone’s fundraising efforts, in a conceptual way that resulted in both a digital and physical product. Like Steven Calhoun’s distance education experience, they were able to translate real world emotion into an effective experience.

“When we were in Yellowstone, we really noticed that there’s this element of wild that you don’t really notice or understand when you’re in a city. We wanted to bring wild, and that understanding of what nature is, back to the city,” said Erica.

“We created a digital platform that redefines the definition of wild and teaches people a better understanding of what wild means. We created a physical product in order to raise funds for Yellowstone.”

The Wild Spectrum uses animation, created with Adobe XD’s Auto-Animate, to engage audiences with their content.

Erica and Zachary used Adobe XD to truly conceptualize their “digital ecosystem,” exploring the best ways to capture the attention of their target audience and making sure they were achieving their goals along way. They did this through rapidly creating, then iterating on their prototypes to create a user flow that would make an emotional connection with the user.

Animation as a tool to grab attention and spark emotion

Erica and Zachary used Adobe XD’s Auto-Animate feature to add dynamic animations to their prototype. After testing, they both say these micro-interactions have transformed their project into a digital product that engages audiences and helps them communicate their intended message: that we are all “wild,” with an emotional connection to nature, and supporting Yellowstone is a good way to connect to and preserve that connection.

“The intention was to give a sense, through the prototype, of what our goal was. I think our prototype pushed the boundaries in the limits of what XD is typically meant for,” said Zach. “We want to change somebody’s perspective on their outside world, and doing that through an engaging application where it’s involving multiple senses and movement. We wanted to help them understand how animals are interacting all around us, not just in a special place like Yellowstone, but outside our own door.”

For Adobe Senior UX Designer Kris Paries, who also teaches in the design program, it’s been incredible to watch students, like Erica and Zachary, use XD to not only build interactive prototypes but to explore their design process and arrive at effective solutions. In a sense, he now sees the program as an effective teaching tool to cultivate the next crop of thoughtful and solution-oriented designers.

“I really reinforce this idea of ‘writing out a story’ that’s representative of the ideal user flow. Students will create an artboard and another and they’ll put together a narrative, all of that is happening within XD,” said Kris.

Both Erica and Zachary say the Field Studio project for Yellowstone opened their eyes to the possibilities of design to create impactful, meaningful positive change in the world. For both, this came a surprise, as Zachary comes from an engineering background and Erica already has a degree in Sociology. Read how Erica and Zachary, along with their classmate Steven, evolved personally and professionally as they discovered their own design processes.

If you missed any of our collection or articles, Doing Good with Design Education in partnership with the University of Utah, check out the others below.

To learn more about how Adobe Creative Cloud can empower students to think creatively and turn their classroom ideas into college and career opportunities, visit the Creative Cloud for Education homepage.

Topics: Creativity, Design, Education