Sea Turtle Day is the biggest event of the year for Gumbo Limbo Nature Center in Boca Raton, Florida, and they wanted a more engaging, less wasteful way to guide visitors than printed paper programs. They envisioned a free mobile app that would allow visitors to see maps of the center, get event times, and learn about the center’s exhibits and animals right on their phones.
Jointly run by the City of Boca Raton, the Greater Boca Raton Beach and Park District, Florida Atlantic University, and Friends of Gumbo Limbo, Gumbo Limbo Nature Center strives to serve as a beacon for environmental education, conservation, and research. It features aquariums and a butterfly garden, as well as outdoors natural areas sheltering rare and endangered plants and animals.
Client: Gumbo Limbo Nature Center
Location: Boca Raton, Florida
Industry: Education and conservation
Daruma Tech Services: App design, development, and maintenance
Gumbo Limbo Nature Center’s annual Sea Turtle Day is its biggest event of the year, attracting thousands of visitors as well as vendors. Visitors new to the center needed an easy way to find their way around and inform themselves about the day’s events, but as an organization dedicated to conservation and environmental protection, the center felt printed paper programs were not only wasteful, but set a bad example. They decided a mobile app would be a practical alternative—but as a non-profit, they needed it to be affordable as well as engaging.
Daruma Tech already had extensive experience building apps for museums, so immediately understood Gumbo Limbo’s needs and constraints. The app had to not only be cost-effective, but engaging and easy to use for users of all ages and backgrounds.
Daruma Tech’s affordable solution was to build the app on an existing template it had designed and used for other museum apps. The Sea Turtle Day App not only contained maps of Gumbo Limbo Nature Center, information on vendors, and a schedule of the day’s events, but augmented reality and video assets to further engage visitors and educate them about the center’s exhibits and animals. To further motivate learning and exploration, it also included a passport program in which users could scan QR codes at select locations around the center to earn a prize.