Module 1 – Week 9 – Second Rapid Ideation

Week 7 Kick-Off 

I was excited for the kick-off of the second Rapid Ideation the brief was to create an artefact that solves a problem in a fun and interesting way.

The subject for the Hackathon:

Real-World Issues

  • Social Issues
  • Economic Issues
  • Healthcare Issues
  • Education Issues
  • Environmental issues

In the seminar, we discussed gamification and the possibility of creating an app rather than just a prototype. 

Gamification was developed to enhance services with a motivational environment to provide entertaining experiences, which create both psychological and behavioural outcomes.

I was immediately drawn to Environmental Issues and Healthcare. Since becoming a parent, I have become more conscious about the environment and my impact as an individual.

For this exercise, my first week I embraced the fail fast and fail often principle. My initial ideas were to create games:

  1. Supermarket sweep, the players are trying to get the products with the lowest carbon footprint.
  2. A Peter Rabbit game where you are trying to eat seasonal produce.

I was hoping to be paired up with someone from the Indie Games Development course, but it took a while for me to get a response to my post. I commenced the hackathon as a solo developer.

As I was working alone, I decided that developing a game would not be possible as I did not have any experience in that field, and it might not be as valuable a learning outcome as gaming doesn’t fit with my goals.

I was interested in creating an app, but I have not done coding before, so I experimented with Andromo App Maker, Bubble both of which do not require code. I found that it was taking me a while to get used to the interfaces and functions and both sites were only free to access for 1 week. Due to the time pressure, I decided to pivot and create a prototype.

My idea was to create an application that tracked an individual’s carbon footprint by tracking and reviewing different metrics. The catalyst for the app was my thoughts on being greener which is something that I have contemplated however I am not sure what changes I need to make.  

I identified two types of changes which were behavioural changes and off-setting. These changes would lessen the individual’s carbon footprint. My ultimate ambition for the app would be that if enough individuals changed their approach to consumption, it would apply pressure on corporations to change their products and processes to be more sustainable.

Research 

I could not find an application that calculated the carbon footprint of food. I found on the Vegan Society website there was a carbon calculator for food. For the calculation, you had to enter all the details of the food and the region of origin. I felt that this might be too laborious for a user and all the details required would be present on a barcode. I designed the app with a barcode scanning feature. I also looked at transport emissions, energy, and fashion.

There are other applications on the market, but most seem to just focus on one aspect of lifestyle. I found one application that covers more but the proposition for food is less sophisticated.

Week 8 Collaboration 

Paul responded to my post regarding working collaboratively which was brilliant. We set up a call on Teams and Paul created a Miro board, Word document and Dropbox so that we could collaborate and share ideas. I share the Figma file in an editable version.

I presented my application to Paul and explained the concept. Paul’s initial thought was that it would be good to incorporate gamification, with rewards and leader boards to compete with fellow users.

Paul also helped me analyse the app from the user’s perspective, as I had previously been designing prioritising functionality. We agreed that elements of the design required simplification.

We discuss the approach and work through the idea utilising the UX design process as a framework.

Brand: We explored different names for the application, I decided that Eco-Conscious was the best fit as the aim of the application is to promote awareness.

Paul created a mood board to further establish the themes and colours that could be applied to the application.   

Vision: To shape the vision I wrote a Problem Statement:

• Young working professionals who want to live in a more environmentally friendly way but struggle because they do not have the knowledge and time to research their carbon footprint. Our solution should deliver a quick and easy way to track consumption and activities, to enable the user to make small adjustments to their lifestyle and reduce their carbon footprint. 

Customer: To gain a better understanding of customer I wrote a User Persona:

  • Role: Product Owner Brief Description:  I love my work in e-commerce, but I am busy and often must work longer hours. My interests are socialising, art, fashion, politics, and travel. 
  • Demographic: 
    • Age: 30 – 40 
    • Gender: Female
    • Martial Status: Single 
  • User Goals: To educate myself on my environmental impact. To understand what feasible changes, I can make to lessen my impact. 

Changes to the initial design:

Sign Up 

When the app is opened for the first time it clearly explains the purpose/functions of the app to track emissions, reduce, and offset. 

For gamification and to create a baseline for carbon consumption there are 4 sign-up screens to acquire background information. 

Other Changes

According to WWF the UK target for an individual’s carbon footprint for 2021 is 10.5 Tonnes which equated to (10500 Kg) 875Kg per month or 201.92Kg per week. This is the baseline that the app will use to create user targets. The information about monthly consumption is included on some of the screens. 

Other changes are an option to import a shop from an online supermarket and include the number of days consumption to give a quick and easy calculation for food emissions. 

Reduction to the number of input fields for travel and energy and the inclusion of integration with GPS and Smart Meters. 

Prototype Design: 

I encounter a bug in Figma so I have been unable to show the prototype in presentation mode:

Validate  

Unfortunately, due to time constraints, I did not have the opportunity to present the application in the weekly seminar. I would like to work on my presentation skills and intent to set myself a smart goal to develop them.

I also ran out of time to develop the rewards element of the app but it is something that I would like to develop in a future iteration.

Reflection  

I conducted a retrospective on my own when the sprint was concluded to gain a better understanding of what learning outcomes. In the next module Co-creative Design and Development Practice, I will push the team for roles and responsibilities and try to gain an idea of the time that each can commit to the work.

Retrospective

Sources:

 Hamari, J., Koivisto, J. and Sarsa, H., 2014. “Does Gamification Work? — A Literature Review of Empirical Studies on Gamification,” 2014 47th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, 2014tion. [online] ieee.org. Available at: <https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/6758978&gt; [Accessed 15 April 2021].

Harwatt, D., n.d. Carbon Food Calculator. [online] http://www.vegansociety.com. Available at: <https://www.vegansociety.com/take-action/campaigns/plate-planet/carbon-calculator&gt; [ Accessed 15 April 2021].

Gardeners World, 2020. How to reduce your carbon footprint in the garden. [online] Available at: <https://www.gardenersworld.com/how-to/grow-plants/how-to-reduce-your-carbon-footprint-in-the-garden/&gt; [Accessed 15 April 2021].

 WWF. 2021. It’s your planet, and you have the power to protect it. [online] Available at: <https://www.wwf.org.uk/updates/promise-planet&gt; [Accessed 15 April 2021].

VEAL, R., 2020. How to Define a User Persona. [online] careerfoundry.com. Available at: <https://careerfoundry.com/en/blog/ux-design/how-to-define-a-user-persona/#3-how-do-you-define-a-user-persona&gt; [Accessed 15 April 2021].

Footprint.wwf.org.uk. 2021. WWF Footprint Calculator. [online] Available at: <https://footprint.wwf.org.uk/#/results/&gt; [Accessed 15 April 2021].

[Online]. Figma. Available at: http://www.figma.com/file/PIb4NvJoosKt3ZCS5tk1rN/Eco-Consious [Accessed: 15 April 2021].

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