Project background

Climate change is a major global concern that requires immediate action to mitigate its harmful effects. Adopting sustainable lifestyles is a solution that can decrease carbon emissions and slow the progression of climate change.

Indiana is currently one of the highest carbon-emitting states in the United States, ranking seventh in the nation. It is important for the people and businesses of Indiana to take steps towards reducing their carbon footprint and promoting sustainable practices in order to protect the environment and combat climate change.

Brief summary

Problem

How can an individual track their daily carbon emission and reduce their impact on climate?

Solution

We designed a mobile app to assess and monitor an individual's carbon footprint, with a focus on their transportation and home appliance usage.

Targeted users

  1. Environmental-conscious individuals who want to track and reduce their personal carbon footprint.

  2. Individuals unaware of their negative impact on the environment.

My role

Interviews and field study, Affinity diagram, Empathy mapping, Storyboarding, and App design

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Research and analysis

Research methodologies

Secondary research

16 user interviews

Field studies

Analysis techniques

Affinity diagram

Empathy mapping

Secondary research findings

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"Residential energy use constitutes to a great impact on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the United States."

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"The current ways of measuring Co2 emissions from vehicles are not defined. There are anomalies in the existing methods and no standardization."

Primary research findings

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Activists need an effective method of communication for engaging with people who seek information.

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With the amount of free space available, the canopy cover at Bloomington alone can be increased from 20% to 40%.

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Without a way to quantify the impact of efforts such as clean-up drives or reducing carbon emissions on the environment, it can be difficult to find motivation to continue.

Carbon Tracker

Carbon Tracker

Carbon Tracker

Designed an application to track an individual’s carbon footprint on a regular basis to address the Indiana University Grand Challenge under the ‘Prepared for Environmental Change’ category.

Designed an application to track an individual’s carbon footprint on a regular basis to address the Indiana University Grand Challenge under the ‘Prepared for Environmental Change’ category.

Overview

Type

Academic project

Team

4 HCI students

Duration

6 weeks

Tools

Figma
Balsamiq
Notion

Project outcomes

Outcome #1

Challenge

Complexity in tracking daily carbon activities deterred user engagement.

Resolution

Redesigned the user interface for easier navigation and introduced a guided input system.

Learning

Simplified data entry boosts user engagement and improves data accuracy.

Outcome #2

Challenge

Users were disengaged due to lack of immediate feedback on their carbon footprint impact.

Resolution

Added real-time visual feedback features to show immediate carbon savings.

Learning

Immediate, visual feedback can significantly enhance user retention and comprehension.

Outcome #2

Challenge

Users were disengaged due to lack of immediate feedback on their carbon footprint impact.

Resolution

Added real-time visual feedback features to show immediate carbon savings.

Learning

Immediate, visual feedback can significantly enhance user retention and comprehension.

Next steps

  1. The feature to track the carbon footprint of an individual's waste disposal should be included.

  2. There is a need for greater clarity in the concept of monitoring household appliances to prevent overlapping measurements among multiple occupants of a residence.

  3. The onboarding process for new users may be overwhelming due to the large amount of information that needs to be entered, so a feature to temporarily skip this step will be beneficial.

  4. The "Action items" section of the app should be modified to more clearly indicate that the listed tasks are intended to be clicked on, rather than simply being a checklist, and the text size should be increased for ease of reading.

Analysis

Affinity Diagram

Empathy mapping

Personas

Developed two personas to understand user needs and behaviors.

Zen Chung

27 years old

Pursuing a doctorate and working part-time at a restaurant

Actively looking to reduce her carbon footprint

Andrew Stark

65 years old

Cab driver for over 20 years

Not concerned about sustainability

Pain points

Lack of motivation

It can be challenging to find the motivation to change daily habits, especially for issues that seem abstract or distant.

Lack of awareness

Many are unaware of how to contribute to sustainability or the impact of their choices.

Difficulty visualizing impact

Seeing the direct impact of our actions on climate and resources can be difficult, hindering motivation for change.

Ignorance about resource usage

It's easy to overlook our resource consumption and its environmental impact.

Problem statement

How can an individual track their daily carbon emission and reduce their impact on climate?

Storyboards

After carefully analyzing the users' pain points and considering various potential solutions, we decided to storyboard top 3 solutions for both our personas.

Andrew, a busy taxi driver, learns about the carbon emissions from the old appliances at home from his son and decides to upgrade them after using an app that calculates their carbon footprint.

Zen Chung, a part-time waitress at a restaurant, discovers excess food waste. With the help of a new device and mobile app, she works with her manager to track and dispose of expired food to reduce waste.

Zen Chung observes the preference for private transportation and becomes concerned about its environmental impact, prompting her to seek the opinion of an expert and learn about a new feature for monitoring carbon emissions in vehicles.

Low-fidelity screens

We designed a mobile app to assess and monitor an individual's carbon footprint, with a focus on their transportation and home appliance usage.

In the future, we plan to expand the scope of the app to include trash management, which, while important, is currently not as prominent a contributor to an individual's carbon footprint as transportation and appliance usage.

High-fidelity mockups

We have developed two modules in our app - one for climate change activists and another for general users. The module for activists includes additional features such as hosting campaigns, and both modules offer certifications for completing environmental tasks.


These certifications serve as incentives for users to engage in eco-friendly activities and contribute to the efforts to encourage sustainability.

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Beyond Design: Meet Sumukh

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Happy to chat! Let's connect.

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Beyond Design: Meet Sumukh

Resume ↗

Happy to chat! Let's connect.

Gmail ↗

LinkedIn ↗