Designing a global destination for the next generation of conservationists.

The Vancouver Aquarium recently set off on a transformation effort to resurface as Ocean Wise, a new global conservation organization focused on protecting and restoring the world’s oceans through research, education and engagement. Partnering with Engine Digital, a purpose-driven, storytelling web platform was created, providing supporters with an experience that aims to position Ocean Wise as the global leader in oceanic education, awareness and activism.

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A new way of discovering our earth’s oceans.

We partnered with Ocean Wise’s global conservation effort to help them evolve from a bricks and mortar science and learning based organization in Vancouver, to an omnichannel platform for ocean life discovery and conservation storytelling.

An app-like experience, in a mobile web browser.

The genesis of Ocean Wise began with Millennials in mind. Our client partner team developed a digital strategy designed to engage this emerging and maturing generation of ocean conservationists in a mobile moment context. To do this, we looked for inspiration in the content structures and models of popular social, storytelling mobile apps like Instagram, Snapchat, and YouTube. The challenge lay in replicating an app-like experience on a mobile web browser.

Activating an audience with story.

The core of our content strategy revolved around an “Education Through Storytelling” principle. We executed on it by combining education with fact based data, wrapped in an inspirational, compelling narrative that links to information about ocean conservation in context to where the user is in their journey. The final stop of every story ended with a call to action, allowing us to turn passive users into advocates for change. Enabling this sophisticated experience forced us to build a dynamic content model that allowed product owners to craft custom user journeys designed to keep users engaged with vertical and horizontal swipe motions that expand on the story in hand.

The beauty of the world’s oceans. In motion.

As part of Ocean Wise’s new direction, the organization had a big appetite to generate new content sourced from a network of people connected to oceans all over the world. Our role was to build a home where this aggressive approach to content scheduling could live, and to bring the beauty of the content itself to life through a specially designed visual language, complimented by the liquid qualities of motion.

Engaged with the desire to get involved.

Enticing our users to deepen their discovery around ocean conservation is a key element of the experience. The more time spent interacting and learning, the deeper the understanding of how the ocean is tied to us all in some way. The overall effect intensifies the desire to get involved and take action through Ocean Wise’s network of organizations and efforts located throughout the world, like the Shoreline Cleanup initiative.

"The dynamic project management process led by Engine Digital helped to streamline our digital project. The team’s integrated style of collaborating with the client led to efficient decisions, allowing us to move from concept to launch within a tight timeframe. We also appreciated the team’s focus, energy and passion for ocean conservation, which has greatly contributed to an enjoyable and valuable partnership."

Charlene Chiang, VP Engagement,

About Ocean Wise

Ocean Wise is a global ocean conservation organization focused on protecting and restoring our world’s oceans. Building on the roots of the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre, which started as a community-based not-for-profit organization, Ocean Wise aims to inspire people in every corner of the planet to participate in creating healthy oceans.


  • Consumer Research
  • Web Strategy
  • User Experience Strategy
  • Content Strategy
  • UI & Visual Design
  • Front End Development
  • Back End Development