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Glenn McWhinney
posted on
February 18, 2020
challenge

Recently Launched: Airtable Powered Webflow Website

Website Project URL: https://www.biosphere.org.uk

"From the highlands of Dartmoor and Exmoor, down the river valleys to the sea and beyond Lundy, the North Devon Biosphere is one of 668 Reserves in 122 countries designated by UNESCO's Man and the Biosphere Programme and was the first of 7 to be designated in the UK. The designation secures a better future by linking people and nature today."

The North Devon Biosphere team are a dedicated group of people looking to improve the natural environment in an area of land and sea - called a Biosphere - started by the UNESCO programme - quoted above.

The idea of the public-facing website is to raise awareness of the ecological issues in the area, educate on the importance of taking better care of the Biosphere (and beyond) and to encourage people to take action themselves by pledging their time to complete a practical activity that actually makes a difference, however small, to the Biosphere.

We chose Airtable as the "engine" driving the whole system as it integrates so well with other NoCode tools in the rest of the stack required for this project to work:

  • Google Sheets + Mapping Sheets add-on
  • MailerLite
  • Integromat
  • Parabola

The Airtable base stores all the website submitted "pledges" made by people, formats some of the data (the geographical address submitted), waits for a team member to approve each one, triggers a task to copy the relevant data to Google Sheets and allows the team to control all aspects of each pledge including editing the pledges and taking them off the website if required.

Airtable also controls some of the data required in the forms in Webflow keeping both platforms in sync and allowing a drop-down field on the Webflow website forms to be truly dynamic. This avoids duplication of data/lists in 2 platforms, allows the team to easily update that data as it changes over the seasons, and it keeps all the data referencing a single source of truth.

The Airtable base also captures who has signed up for the Newsletter and the Source of that signup e.g. Newsletter Signup Form, Create a Pledge Form etc. which is great for GDPR purposes; knowing how the email address and other PII got into the system in the first place.

Some people ask why we didn't just use Google Sheets on this project but for us, we like to make great use of Airtable's relations between tables which Integromat handles beautifully with its Smart Links feature, as well as Airtable's Last Modified Date/Time field which can monitor changes to specific fields in a row or all fields which is extremely handy when triggering actions.

Lastly, the team are using Airtable to filter and report on the data that is being captured to find out things like the most popular kinds of pledges and where there may be gaps in the efforts, and in what locations. All really powerful, useful stuff!

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