Branding Biodiversity

WWF

The Client

Biopolis is an initiative by the nonprofit World Wildlife Foundation (WWF) to create awareness and showcase the urban biodiversity and sustainability projects in Montreal.

The Mandate

WWF Canada was launching a new urban biodiversity hub to highlight projects addressing urban biodiversity & sustainability occurring in & around Montreal. To support the community, they wanted to develop an online database of useful resources, and raise the visibility of “Bioneers” leading the charge.

The Biopolis platform aimed to promote a research & documentation library, provide effective solutions & best practices for aspiring nature conservationists, and increase awareness of the value of urban biodiversity.

We were mandated to develop the name & brand for the new project, design & build their website, and guide content with an SEO & content strategy.

Bringing Biopolis to Life

WWF’s project needed to represent urban community biodiversity in a concise and easy-to-recognize way. Since this was a Montreal-led initiative, we sought to make the name bilingual (English & French) and reflective of the city.

Our naming & brand strategy included:

  • thorough market research
  • brainstorm of 100+ names
  • shortlist comparison workshops
  • due diligence research & reporting

In the end, Biopolis was born.

Building for Biodiversity

With the Biopolis concept, tone & manner underway, we worked with designer Cait Vachon to create a logo and brand style.

The look and feel of the final website reflects the projects’ common environmental goals by uniting the scientific & civic communities.

How to create a hub

To achieve Biopolis's objective of supporting community biodiversity initiatives by helping to share resources, the website required unique interactions & functionality built with user-submitted content. We implemented custom plugins to accommodate these UX needs and developed dedicated modules so that their team could easily manage the website content behind the scenes.
  • Environmental blueprint
    The website, much like Biopolis itself, was constructed like a living ecosystem. A high volume of user submitted content populates the site and refreshes as new research is added. Scaffolding a precise site map in the early stages was crucial to give everyone on the team a bird's eye view of the system, the hierarchy, and all the moving parts.
  • Sorting things out
    Using card sorting, we organized the site with the "Bioneers" in mind, ensuring that their user needs were met along every touchpoint.
  • bring on the bioneers
    The resources and projects submitted to Biopolis needed lots of accreditation, so it was important to mitigate any confusion through what was a necessarily long onboarding process. As such, we continued to be sensitive to the needs and habits of Biopolis' scientists & researchers throughout design and testing phases.

A bird's eye view

We custom built an interactive map to give Montrealers a visual representation of the ongoing projects in their city. By clicking on a burrough, users are shown a list of all the projects happening in that area.

Rising in the Ranks

In order to boost the project’s visibility to potential Bioneers, we worked with SEO specialist CT Moore to develop a strategy to ensure the website was optimized.

We continued to develop the SEO strategy as the Biopolis team’s needs evolved. Changes were also made to the sitemap and site taxonomy in response to these changing priorities.

A Soaring Success

As a former mayor of Toronto, I have seen how climate change and nature conservation are crucial issues for the sustainable development of cities and communities. Restoring our natural heritage and protecting biodiversity are essential steps to help cities adapt to climate change. Biopolis can play an important role in revegetating cities across Canada, as the Montreal-born initiative will spread to other major urban centres across the country