How Can An Individual Make A Positive Impact On Climate Change?
The idea for this project came about from a dinner conversation about why people aren’t doing more to find ways to help climate change. We talked about lack of available info about what individuals can do. Based on our chat, I came up with an idea for a mobile app that would give a new idea to the user every day.
The EPA has a very informative website showing causes of climate change, and proof that there is a problem. Their website focuses on educating about the issues, and does have ideas on how to help. Takepart.com, BrightFuture.Unilever.us, and NRDC.org also have actions listed, just a bit buried in their stories.
Create A Mobile App To Show How Small Actions Can Multiply To Create Big Impact
This independent project focused on multi-dimensional research, and included:
Additional Challenge: Motivation
Over 90 people responded to a general survey on climate change. Questions included what they knew, what elements they cared about and to start on motivation, what apps they used everyday.
A second, more focused survey, asked what users were currently doing to help climate change, what they couldn't find info on, and for motivation, what reward programs or social networks they were currently active in on their phones.
Real conversations with potential users clarified interests, excitement and what got them to open apps in their phone everyday. It identified:
The day I started this project, I reached out to all the big agencies that provided info about climate change and asked if anyone would be available to speak with me about my app idea.
Creating personas for this project included 2 distinctions: a generational viewpoint, and marital status.
Research analysis found that a combination was key to broad appeal:
Realizing I needed a concept to tie it all together, I chose an initial title/icon of "Climate Change Hero", which helped to organize features and give titles to sections.
Since timing was tight, the initial wireframes were shown to potential users to get feedback. I asked them to complete several tasks to discover:
Excitement for the project: Yes!
Challenges: A few...
“If the user has already done the suggested quest of the day, is there an alternative?”
“What if you want to do the quest of the day but you’re on vacation?”
“The awards levels are not different enough, and at the beginning they should come more frequently. First quest, first week, first 500 points, etc.”
“The Hero logo could be improved upon. The concept idea is cute, but the logo could be more modern.”
I happened to attend a Mobile Growth Meetup, where the panel discussion focused on retaining users to apps once downloaded. One of the topics was when to introduce notification permission. The panel confirmed success with waiting to ask for permission until right after an action that the user would want to receive one for.
Push notifications: Wait to ask until after first opportunity to use. "Would you like to receive a notification tomorrow showing the combined impact of everyone that completed today's quest?"
Just as I was finishing the revisions on the wireframes, I got an email from the team at the EPA requesting a meeting with SMEs! It was so exciting to hear they had interest in my project, and I was honored to be able to talk with really smart people who focus on helping climate change every day.
We covered a lot in our conference call. Here are the main topics, and how they affected my project:
The entire team I spoke with could not have been more supportive and wonderful. They provided amazing insight and inspiration that opened my eyes to elements of the project I never considered. Thank you to each of them for their time and attention to my little app idea!
Everyone I’ve told about this project has been excited about it, so I would love to continue working through the challenges, push forward, and eventually go live.
There is certainly a need for a project like this, especially with the current state of the EPA's limitations. Let me know if you're interested in partnering to help bring this idea to life!