As part of my Product Design Course, I decided to create an app which helps people take everyday small actions to lead a more eco friendly lifestyle.
How might we make people feel empowered and educated to make better and more sustainable choices?
My solution was an app which focuses on small actionable tasks that anyone can complete on a daily basis so they feel a sense of accomplishment, paired with an education componet which educates people on sustainability topics in an easy and approachable way.
Problem Space & User Research:
The idea for this app came from my own interests. I have been making more sustainable choices in my life over the last year or so, and wanted to take all of my research and learnings and put them into an app. My original idea for the app was to create a design solution that helps you track and offset you carbon footprint.
However, after doing some user research, I found out that people are not interested in making drastic changes to their life in order to be more environmentally friendly, and they also are not interested in spending more money or more time to lead a more eco-friendly life. After compiling all of my user research, and framing my design challenge, I came up with these 'How Might We' questions.
Wireframes & Prototype:
I've done three usability tests. One remote and two in person.
The participants were asked to do the following tasks:
- You want to do something good for the planet today, find a task that you would like to complete and pretend like you have completed it
- Similar to the first scenario, you decide you want to do something good for the planet today, find a task that you are unsure about or unfamiliar with and try to find more information about it
- Pretend you are in a store buying clothes, and you want to try and buy something that is eco friendly - try to find more information about what clothes you should buy in the app
Findings and Changes:
In two of my usability tests, participants had a hard time telling the difference between the Home page and the Actions page. I also had some participant who thought the check box in the tab bar could be checked and unchecked.
To solve this I changed the Actions icon, changed the icon and text color of the active tab, and added a green bar to indicate which tab you are currently on.
Some other small issues I noticed were that participants were not able to click the check boxes so easily, and participants did not know how to exit out of the overlays. To solve this, I expanded the clickable area to the whole box, that way the text or the check box could be tapped to 'check off' the task, and I added exit buttons to any overlays.
The last change I made, based off of the usability testing, was adding a gamification aspect to the design. It is something I had considered early on, but decided not to implement at first to keep to app simple.
However, two of the participants said something like this would motivate them to use the app more. In the end, this was a good way of adding something different to the Home screen as well to differentiate it from the Actions screen.
I was surprised that the main issue I had with usability testing was lack of content. Participants did not like that some buttons did not work and that there was a lot of generic filler content. In some ways, I think it was good that is was the biggest issue, because there were not many major usability issues. However, I wonder if the lack of content was a distraction for the participants and if my feedback would have been different with more content.
Since the testing prototype was only a mid-fidelity mockup, I still had some work to do on the UI. The main changes I made to the UI for the high fidelity mockup were, shifting the color scheme to darker and muted greens to increase contrast, add some variation, and to make the feel more calm.
I also changed the tab bar icons to SF symbols for consistency and familiarly.