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bold Execution Plan:
Based on the four distinct categories to choose from, our group decided to choose the “Eco-Friendly” category. This was done because every single group member had a strong passion for helping the environment.
bold Pre-planning stage: The first step was to define a concept for an app. The concept was initialized through a discussion where each team member shared what they were specifically passionate about in terms of the environment. Throughout this discussion, it became evident that the theme of cleaning the air and the theme of encouraging the public to participate in an eco-friendly initiative was prevalent.
We started off by imagining a world where raising water levels have permanently displaced millions of people, where many of the animals and plants that we interact with today cease to exist, where soil erosion has led to fewer crops for humans to consume. As the world seeks to reduce the pace of climate change, support the growing population of billions of people, and preserve mother nature, it's guaranteed that trees play a big part in this.
Over 10 million square kilometres of forests have been lost since the beginning of the 21st century with over 15 billion trees being chopped down each year. Astonishingly, there are only half the amount of trees on our planet now compared to when humans first inhabited the earth. As a team that is greatly passionate about improving the environment, and building a better word for our future generations to live in, we sought to make a difference. This is done through our new revolutionary app, everGreen. An app that has the potential to save our planet from the distarious path that is currently on. bold Core concept everGreen: The main purpose of everGreen is to create an eco-friendly environment where individuals, entire cities, and corporations can come together to start tree planting initiatives.
Upon opening the app, the user will be prompted to the tree planting page where they can choose from preselected locations that are near the users current area, or they can manually enter a location where they have planted a tree. After, the user will be prompted to take a photo of the tree that they have planted
The way that this will work is that each user would create their custom profile within the app. This profile will have three main functions: badges, locations and stats.
Timeline: It's estimated that with the project analyst and UX/Ui designer collaborating with each other, this pre-planning stage will take about 25 days to accomplish.
bold Badges: The badges function will consist of multiple virtual awards that the user will be given for completing a specific task such as planting a specific number of trees, inviting other users to the app, and when those invited users also plant trees. For example, a user will be awarded the “New Planter” badge for planting their first tree and the “Grower” badge for planting 10 trees. The user will also have the opportunity to share their badges with their social media friends/followers. These badges will also act as an incentive for users to plant more trees.
bold Locations: The location function will consist of past cities and areas where the user has already planted trees. Alongside each city, the user will also see data such as the number of trees that were planted in that area and the date those trees were planted. Upon clicking on a city, the user will get access to the photos of the trees that the user planted (these photos were uploaded during the time the tree was planted.
bold Stats: The stats function will display statistics that are based on the users activity. Based on scientific data such as the fact that a mature tree absorbs 48 pounds of CO2 each year and a young tree absorbs about 13 pounds, the app will calculate the total amount of CO2 absorbed by the trees planted by the user. In addition there will also be other statistics like the amount of trees planted in a city by our apps users.
bold Idea/Concept - Wireframes:
These wireframes represent an outline of what the apps sign in and sign up pages will look like. The everGreen logo will be present near the top of the page. Users will have the option to input their email and password to enter the app, or the option to create a new account by inputting their name, email and password.
These wireframes represent the badges page and the locations page. Near the top, the user's profile photo, along with their name will be present. Below that, three categories including the badges, locations and stats will be present. For the badges page, the user will get access to all badges including the ones that they have unlocked. For the locations page, users will get to see photos and the names of areas where they have planted the trees. At the very bottom, the navigation bar is present which showcases the following three categories: plant, profile and leaderboard.
These three wireframes all represent the stats section. In the first page, the user will see a statistic related to their tree planting activities. By scrolling down, the user will see another statistic along with a photo. They can keep scrolling down to see more statistics along with different photos.
This wireframe represents the plant a tree wireframe. Near the top, users will have the option to select to plant a tree at predetermined locations which are based on commonly planted locations near the users current locations. Below that is a map where the users can manually search for areas to plant trees.
The last wireframe represents the leaderboard and ranking page. Near the top, users will get to see the top tree planters with their selected area and time frame. These points will be used to determine the winners of the various weekly, monthly, and annual draws.
bold Idea Concept (UX Design):
These are the first two pages the user will see when they open the app. The sign in page and the create account page. Both page functions are self-explanatory. The color theme of the UX design is green, this is because our product is mainly centered around planting trees. We used a transparency effect to give a contrast between the lighter and darker colors on the buttons (email, password, and arrow for sign in).
This page is one of the three functions available to the user after they access their profile from the navigation bar appearing at the bottom of our app. This specific function is known as “badges”. This will display the badges unlocked by the user. These badges unlock when the user plants a certain number of trees. The badges that the user has not unlocked are greyed out. In this case we only have 6 badges, in the future we hope to implement many more.
This is the 2nd part of the profile page. The locations tab. In this page the location of various cities in the users area will be shown. This page will list the number of trees planted in each of the cities by the user. This way the user will be able to reminisce about the planting of each tree and it can also be used as a record for the user to look back on.
This is the third and final section of the profile, the “stats” page. In this page various information/statistics will be displayed to the user. This information is only to interest the user and inform them of how their initiative is changing the planet. The page will be updated as the user progresses on their tree planting journey. Currently we only have two statistics displayed, in the future there will be many more.
This is the “plant a tree” function of our app. It is accessed by clicking the button in the middle of the navigation bar at the bottom. By clicking on an area on the map users can choose to plant a tree in that area. A feature we plan to implement in the future is a function where the user can input a picture of the tree into the app so that when they click that location it will show the pictures of trees they planted there.
This is the third and final function of our app. It is the leaderboard. It is used to rank the users who have made the greatest contributions to the app by planting the most trees.
bold Timeline: It's estimated that the front-end, back-end and web development of this app will take approximately 75 days to complete. The quality assurance and security of the app will require another 20 days to complete. In all, it's estimated that everGreen will be fully developed within 120 days. For more information about the team that will be hired to complete the task, please see the “cost of app” section below.
bold Risks with the current plan: One of the major risks with the current app is the fact that The reception of that app, will the app be used by money Risk of not raising enough money Too much accumulated debt Not enough revenue for business operations
bold How to mitigate these Risks: For the promotion of the app we will be using advertising through social media and at the same time we will be hosting a launch event for our app. The event itself will have a small entry fee and its participants will all be exposed to our brand’s cause. To mitigate the risk of not having enough money we will be using multiple sources to procure funds. This will include loans from the government, line of credits, and public donations. A way to solve a problem of accumulated debt is to get a line of credit. This way we can borrow as much as we want and if we feel that the amount is too much for our business to handle we can not use it and we won’t have to pay back the line of credit.
bold Future plans: In the future, a social media aspect will be implemented into the app. This feature will allow users to connect their existing social media platforms with the app, allowing the user to efficiently find their existing friends on the app. everGreen users will have the ability to follow accounts such as other users and environment related pages, post videos and photos, and chat with individuals. This will lead to the further development of an environmentally friendly community!
Moreover, we could use Google’s cloud vision API’s machine learning models to detect the type of tree that is being planted by the user. This can be done by taking into account the leafs shape, tree height and the location the species of tree was planted.
bold Financial Plan:
bold Cost of app: In addition to programming everGreen, financial consideration must also be placed on the UX/UI design cost, back end development, security, architecture, and the testing of the app.
Based on the chart above, it's evident that by outsourcing labour to another country such as India, a developer could be hired for about $20/hour instead of $150 rate in the USA. Even though there are reduced costs associated with this approach, it's understood that some issues such as a language barrier and slow communications may be present due to the timezone difference.
For our app we are planning to hire 10 employees. In total, we estimate that everGreen will take 120 days to develop with the outlined team.
bold The team schedule is: (1 Project Analyst) Analytics - 5 days ($800 total salary) (1 UX/UI designer) UX/UI design - 20 days ($6400 total salary) (2 front end developers) Front-end - 30 days ($9600 total salary) (2 back end developers) Back-end - 30 days ($9600 total salary) (1 web developer) Web Developer - 15 days ($2400) (1 Project manager) Project Management - 15 days ($2400) (1 quality assurance testers )Quality Assurance - 10 days ($1600 total salary) (1 security analyst) Security assurance - 10 days ($1600 total salary)
Assuming that each employee works 8 hours a day 5 times a week, the total salary costs associated with developing everGreen is: $34,400. Keep in mind this is just a speculative estimate that is based on the assumption that each employee gets paid $20 an hour along with working 8 hours a day.
bold Short term financial projections: Loan or line of credit from a bank: For funding the small miscellaneous purchases we could use a credit card. For larger costs, such as the $40,000 we need for employee wages, that need funding we can apply to a non profit line of credit. The downside to this is that the application process may be long and our business may not be accepted. Overall, a line of credit is much more reliable than depending on a charitable donation or a traditional loan.
bold Funding/perks from the governments: The Canada emergency business account (CEBA) is a type of government loan that provides up to $40,000 of interest free loans to not-for-profit organizations such as everGreen. On top of that, if this loan is paid back before December 31st, 2022, a loan forgiveness of 25% ($10,000 for a $40,000 loan) will be issued. Not only will this $40,000 loan be more than enough to cover the speculated $34,000 salaries for the employees, but also everGreen won't have to pay interest and will only have to pay $30,000 of the loan back if paid back before December 31st, 2022.
bold Partnering with a university based business incubator (iCube utm): As a startup non profit organization, a way we can kick off our launch would be through a business incubator. The incubator would help us find investors to fund our projects while also providing us mentorship on how to better develop our business. Some examples of business incubators our organization could apply for would be iCube (UTM), Velocity (University of Waterloo), Propel (Western University) and the RIC in Mississauga.
bold Donations from the public: While our organization will make an effort to apply for loans and grants from the government/incubators we also hope that our initiative will sympathize with the public and they will be moved enough to support our cause financially.
bold In-App Revenue: Users will have the option to select a personalized monthly donation which will go directly towards expanding everGreen and towards tree planting initiatives. Advertisements will also be present within the app where everGreen would expect to make about $5 for 1000 impressions. Also, users will have the option to pay $3.99 to permanently remove advertisements from the app.
bold Long Term Financial projections: After a year of running our non for profit we will at that point stabilize our business’s position. We will have stabilized our sources for revenues (hopefully) and developed a budgeting system so that our expenses can be recorded and efficiently dealt with. By then our expenses will be much clearer and our revenues much more reliable.
bold Merchandising our products (tshirts, saplings, caps, etc): After popularizing our app and spreading it around, we will have a community to connect to. At this point we can gain an additional source of revenue by merchandising our brand. We can spend some of our organizations capital/revenue on merchandising expenses so that we can produce sets of clothing to sell to the community. The public would then purchase the merchandise so that they can get a good looking and affordable piece of clothing while also supporting a non profit organization that supports a good cause. Partnering with local municipalities and major cities: everGreen can establish direct planting based partnerships with major cities that would involve financial sponsorships and the city encouraging their residents to make use of the app to plant trees. For example, the city of Mississauga currently has an initiative to plant 1 million trees by the end of 2032 but has no app in place for users to report their statistics. By incorporating everGreen into this initiative, the city of Mississauga could greatly increase the participation of their residents while also increasing everGreen’s users. bold Marketing Plan:
bold Product: Mobile App named everGreen that incentivizes its users to plant trees, record information about that tree such as a photo and location planted, and earn badges for their performances. This app will also allow individual users, corporations and municipal organizations such as cities to incorporate into their business cycles. Alongside, future updates would incorporate social media features within the app. bold Price: The App itself is free allowing easy access and use to any individuals interesting in our initiative. Users will have the option to choose from monthly donation plans that will go directly towards the expansion of everGreen and towards tree planting initiatives. Also, users will have the option to pay a one time $3.99 fee to remove advertisements from the app forever. bold Place: Ontario as a province is where the app will be launched. The locations on the app will initially consist only of places in Ontario where you can plant a tree. After hiring developers and stabilizing our business we will then think of scaling to a point where our app can be used all across Canada. bold Promotion: Our App will be promoted through paid advertisements online (youtube etc.) There will also be a prompt for users on the app to share their experience on various social media outlets (facebook etc.). Companies are also able to promote themselves through our app (which will in turn allow us to gain more publicity as well). This will be done through them planting a high amount of trees. Users will share badges on their social media platforms) Big corporations can promote themselves through app by planting lots of trees and showing up on leaderboards). Partner with organizations that are looking to improve their csr initiatives and gain reputation
Grand app launch event: In order to spread awareness about everGreen and raise some funds at the same time, a non-profit grand launch event can be organized. Even though the events main goal is to raise funds towards the advancement of the app create raise brand awareness, the theme of the event will be something alongs the lines of “Singles environmental Soiree” or “Karaoke charity night”, essentially something that will convey a fun night, attract large clouds and create excitement towards the app launch. In terms of funding the event, it will be planned in a way in which more money is raised than the actual cost of the event. Every expense must be considered such as catering, parking costs and venue costs. The costs of the venue can also be significantly discounted or even free if the venue is willing to sponsor everGreen since we are associated with a good cause. everGreen must also build a strategic relationship with potential sponsors, as sponsorships are a multi-million dollar industry that everGreen must leverage. Sponsors will be leveraged by understanding the demographics of the event attendees and app users, and conveying that information to targeted potential sponsors. Tickets for the event will be sold online and promotion for the app and event will be done through the leverage of email marketing, social media advertising and through the use of event sites such as Facebookevents, bold Segmentation: In terms of how we characterize our target market, we have no preference. No matter their gender, age, nationality, and income level, anyone in Ontario will be able to use our app. The only thing we are looking for is that they have a desire in making our planet a better place. bold Target Market: Like previously stated, anyone with an interest in our initiative is open to join our community and become a user on our app. bold Competition: Our competition will be other apps that are promoting a similar environmental initiative. In this case the market is not very saturated and apps like ours aren’t viral allowing us to have room for growth if we can launch a successful marketing campaign bold Political, Economical, Social and Technological Factors: bold Political: While npo aren’t subject to tax laws this can change with a shift in political leadership. If we gain funding through political means/from the government, a change in the political environment can cause us to lose this source of cash flow bold Social: Our NPO is seeking to raise awareness about eco-living through influencing our users to plant trees and reduce carbon dioxide levels, this will be done through the societies we release the app inherently our app will be linked to society and their viewpoint on eco-living, a change in the social climate can cause the amount of people using our app to decrease or increase bold Technological: By using technological advancements and implementing efficient technology into our products development we can gain an edge in the market. This will allow us to not only digitally market our product and publicize it virtually, we will also be able to collect data on our users and use that along with feedback to adjust our marketing scheme in a way that is more effective for our business bold Economical: Our organization will be reliant on charitable donations and equity investments which are in turn affected by the economic environment. In cases where the economy is in an unhealthy condition then the amount invested in our organization will be less. In times of economic depression people and businesses will be more concerned about their livelihood and finances and have much less time to donate money to causes like ours bold Barriers: One barrier is obtaining the capital to begin our marketing campaign and product development. We also run into problems when wanting to popularize our product bold Uniqueness: Our product is unique in the way we incorporate our social initiative and implement it into the form of a mobile app. Our interface is easy, intuitive, and user friendly. We allow users of our app to plant trees while also connecting with others on the platform. Together with these features we will create a unique community of diversified individuals who all come together for the same goal, making earth a better place to live in. bold Motivation for people to use our app: We could segment the leaderboard into two parts, a monthly leaderboard that resets at the beginning of each month, and an all time leaderboard that never resets. Each person on the leaderboard at the end of each month could win certain prizes, these prizes will help motivate people to strive to plant more trees. bold Another motivator for people to use our app will be the leaderboard and badge system. In this case the psychological aspect of wanting to be the best will be triggered in those interested in our apps and they will join the app and strive to plant the most trees to earn badges and points. This is similar to video games such as warzone, fortnite etc. people who play those games strive to get more wins to pad their stats and rank higher than their friends. With the future launch of the social media features within everGreen, many of our target markets will have the opportunity to be part of a thriving social community. bold Tech Demo When developing Evergreen, we used the open source mobile framework React Native. This was a great learning experience as through this project, we gained hands on experience into mobile app development. Although, we had several technical difficulties when we first tried to set up the environment for the app due to improper referencing of SDK, we eventually got the hang of the react-native framework and how it uses components to present views (the User Interface) to the end-users. Additionally, in the future, to improve the app, we would want to use Google’s mobile platform Firebase to implement user authentication. This would allow users to create a personal account with Evergreen and have their login information be authenticated via Firebase. Other improvements we can make are setting us a NoSQL database such as MongoDB to store information on all of the registered users. This will allow the app to scale in a fast and efficient manner. Furthermore, we need to refactor our current code to make the codebase more robust.
The image above represents a UML model of the EverGreen system. It lists the primary use cases and hence describes the functionality of the system. In each of the use cases, the action is initiated by the singular actor which represents an entity that will be a user of the “EverGreen” app. Through our app, we strive to make a seamless user-friendly experience for individuals passionate about contributing to the environment and planting trees. Users of the EverGreen app will be able to perform many functionalities such as creating an account, and signing into their account. With their registered accounts, the users will be able to easily navigate the app’s UI to plant trees and earn badges when they plant these trees. The users will be able to see the location of the planted trees, view their personal badges, view the leaderboard of individuals/corporations with the most trees planted and lastly be able to view some statistics about trees and the environment. This use case diagram was used before we started the implementation phase in the Software Development LifeCycle as it allowed us to clearly understand the scope/requirements of our app and the functionality it needed.