Princeton University Press

Technology with

a Bird’s Eye View

The Warbler Guide App

Princeton University Press

App Design/Development

Warblers are among the most challenging birds in North America to identify, exhibiting an array of seasonal plumages and distinctive calls and songs. The Warbler Guide, published by Princeton University Press, is the de facto reference for warblers, engaging amateur and professional bird watchers alike. However, printed field guides can be impractical in the field, and the experience is incomplete without enriched content. Unlocking the full potential of this guide became possible by re-envisioning the content for a digitally-native experience.

Information Architecture
User Experience
App Design & App Development
3D Engine & Audio Engine
Database Creation
Educational Technology

Unlocking the True Potential of a Field Guide

Our mission was to re-envision the printed version of The Warbler Guide in an app, pairing extensive written content with 3D modeling, audio comparisons, and species cross-comparisons that are simply not possible with a printed book. Rich content is in-hand, in the field. To understand the interactivity of this rich content, we first had to understand how the typical user can best discover and access content.

DELIVERABLES INCLUDED: User Persona and Use Case Discovery and Documentation

Creating an Invisible User Interface

Determining a specific species of warbler with certainty becomes much easier with The Warbler Guide app. The user interface feels simple and intuitive, allowing the content itself to drive the experience. This unprecedented approach requires a vast amount of content be navigated via effortless filtering – narrowing the massive database and delivering quick, meaningful results.

DELIVERABLES INCLUDED: UX/UI Design, Database Creation

Enriching the Visual Experience

We created an efficient, custom 3D engine, capable of handing 750+ high-resolution, Retina-ready images and 3D models of all species, including custom lighting effects. Species are revealed in seamless 360º views, showing off their unique plumage and other distinguishing traits. Even better, the app allows for simultaneous, side-by-side comparisons between multiple species – a feat that is simply impossible with a printed book.

DELIVERABLES INCLUDED: Custom 3D Rendering Engine

And Your Book Can Sing…

A major part of warbler identification lies in their vocalizations – each species can have as many as ten unique songs and calls. We developed a unique audio comparison engine, allowing to compare both the visual (sonogram) representations of the various songs, as well as playback of the audio itself. We didn’t stop there – the audio engine completes the digital experience, allowing for looping, half- and full-speed playback, as well as side-by-side audio comparisons between species.


Experience the Warbler Guide App

"Some people say, 'There is nothing new on this Earth,' but they have never seen The Warbler Guide App. This app is a fast, intuitive way to identify the warblers of the United States and Canada by visuals and/or song. You have to see this app – welcome to the new world of field guides."
-Dan Tallman's Bird Blog