Passaporte Natura 2000.

How we gamified exploring the world.

Published in 2022

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Passport Natura 2000, PN2000 for short, empowers you to unleash your inner Dora the Explorer with a unique gamified experience. C'mon, vamonos!

As a company, we often take low-budget projects whenever we identify with the cause. PN2000 is owned by Palombar, a non-governmental and non-profit Nature Heritage Conservation organisation whose mission is to preserve biodiversity, wilderness, forests, agricultural ecosystems, constructed rural heritage, and traditional crafting techniques.

As we are en route to becoming a BCorp, no other project would make more sense. Anyway, with all this said, on with the project.

PN2000 components

What is PN2000, then?

In a nutshell, it is a digital passport for your adventure. As you discover the world's largest network of protected areas, Natura 2000, you'll find QR codes neatly blended in nature that you can scan to collect stamps.

PN2000 QR code
Source: Passaporte Natura 2000 - Uliana de Castro

As you collect said stamps and fill in your passport, locations are unlocked, and further information is made available in your App.

PN2000 Iberian Wolf

Naturally, pun intended, the goal is to collect as many stamps as possible, and, for that matter, there's a leaderboard.


Your passport. Your stamps.

Just like a traditional passport, the more stamps you get, the more place you have been to. This one, though, is split into two zones (for now), Douro International and Santo Adrião Mines. Each of them with their separate set of collectible stamps.

PN2000 location information

We wanted to make the stamps more than just a piece of the interface. More than just your average badge. We wanted it to be an integral part of the experience, one added element of the gamified experience, a beautiful piece of art that would make you want to unveil more and collect additional stamps.

PN2000 stamps

This is when illustrator Mariana Rio comes in. All the stamps and illustrations were created by her. And they fit in perfectly. Each stamp is a beautiful illustration that matches one another and exponentiates the App's look and feel, turning it into a perfect blend of interface and illustration.

PN2000 stamps illustrations

We want the user to feel engaged with their passport, be proud of it, and want to keep stamping it further. At the same time, we didn't want to over-design it. We didn't want to overuse graphic elements that would create a heavier interface. Instead, we wanted it to live off the illustration and the collectibles rather than the interface itself.

PN2000 passport stamps

Scanning the codes.

You probably know how to scan a QR, so we won't waste your time explaining how it works. But we want to show you what happens when you do so.

We wanted to create a dramatic interaction that could build anticipation and emphasise the act of collecting a stamp. To make it meaningful. All the details of the animation were carefully thought of, from its motion to its duration, everything was meticulously refined to make it a grand moment.


Location unlocked.

Each Location has a designated stamp. At first, they won't be there (neither on your passport nor the region detail page). On both pages, there are empty states for uncollected stamps.

PN2000 different screens

As you scan QR codes, empty states will be replaced with stamps and more in-depth content. This is all part of the gamified experience we set ourselves to assemble. To create a sense of urgency towards stamping your passport.

PN2000 screens

The treasure map.

One cannot simply get on their foot and start searching for QR codes. The Natura 2000 area is huge, and single-handedly looking for them is quite challenging. So we designed a map.

PN2000 treasure map

This map contains all the available QR code locations and will help you navigate to them. It is pinchable, and as you do so, clusters of Location will dissipate in favor of more granular ones until you can pinpoint an exact Location pin.

Initially, all the pins are empty (states), but as QR codes are scanned, and stamps are collected, they will change into a "completed" state. Upon clicking the Location pins, a widget opens from below, allowing you to navigate to the Location details page.

PN2000 map and pandeiro mirandês information

Offline? No problem.

The App was built to work offline too. Most of the time, PN2000 is used at remote locations, likely with no signal, where there's only you, your phone, and the wilderness.

When users open the App for the first time, it triggers a download of all written content. Not the images, though, as it would take a considerable toll on the user's phone storage, and we want no responsibility for low capacity.

In this scenario, you don't get to experience the beauty of the photography, the stamps, or the illustration, which is sad on one side. However, on the other, it doesn't really matter. You are on-sight. Just enjoy the view instead.

But if you're really keen to cling to your phone and read more about the said site, once a location is unlocked, you'll still have access to all the written content.

Illustrations by Mariana Rio

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