Devblog #2: Beta blues

Greetings weMORI backers and team members!


“If it’s easy, it’s probably not worth doing.” ―My father


First of all, thank you all for your patience and for your continued support.


After many long days and sleepless nights, as well as a host of unforeseen issues we were able to release the weMORI app on the app stores on the last day of 2020. To achieve this, we had to cut several features, some of which we feel are essential for the success of the weMORI app. More on this later. We also had to compromise on certain design elements and remove editorial content to comply with app store policy. Some things are working well, others are not.


This is normal. It’s part of the journey. But it’s hard!


The weMORI app is a living, dynamic thing. It’s a tool intended to serve the weMORI community in whatever way it can. As we implement what we learn from how you use it, the app may adapt and change in unexpected ways.


Our intention is to keep adding and improving on things as we approach our April 22nd version 1.0 launch, and beyond.


Thanks to your feedback we have already learned that:

  • The current layout is confusing. We wanted to motivate you to return to the app by providing content like blogs, pictures, and tips as you open the app. Among other things, we had a glossary feature planned and designed. What we see is that these extras only serve to confuse. It’s not clear what we’re about or what you’re supposed to do when you open the app. So the dashboard (your current start screen) has got to go.


  • We want to revise our overall branding. So far we’ve been prioritising brand identity to such an extent that it has affected app useability. The style of the user interface, as well as written content and imagery, is so “unique” that what we’re trying to do has become almost unrecognizable. We still want to stand out, but we need to dial back our “uniqueness”.

“Beta” phase

Now that we’re live, we can start figuring out what works and what doesn’t based on actual user data. The state of the app is far from where we want it to be. It is likely that sweeping changes to design and functionality will be needed. This is a process that never really ends, as an app is never really “finished”. Please continue to provide feedback, either through “feedback” in the menu within the app or directly to contact@wemori.org. It’s one of the most important ways for us to learn. Version 1.0 will roll out on April 22nd and the app will officially exit “beta”. If you already have the app installed, it will update automatically.


What happens next?

I mentioned that we cut several features so we could release in time. Among these is the collection of important functionality we internally call “community features”. We want the app to empower the weMORI community in a number of ways. For example, we want you to be able to join forces with your family, friends, and colleagues to fundraise towards common goals. We want to reduce the distance between you and the people and projects you support. We want you to know exactly what impact your donations are having. We want sharing on social media to be fun and appealing. And so much more!


At this point however, we have to prioritise. We have to realistically manage expectations, and although we will get there eventually, we won’t be able to achieve everything we want to do by April 22nd.


Here are some of the things we are addressing right now:


  • As we’ve learned, we need to simplify how you interact with the weMORI app. To achieve this, one of the things we need to do is to improve the user journey. So instead of starting on the dashboard, we’re going to start you off directly on the projects, greatly simplifying the flow.

  • We also know that one of our greatest value propositions is the ability to track your impact. This will be one of the most important areas of focus moving forward.


Towards April 22nd, you can expect several changes and improvements in the following areas:


  • General design and branding

  • Better aesthetics (colours, images, layouts, etc.)

  • Improved written content (tone, clarity, etc.)

  • Project browser (your new home screen)

  • Data visualisations / impact data

  • Carbon sequestered

  • Trees planted

  • Trees saved

  • Area protected

  • Other metrics (?)

  • Gift a “forest” / project

  • Feed (blog and other content) design improvements

  • “myMORI”

  • Personalised page (think profile page with impact tracking)

  • Your impact visualised

  • Achievements

  • Social features (like sharing)

  • Improved notification center

  • App navigation and usage


This list may be subject to change.


Closing notes

April 22nd will be a big date for weMORI. And it’s Earth Day too. We will continue working hard to present to you a much improved app and some of the best, most impactful forest conservation and restoration projects out there. The weMORI app is YOUR tool, so please use it to protect and restore forests! And don’t hesitate to speak your mind if there’s something you think we’re missing.


If you have any comments or questions, we invite you to send us an email at contact@wemori.org. All feedback is greatly appreciated.


Finally, I’d like to share with you a couple of sketches of potential user interface changes. Please keep in mind that these do not reflect the final product and that all assets and designs are development placeholders.





All the best,


Alexander J. Siggers

Co-founder, head of product and design

weMORI


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