November - December, 2020 (6 Weeks)
User Research, User-Centred Design Practices, UX Design, UI Design, Wireframing, Prototyping
Primary and secondary research methods were employed to understand the background of the problem and gain valuable user insight, this allowed me to gain a deeper understanding by combining both qualitative and quantitative data. Secondary research methods included - Online articles, journals, research papers, interviews, and reviews of existing products. Primary research methods involved - 4 questionnaires targeted at specific groups living in and around London (39 responses in total) and 3 interviews living in or around a large city. These research methods allowed me to collect data at a larger scale while allowing me to engage in more in-depth discussions during interviews.
My research showed that a significant number of people are unaware of the severity and scale of air pollution within their community.
I also found a large number of people who felt overwhelmed by the scale of the problem, and despite making an effort to make better choices, felt they are hardly making a difference.
The majority of primary research respondents and interviewees expressed concern over health, in particular, the health of children.
" Sometimes I feel like my actions won’t make much of a difference, even though I know they will over the long run "
Based on my research, I created 3 personas to aid and inform the design process. To ensure both the app and advertisement resonated with the intended audience, these were revisited throughout the process.
I had a vision of how the app and advertisement would function. So, I started with mapping. First, I started with sketches on paper before using Figma and the flowchart plug-in to finalise it.
A user journey was completed to track how the user might interact with the app - what they do, think and how they feel when they come to different touch points in their journey.
After gathering a lot of information, I began by conducting a 'How Might We?' brainstorm to tackle the key issues highlighted in the research. Following on from this, I sketched a range of ideas for both the app and advertisement. The wireframe sketches created during this stage were refined and later used as a base for the prototype.
Two of the earlier interviewees were able and happy to provide feedback throughout the process. This gave valuable insight into the wants and needs of the key product stakeholders throughout the process, allowing me to iterate throughout. Some key areas of improvement included:
The app employs a smooth and easy-to-follow onboarding process, asking permission to collect location data. Users are presented with an lung-habitat illustration representing the physical and environmental health of the population and the area. From this point, it is up to the user to influence it. The user can find and select routes based on exposure levels or time taken, and view pollution levels visually with a heat map. Much like some popular games, the app aims to inspire users to take responsibility and accountability for their habitat, making it become something they care about. The goal of this is to influence their choices, that in turn effect the health of themselves, others and the environment.
The choices made by the user not only affects their personal habitat, but also the habitat of the community. As more people download and use the app to make smarter travel choices, the more the advertisement habitat grows in health.
This project still has significant room for refinement and further iteration, however, it allowed me to ideate and test creative ideas with speed, producing meaningful work in a relatively small time frame. The feedback given by users throughout the project was valuable in shaping the final outcome, and this was perhaps the most important lesson learned - "never underestimate the power of user testing".