"Shedding Light": the Planet 4 design
The Planet 4 team is pleased to share the visual design of the new greenpeace.org. Starting from the 4 Design principles of the Creative Concept, the choices which led to this design were made to drive people to take action and inspire us all to explore new opportunities for online activism.
With a quick set of slides to guide our video brief, we showcase how Planet 4 will treat dynamic, renewable and evergreen content. This design follows the aesthetic theory developed specifically for Planet 4: a theory we named “Shedding Light”.
One of the three Quaker principles that inspired the Greenpeace founders was about bearing witness and an obligation to act. Greenpeace is an organisation that sheds light on topics, stories and issues, and we, the people, take action.
Shedding Light uses diagonal intersections and gradients to lead the user through the content. These diagonals act like shards of light illuminating a story or an issue, driving the user to explore or act. In more poetic terms, they replicate rays of light underwater or the sunlight filtering through the trees in a forest.
As well as creating diagonal flows, Shedding Light redefines how Greenpeace uses photographic content to communicate. Throughout the site we will combine issue/overview content with pictures of supporters, activists and the general public,reinforcing the notion that nothing can be saved or protected without people. In practical terms, an image of something happening in the world will be constantly juxtaposed with the people who are taking action and create positive change.
The Homepage: a dynamic, engaging layout
At the top of the page we imagine a dynamic content area, content that changes regularly. Our diagonals will guide users from one section of content down to the next one.
Towards the middle of the page, we have renewable content that might change on a weekly or monthly basis. Before being an organisation, a brand or a movement, Greenpeace was a ship and an action. As our fleet is one of the things that make us unique, images of Greenpeace Ships will always be on the Planet 4 homepage. Again, imagery of a topic or theme will be combined with the people that make Greenpeace a global community of change agents.
Towards the bottom of all pages, static or evergreen content will be accessible. This is content that should be reviewed every once in awhile, but is unlikely to change frequently, our history, values and mission, for instance.
Want to see the whole homepage rendering in one image? Access the full set of wireframes.
Explore: Greenpeace stories and people changing the world
On the "Explore" page, we introduce the issues and campaigns we are currently working on. The page starts with a “magazine style” campaign story that illuminates an action people took on behalf of a more green and peaceful world. Below are the key entry points, a combination of the issue overview (on the left) and dynamic/renewable campaign led content (on the right). This graphic dichotomy reinforces the importance of human actions in tackling environmental issues. Hashtags and calls to action are clearly visible to facilitate navigation and engage visitors towards actions.
As you may have noticed, the graphic idea is that backgrounds keep changing according to stories and campaigns. As mentioned in the colour palette post, the Greenpeace green (#66cc00 ) will now only be used in the logo. As with the other page layouts, "Explore" ends with evergreen or organisational content.
Want to see the whole rendering in one image? Access the full set of wireframes.
Issues: Greenpeace with the people for a new world
Greenpeace runs campaigns to help us shed light on various issues. The “Issues” page layout is designed to explain simply and effectively what problems or topics we are actively addressing. We showcase a positive vision for the future on that issue, what the environmental risks are and, most importantly, how people’s actions can make a difference.
Opportunities to take action, additional resources and related content are accessible as visitors scroll down.
Want to see the whole “Issues” rendering in one image? Access the full set of wireframes.
Act: All about empowering people
Planet 4 users are the heroes in unwritten stories. On the “Act” page, we will present meaningful ways people can take action to help Greenpeace win campaigns. These “story books” provide an easy overview of these actions.
From the "Act" section, users are invited to act and taken to "Take Action" pages for the story they select. Those “Take Action” pages will clearly explain simple ways each user might create change and support the work Greenpeace and other non-for-profit are doing for the planet.
By breaking down complex campaigns into simple sets of actions, we invite people to participate in a way that is convenient for them.
It also gives campaigners an opportunity to experiment with different engagement tactics, thereby optimising campaigns for maximum impact.
Want to see the whole “Act” rendering in one image? Access the full set of wireframes.
Evergreen designs: Making content last forever
Greenpeace has over 45 years of history, and Planet 4 aims to showcase our unique content through the “Evergreen” design.
Once again, diagonals will help users move through the page, where images of people participating in campaigns and actions accompany organisational content . Evergreen pages use the traditional colour palette (check the P4 post on colour).
Want to see the whole “Evergreen” rendering in one image? Access the full set of wireframes.
Post: blogging in a simple, engaging way
This page layout for regular news, stories and updates, associates the post (a dispatch of information) with an opportunity to take action.
Author credentials reiterate Greenpeace as a community of engaged activists, and related stories, as usual, are dynamically populated based on taxonomy.
Want to see the whole “Post” rendering in one image? Access the full set of wireframes.
Coming soon: Testing the P4 Design in a prototype
We will continue to refine our design and are beginning to build our prototype, the Greenpeace International website. Webbies and volunteers will be using heatmaps, analytics, focus groups and other methods and tools to determine whether our “Shedding Light” design is successful in leading Planet 4 users through the site and engaging them to take action.
In the meantime, please send us your comments on this design, preferably in bullet points, as it will be easier to parse, as we prepare for more structured feedback gathering.
A special thank you to Laura Hilliger, Vini Romualdo, Jess Klein, Kelli Tolen and the rest of the Planet 4 team.