June - August 2020
Amy Liao, Maple Sukontasukkul, Patrick Pacunana, Newton Nguyen-Le
Visual Design, Interface Design, Interaction Design, Prototyping, User Research, Wire-framing
Verdant is a personal mobile carbon footprint tracker, allowing users to understand how their daily lifestyle impacts the Earth. The application’s purpose is to inform users of their carbon dioxide emissions in efforts to help reduce their personal carbon footprint.
Global warming has been an ongoing issue for people around the world. With carbon dioxide emissions gradually rising, many people are beginning to be more conscious about their lifestyles and how they can reduce their personal carbon footprint.
In order to better understand the domain our design would exist within, we conducted a survey to gain a sense of the current relationship individuals share with the environment and how they perceive their environmental impact. Our primary research allowed us to gather diverse responses from over 50 participants with ages ranging from 18-61 years old.
When thinking of carbon footprints, individuals tend to associate their transportation methods with how positive or negative their impact is. However, there are other factors, such as products purchased, that must be taken into consideration when calculating one’s overall carbon dioxide emission.
A common theme amongst the responses was their willingness to change their lifestyle and take action to prevent further damage to the environment. However, they were unsure of exactly how their life currently impacts the Earth and what measures they should take to live more environmentally friendly.
From the research and insights collected, we synthesized our data to create a persona that would represent our target audience. Our persona served as the foundation of our design as it mapped out our users goals and motivations.
Converging deeper from this initial framing, we narrowed our scope to focus on personal carbon dioxide emissions. With this clear direction, we established an end goal of ensuring that the design would be able to inform users of their carbon dioxide emissions in efforts to help reduce their personal carbon footprint.
From the research and insights collected, we gathered data to create a persona that would better represent our potential users as it provides information such as goals, motivations, habits and pain points. By establishing this persona profile, it helps us narrow down users' frustrations, and potentially design a feature / function for.
After a rapid brainstorming session, our group came to the consensus or something and decided to move forward with a carbon footprint tracking application. In order to envision how our persona would interact with this type of system, we formulated a journey map to see potential touchpoints that we could use to drive the design of our application.
Prior to finalizing the design of our application, it was important for us to allow for the test to be analyzed through the eyes of individuals outside of our group. Through conducting user testing with 14 participants, we were able to gather insights on the state of the core workflows within our application.
This was done by video interview (Zoom) using screen sharing to observe how participants explore the application without any guidance to monitor how they naturally reacted with the design, we have also provided some simple tasks for them to do. The user-testing allowed for us to discover pain points individuals have with our designs including:
Our initial design does not feel as cohesive due to the design introducing many possible interactions. For this reason, the main core feature of tracking one’s carbon dioxide emissions felt incomplete. This resulted in us removing the “Explore” tab and put more focus on improving the experience of logging activities.
Users were given too many numbers and data that they were unable to understand what they were supposed to represent and whether the values should be interpreted as positive or negative.
For logging transportation, there wasn't enough inclusion in regards to options as to how people travel, whether it be through carpooling, driving more than one vehicle, motorcycle.
Verdant’s mission is to help individuals live a more environmentally friendly lifestyle. Through providing a resource for users to track and visualize their carbon footprint, they are able to take small steps to reduce their personal carbon dioxide emissions.
Some key features include:
This feature allows for users to log activities to see how their lifestyle contributes to their carbon footprint. While transportation and purchases are two activities that first come to mind in regards to carbon footprints, we also included the ability to track emissions created from water and electricity as they are often overlooked.
This carpool method allows users to select specifically friends to share their trip emissions with. Selected friends will be sent a notification to add the emissions to their personal footprints. To take into consideration the situation where their friends do not have a Verdant account, the total carpool emission split would not be affected if they do not add specific riders to a carpool trip.
Activity goals help users find methods to reduce their carbon footprint from different aspects of their lifestyle. Pop up notifications are presented when achieving a milestone indicating how much carbon dioxide emissions they have saved as a result of their actions.
Throughout the design process, it was important for us to be open to criticism in order to push the design to its full potential. This project demonstrated the importance of user testing and how it can reveal pain points that are not necessarily obvious from the designer’s lens.