The first round of Cos4Cloud’s co-design sessions has already started!

Is the citizen science tool I am developing easy to use? Does it meet the needs of my end-users? How could I improve it?
Credit: Public Domain. CC0.

These are some of the essential questions that developers who are working on technical services ask themselves, and it’s key to listen to the end-users answers if you want them to use your tool. That is why one of the Cos4Cloud backbones is co-designing the citizen science services with the main end-users: the citizen science community, which includes several profiles – citizen science community-staff of citizen science projects, the citizen scientists, app developers, and anyone passionate about nature, technology, and science citizen-. 

In this context, Cos4Cloud recently organised the first co-design sessions, where 41 participants with different profiles shared their opinion on the Cos4Bio and MOBIS.

“We planned the co-design methodology to be an interactive and creative space; where participants could enjoy a learning experience about co-designing and citizen science technologies,” says Blanca Guasch, project manager at Science for Change in charge of the co-design strategy at Cos4Cloud. 

Participants carried out the activities online with the Miro tool, an online whiteboard to share ideas, comments, draws, and everything one could imagine. It consisted of two wheels where participants could add their answers and comments to some questions about the service. The first wheel gathered the first service impression that the participants had about the service: its strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities in the citizen science field. The second one pivoted in the desired functionalities

Photo of the online co-design session. Credit: Blanca Guasch.

“It was a very inspiring and creative session which provided constructive and helpful reflections on the preliminary MOBIS prototype, and it helped us to validate the model we have in mind for our service”, says Norbert Schmidt, DDQ company founder and MOBIS developer in Cos4Cloud. 

MOBIS: all your environmental and biodiversity observations in one app

The first session, held on the 10th of March, was focused on MOBIS. MOBIS  is a service developed by DDQ which aims to make it possible to create new citizen science apps that integrate data from various environmental sensors and biodiversity platforms in one single Android or iOS app. For example, the same app could collect air quality data from sensors, together with a lichen photo (air quality indicator). 

Regarding this service, participants mentioned privacy by design, the sustainability of the service after the project, and the possible threat of being too complex and ambitious.

“I think if you combine all the participants’ feedback, it all comes down to one thing: when it comes to combining sensor data from citizen observatories, the idea is very welcome!“, highlights Norbert. 

Cos4Bio: find biodiversity observations from multiples citizen observatories in one place

On the other hand, the activity held on the 11th of March was focused on Cos4Bio, a service developed by Bineo Consulting, that will integrate observations on biodiversity from various citizen observatories. 

“We believe that co-design sessions are very valuable. Having the opinion of the potential service users in advance enriches Cos4Bio development, making it more usable and tremendously useful”, says Marisol Parrilla, project coordinator of Cos4Bio/Env development and project manager at Bineo Consulting. 

Captures of some observations posted on the Cos4Bio prototype.

One of the most relevant comments that participants highlighted as Cos4Bio strength is that it facilitates building a community of observers and identifiers by creating an online portal where experts can contribute with their knowledge without logging into multiple citizen observatories at the same time. The participants also highlighted that Cos4Bio contributes to creating a more structured and standardised database that contains biodiversity quality data that researchers can download to use in their studies and research.  

Recently also took place the second co-design session on MOBIS during the Blue Research and Innovation Days, macro-event organised by NEANIAS and in which Cos4Cloud participated. 

Throughout the project, Cos4Cloud will organise more co-design activities, citizen science events, pieces of training, etc. Anyone interested can join your community by filling out this form: 

Additionally, you can join Cos4Cloud Telegram channel to stay tuned about all the activities.

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