GoGreening Mobile App

An informative and education mobile app for building a green lifestyle.

Overview

Intro

GoGreening is a mobile application that helps people to build a sustainable lifestyle under urban settings.

Project Type

Independent Project

My Role

UX Research, UX/UI Design, Prototyping

Timeline

July - September 2020

Tools

Figma, POP - Prototyping On Paper

Research

What's the Context?

The year of 2020 marks the completion of Vancouver’s Greenest City 2020 Action Plan where a series of actions have taken place to build a greener and more sustainable city. Despite the municipality's efforts towards sustainable living, residents in Vancouver and other Canadian urban cities might not have adapted fast enough to the changes and there’s still plenty of opportunities to build towards a greener lifestyle on an individual level.

The Challenge

Provide a practical tool for residents living in Canada's major cities to easily follow city's guidelines for proper waste disposals, learn about various environmental issues and how they can help, participate in eco-friendly events in their community, and eventually build a sustainable lifestyle.

Goals

  • Easy compliance to city's waste disposal policy
  • Understand how individual behaviours could impact the environment
  • Learn about sustainable lifestyle and how to take action

Why is it A problem?

01/

Government policies are hard to follow

The local waste management (recycling/composting) guidelines are constantly evolving, which poses extra challenges for people to adapt to. While people are trying their best to follow the rules, it takes too much energy to keep up with the changes.

02/

Lack of education in environmental consequences

People who have a busy lifestyle value convenience more than sustainability because they are undereducated in the environmental consequences of their behaviours. If they understand more about the urgency of the current environmental crisis, they might make choices differently.

03/

People follow what others do

Some people’s behaviours are influenced by their peers or society norm, they follow what others do and don’t want to be the odd ones.

Outcome

80% users found it helpful

Tested the prototype with 10 people and 80% of them successfully completed the primary user flows and found the information useful for daily life.

Making eco-friendly choices

Most users expressed that the app made them more aware of how their choices and behaviours would impact the environment and encouraged them to be more environmentally conscious.

User Personas

With only one week for conducting research, a total number of 24 online surveys and 6 virtual interviews were completed by residents living in mostly Vancouver and Calgary, as well as a couple from other Canadian urban cities. When analyzing the data, keep in mind the limitation of the sample size, which has relatively narrow representations of demographics.

Key Finding

01/

Accessible information  

Clear, updated, and consolidated information across city and recycling/donation facilities (with easy searching function or potential monetary incentives) would encourage people to comply with ever-changing recycling or composting rules.

02/

Educational tools

Education on ongoing environmental issues (with simple illustration and statistics) and the relationship between individual behaviour and environmental impact would increase awareness and promote positive behaviour.

03/

Habit-building reminders

Timely reminders (bring coffee mug/shopping bags etc.) and practical tips of sustainable habits would help people to cultivate their habits and lifestyle in the long term.

User Insights

User Needs

  • To get reliable and timely information about city's guidelines on waste disposal
  • To learn about how to recycle or compost properly towards a zero waste lifestyle
  • To be reminded for eco-friendly acts on daily basis
  • To learn about how to be a eco-friendly consumer
  • To spread awareness of sustainable lifestyle to peers

User Goals

  • To use household's blue bin (recycle), green bin(compost), black bin(garbage) properly on daily basis
  • To drop off things to right places (donation centre, recycling depots, or zero waste centre)
  • To learn about current environmental crisis and what to do to make a difference as an individual
  • To set personal reminders on eco-friendly acts on daily basis until it becomes a habit
  • To discover local resources in eco-friendly businesses or community events and share to friends and family

Opportunity

How might we make compliance to local waste disposal policies easier to follow, encourage individuals to make more eco-friendly choices, and eventually cultivate a sustainable lifestyle simple enough for everyone to follow?

Solution

Information Architecture

The key insights lead to the development of the information architecture for the current stage design (basic features). The ideation for current design focused on the resources and education components as it was intended to serve as a free resources guide for personal waste management, to increase awareness of current environmental challenges and tp promote sustainable lifestyle. Four key features were included in the current design:

Check out my latest clickable prototype

Evaluation

Testing & Iterations

Using the hi-fidelity design of iteration 1, I went back to my users and did more testing. The feedback was consistent and positive about the flow of data, so there was no major change for user flows. The later iterations were done mostly to improve user accessibility and UI design.

Learning Outcomes

  • Interpreting qualitative data - extracting  information from people’s comments have been challenging for me, because a lot of time I have to think deeper to the underlying meaning combining factors such as their subtle expressions and tones.
  • Balance between design concepts and accessibility - I have learned a lot in mobile UI design, especially the differences between general graphic design. After taking consideration of accessibility, it is challenging to find a balance between my design concept and the accessibility standards like passing the color contrast test.

Next steps

Further improvement on current design

  • Flexibility to add additional habit under "My Lifestyle"
  • Enhance visual language of UI design
  • Interactive search
  • Calculator for estimating recycling refunds

Future features (additional Business Objectives)

  • Local business partnership - Add local business partnership for eco-friendly stores, such as providing exclusive coupon code from the app to promote the business.
  • Application in other urban cities in Canada - Vancouver, Toronto, where content like “My Local Resources” and “My Community” would need to be updated.
  • Local restaurant partnership - Further zero waste initiatives in promoting bringing reusable containers for takeout order. For example, pilot project can take place in 5-10 local restaurants, then invite more restaurants to join the network. This will help to reduce costs for business as well as burden in landfills (styrofoam is not recyclable in most municipalities)
  • Community rewarding system - see how users around you are doing with the efforts in building sustainable lifestyle. Points  rewarding system will be available to nurture positive behaviours in peer.
01. Overview02. Research03. Solution04. Evaluation