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The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has the crucial responsibility of managing our state’s natural parks and tracking the many visitors who camp, hunt, and fish in the over fifty Wildlife Management Areas (WMA). These designated areas are meant to protect and maintain various types of wildlife, which makes accurate data collection a primary objective. Envoc has worked with many of our state’s great agencies, and LDWF had a clear problem that needed to be solved. That solution became a Self-Clearing Permit app.
With over fifty WMAs in the state and thousands of visitors each year, tracking visitors, visitor activities, and harvest information is a crucial aspect of LDWF’s mission. The current process includes perforated cards; one portion is filled out upon entrance into a WMA and the second portion is completed when exiting. LDWF utilizes the completed card information collected from both cards to manage wildlife populations and maintain funding. This process presents multiple complications such as handwriting illegibility, incomplete information, or missing halves and cards altogether. The even more obstructive piece of the process is then matching the two halves out of potentially hundreds of cards.
Our first step was obtaining more in-depth knowledge of the current system in place and understanding how the data is processed and later analyzed. Since the frontend of the app would be used by WMA visitors, it was important that our developers approach design and user experience from the point of view of someone who is eager to get away from technology and enjoy the great outdoors. Through workshops with LDWF, our developers brainstormed ideas and created outlines of the app’s workflow. With a solid user experience workflow, our mobile developers presented a basic prototype or “proof of concept.” The basic prototype provided LDWF representatives with a concrete example to explore each process and menu option in order to offer feedback as interactive users. Once our designers created the new LDWF logo and provided design elements for the app, our developers got to work on the final build.
With the WMA Self-Clearing Permit, visitors no longer have to locate an information booth, grab a card, find a pen, and write in their entrance or exit information. And more importantly, LDWF no longer has to suffer through the process of gathering WMA data. The Self-Clearing Permit app provides WMA visitors with the ability to create an account and easily complete the entrance and exit surveys at any point during their visit. With step-by-step forms and scrollable option menus, users can easily find and complete all required documentation from their mobile device. Visitors also receive a checkout reminder notification after twenty-four hours and receive an email three days later if they still have not completed the checkout. Understanding the limits of network connectivity in the wilderness, our mobile developers built the app with offline data syncing. This function captures all data in-app and transmits the information to the server once the user’s device makes a network connection. With its features and convenience, the Self-Clearing Permit app provides the LDWF team with organized and automatically linked check-in and check-out data. Additionally, all information is easily exported in the preferred formats, streamlining data analysis for the LDWF team.