2011 Mobile Awards

mobile, web, IoT, desktop, connected devices
design champion, best studio, best start-up & IoT
plus 20 specialist nomination categories

demand design, celebrate courage

Key Dates

Taronga Zoo - Monkey Mayhem app [DRAFT]







Project Overview

Create an iPhone application to engage the public with the Taronga park offering in a fun and educational way.


Working closely with Taronga, Nomad comprehensively explored technology options and audience habits, conducting focus groups to develop the ultimate direction of an interactive educational iPhone game using maps, camera and unlockable animal information.

Project Commissioner

Taronga Zoo

Project Creator



David McGowan
Jim Wild
John Pope
Kerstin Kiemling

Matt Griffin
Pip Jones
Andy Gregory
Jeremy Manoto

Project Brief

Taronga developed a strategy focused on creating tomorrow’s conservationsists today. This included a road map using digital channels to enrich and extend peoples Zoo visit at and beyond the zoo, encouraging people to take their visit home.

Challenge: Research identified that visitors have a tendancy to rush sections of the zoo with dwell time at exhibitions often minimal. Upon entry, visitors receive a paper map with session times to guide their experience.

Goals:Taronga’s brief was to develop a mobile version of the paper guide. The goal of the app was to engage visitors with the Taronga conservation message, enrich their zoo experience and encourage them to take their zoo visit home with them. KPI’s were focused on the quality of the experience provided by the solution as well as reach.
Expectations were that the app be downloaded 10,000 times in the first 3 months, taken as a measurement of expected audience interaction. The app should also achieve PR and present Taronga’s use of innovative technology to engage their audience. Importantly, the app should be successful in providing users with a rich and engaging experience that existed beyond the physical boundaries of the zoo.

Project Innovation / Need

Requirements gathering:
Nomad’s approach commenced with requirements gathering, first investigating the audience. This included reviewing taronga’s Google analytics, market research for innovation by international Zoo’s, on site testing of mobile GPS, reception and exploratory client workshops identifying target audience groups.

Results of the initial phase showed that the core audience of families smartphone use with Taronga was domintated by iPhone at 8%. Site testing showed that mobile reception at the Zoo was intermittent. Mobile solutions developed by other Zoo’s replicated simple map and guide information but rarely provided additional benefit to visitors beyond the paper guide or exploited more than basic smartphone technology.

Focus groups:
Nomad conducted comprehensive focus groups with families. This explored typical visits to the zoo from planning to attendance and how they continue the experience beyond the visit. It also explored their shared and individual use of technology including utilities, games and user generated content as well as interaction with educational messages.

Results:We identified an enjoyment of parent/children shared mobile experiences, children take an ownership of educational messages through 2 way interactions such as UGC, and that children naturally turn their visit into a game through discovery, collection, self expression and reward.

User Experience

Creative Approach:
After initial audience and market investigation, Nomad identified the need to create a unique, focused solution driving awareness without media budget. Comprehensive technical and audience investigation played a major role in defining a qualified approach.
Focus groups were conducted exploring users Zoo interactions and mobile use. As well as forming a foundation for future decisions as the concept evolved, focus groups were used to fine tune direction mid development producing a well informed solution.

Users meet Marley who explains the Zoo Manual has been damaged by monkeys. Users help rebuild the Manual by finding animals and taking photos to unlock video, audio, “Secret Keeper Notes” and access to Zoo Keeper EDM’s. Users can also find unlock codes on the Taronga site, continuing the exploration post visit.

We created a custom map using the Google maps api with Taronga’s illustrated map plus dynamic icons and location awareness within the iPhone interface.

We shot and produced video for relevant animals. Child safe solution through Youtube locking working within the app.

We developed custom camera tool allowing users to take photos, add custom frames and allocate to animals via the camera or gallery.

Character development:
We developed the character “Marley” from scratch after focus testing a range of characters. This is now being reviewed for toys and publishers.

Project Marketing

Media budget:
There was no media budget for this solution.

Nomad developed an educational adventure game catering to users Zoo experience through discovery, collection, self expression and reward.

Taronga media:
The app was featured on the Taronga site, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter pages as well as regular EDM’s. The character Marley from the app now has his own EDM “Marley News” which is well received and a testament to the character development for the app.

With no media budget, Nomad worked with Apple, introducing them to the initial concept and results of the focus group to secure important editorial content. This resulted in a key feature in the iTunes store top section, a feature in the “Featured” section of the app store and top rankings in relevant categories.

Blogger PR campaign:
Nomad worked with Taronga in a “Mummy Bloggers” PR campaign to reach grass roots influencers for the core family audience. This included a PR day at the Zoo for 20 bloggers, supplying them with iPhones and pre loaded app for a Zoo tour.

Industry PR:
Nomad have been proactive in presenting the apps success to the industry through multiple industry events and workshops.

This category relates to educational and family games developed for the mobile platform.
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