With increasing emphasis on growing environmental degradation and with more and more people becoming environmentally conscious, there is a need for a system which can address both the trends. We developed a system which is based on the iPhone and enables users to monitor their environment affecting activities thereby reducing their adverse effects. All this, in turn, leads to lower personal impact on the environment and also encourages other people in the network to adopt such practices. Footprints as we call it, is therefore a smart application on a smart platform for smart people.
We started by identifying our core audience where we interviewed 8 users to understand the users’ understanding and behavioral thoughts about environmental degradation.
We realized that even though people say that they want to be environmental conscious but are not. This is due to the fact that they just don’t know how to do it, how much they can commute in their own vehicles, how much they are already saving the environment, what is the best way of commuting, and lack the motivation factor to take the little complicated solution.
Our survey had overwhelming and satisfactory results- 216 complete responses, 100 partial responses. We came up with a set of research questions, mainly targeting towards environmental degradation concerns, commuting ways and understanding about the environment concerns. From the survey it was clear that,
1) 56.4% of our target users have “Somewhat knowledge” about the effects/concerns of environmental degradation,
2) 76.14% of our target users will be ready to walk / take public transport/ carpool to save the environment.
3) Nearly 80% of our target users did not know any tool that can identify their impact on the environment
4) 73 respondents ranked “Commuting” as their first choice in which they can help to ensure a stable climate for future generation.
Three main user personas
1) Environment conscious people who actually care about the environment and would definitely use our product even without expectation of rewards.
2) Users with free attitude who are only concerned about their personal and social lives. The application will provide for functionalities to connect to their online social networks and create a prestige. These will act as rewards which will motivate users to use the application.
3) The third group of users is conscious in some way about sustainable living but is not aware of how they can be environmentally friendly. The application has specific feedback systems of health, money etc to show how sustainable they are.
The development followed a learner centered design process where the needs and goals of learners are emphasized. We heavily realized on data gathered through Learner Interviews and Survey to ideate the final design. According to our survey, nearly 80% of our target users did not know any tool that can identify their impact on the environment.
We therefore concluded that our app should appeal to our target users, by providing them
- More knowledge on our environment – Facts, numerical evidence and clear visualization.
- Different modes of transport for a specific route – Public transport/Car pooling and walking.
Footprints important features
Footprints was made with focus on the following: (Full Report)
- Scaffold and Personalization (Smart knowledge)
- Socially networked (The power of group)
- Facilitate understanding by using facts and visuals (Multimedia learning)
- More alternative options the better