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A platform to help us get the science we need for the ocean we want

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) approached 3 Sided Cube with the goal to bring people together, to co-design and co-deliver knowledge for protecting and better managing the ocean.

The Challenge?

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), through its Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC-UNESCO), approached 3 Sided Cube with the goal to bring people together, to co-design and co-deliver knowledge for protecting and better managing the ocean.

The main challenge was that they were really great at reaching their existing audience via their website, but there were loads of “ocean stakeholders” that the platform just wasn’t engaging with or reaching at all. The website was confusing and there was no area in particular where everyone could collaborate to bring their scientific knowledge to one place to save our seas. This made getting people actively involved in their “Ocean Decade” challenge to make our oceans more sustainable by 2030 all the more difficult.

Right away, we needed to identify all of those key ocean stakeholders. To do this, we did a bit of mapping around their understanding of those stakeholders, or user types. We looked at where they usually hang out, what they are looking for, how the language may differ in order to reach them and get a response.

The next step was that we prioritised the user types they weren’t able to reach through their outreach campaigns and website. Through that, we quickly saw which users UNESCO knew loads about, and the ones they didn’t. We de-prioritised users they already knew how to talk to and prioritised learning all we could about the ones that they didn’t (ie private sector, NGO and scientific community). It was a mix of knowing their communication wasn’t reaching those specific people, and needing to know more about them in order to reach them.

Even the hardcore audience that used the website day in and out, had trouble navigating it. The complaints were that it was hard to find information and not at all straightforward. There was even a *gasp* word document going around that they would send to users as the applicable links were too hard to find via navigating the website.

They needed something streamlined and simple for their audience to use, and that’s where we come in!


The Solution

The first part of the solution was the information architecture and creating a drastically simpler information architecture. We broke it down to its component parts, then did a survey from the users. With that survey, we could glean what the user priorities were. We tested within those different user stakeholder groups to see how the priority of information would change depending upon the user type. 

With the results from the UAT, we saw clear patterns emerge within the user groups and were confident in restructuring the information architecture in a way that was simple and straightforward for users.

We developed a website whose main purpose is to give people the information to understand what the Ocean Decade challenge is, and encourage users to sign-up to the global stakeholder forum.


What does the app do?


pulls through current UNESCO news events and actions from the global stakeholder forum to the website before you join the community platform for a preview of what you will get.


You can create groups, chats and engage with live feeds in order to organise ocean policy.


So that you can see other scientists and if you are working on the same area can connect and collaborate.


Available in over 10 languages, through a WeGlot automated translation solution (including possibility of manual corrections as needed).

The Results

The key thing is that less is more! Over 4,200 ocean-minded professionals, experts and citizens have now joined the community and are actively working together to perform actions to transform our ocean. Their vision is the science we need for the ocean we want! 

We were able to really simplify and streamline the amount of information and pages that users were up against on the old platform. Previously, it was difficult to find the page to sign-up, but now the “call to action” pages are obvious and easy. Drastically simplified the language, it’s clear and simple. The objective is more obvious on the home page so that users know exactly what they are and how they can join.


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