Princeton University Press

Revolutionizing Bird Watching

for the 21st Century

The BirdGenie App

The BirdGenie App

Branding & Identity, UX/UI & Product Design

Tom Stephenson and Scott Whittle, the best-selling authors of The Warbler Guide, asked us to help bring a remarkable mobile app concept to life. BirdGenie™ – The Shazam for birds – enables backyard-curious and expert birders alike to identify birds with the tap of a button. Hold up your phone and make a recording of the mystery bird song – BirdGenie will tell you species information and more.

Logo & Visual Identity Design
Information Architecture
User Interface Design
User Experience Design
Product Design
Educational Technology

Hitting the Mark

BirdGenie is a powerful tool that even serious birders will appreciate, however we set out to design an app that even grandma would like. It started with designing an elegant and simple logo that would stand out against an otherwise aesthetically boring field, and a visual identity that wouldn’t add distraction to BirdGenie’s intuitive, simple interface or the sometimes extravagant plumage of the birds.

DELIVERABLES INCLUDED: Logo & Visual Identity Design

A Brilliant Matching Engine

The heart of BirdGenie is in both its data – eighty vocalization types for sixty bird species, covering almost all of the birds a user will likely encounter in a given region – and its proprietary matching engine. Our challenge was to design a visual interface that interacted with audio and other data intuitively.

UX/UI Perfection

BirdGenie’s interface is built for effortless operation. Hear a bird, tap record, get results. Simple as it feels, we designed the UX/UI considering typical worst-case scenarios for users: A fleeting song that must be captured immediately, direct sunlight glaring through a tree... The app is functionally intuitive, relying on simplicity for recording. 

The app displays exactly how confident it is that an identification is correct, and provides audio samples of the bird's various songs to compare with the user's recording, as well as color photos, useful information, and links to further reading. Users can add comments, photos, and other info to recordings, track history with a convenient log, and easily share everything with friends and other users. No internet connection is needed to produce a match, making BirdGenie accessible regardless of cell phone signal.

A deeper exploration reveals a serious tool for bird enthusiasts and academics. Multiple matching features, recording library interaction and management, and share functionalities show that this fun app is also ready and able to contribute to the greater scientific community with data collected in the field.  


Coming to the App Store soon…

Read about Tom Stephenson and the BirdGenie in the The New Yorker.

Listen to Tom Stephenson discuss the BirdGenie on WNYC.