We are a group of people who are inspired to find solutions tackling climate change and to introduce this into the workplace. We were excited to collaborate with like-minded people and apply our UX, UI, and programming skills to a hackathon with a good cause and make a positive impact in the climate change space.

What it does

We built an app that helps users develop more sustainable everyday habits and make small yet effective changes in their personal and work lives. With Greener Habits, users will learn what common and achievable actions they can take to reduce their individual carbon footprint, track their progress (carbon saved), earn rewards, and encourage friendly competition with other workers within their company. Greener Habits tracks activities on a monthly basis cycle so that new users are able to join a new cycle and make an impact within their teams each month. Year to date progress is tracked as well to display progress over the course of the year. Greener Habits users can view their personal progress on their personal dashboard view and their team progress on their team dashboard view.

Complete and log sustainable activities (on a daily basis) and track carbon saved Log action for another day if they forgot to log it or logged for the wrong day View one’s visual progress via a monthly or a year to date view Encourage long-term motivation by earning badges that increase in difficulty View one’s progress in relation to one’s coworkers on the team sustainability scorecard via a monthly or year to date view Our Greener Habits mascot will be in a good mood if the team is doing well and wil be sad if the team is not doing well. Check the mascot out in the teams view!

How we built it

Our group consisted of many volunteers from different professions in UX design, UI design, and front-end, back-end, and full stack development. We had weekly group meetings, design and engineering sprints, and many ad-hoc group huddles to clarify assignments and challenges. The design team kicked off the hackathon project by defining the problem, interviewing users, conducting competitive and contextual research, selecting minimum viable features, creating wireframe designs and conducting usability testing. The engineering team worked alongside the design team and began coding the app once minimum viable features were defined.

We used React for the frontend, Flask for the backend, and DynamoDb to store data for activities. We had roles for Frontend Dev, Backend Dev, and Infrastructure/Compatibility Dev.

Challenges we ran into

Challenges included some communication issues and scheduling conflicts across different time zones. Towards the last few weeks, communication and participation lagged among certain participants.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We are proud to introduce an app that can help people around the world lower their carbon emissions through common actions and encourage their coworkers at their companies to do the same. We were able to tackle a complicated problem and create an app that is user-friendly, and impactful given what we learned from speaking to employed people, researching the problem space, frequent user testing, and encouraging the cross pollination of ideas across the design and engineering teams. We are proud that we built an end-to-end product in such a short time through grit and hard work.

What we learned

We learned that it’s good practice to set concrete deadlines to encourage commitments from the project participants to eliminate confusion. Over the first few weeks, we developed better communication strategies by creating various sub channels within our main slack channel. We could have benefitted from having a short stand-up meeting asking everyone to share their input to encourage shyer members to participate.

What's next for Greener Habits

For our next steps, we would like to adjust and improve our app through further user-testing with users and to collect user feedback. Sometimes the brightest ideas can come directly from the users. We would love to speak and hear from existing users!

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My role focused on conducting UX Research. I created initial surveys, conducted user interviews, and usability tests. I documented and organized this information into a Usability Test Report and Affinity Map along with my partner. We determined what the pain points were when participants interacted with the prototype and ideated with other team members how to address these issues. I and other’s brainstormed various solutions to problems in particular with the placement of elements. We determined these issues to be most dire as a result of user feedback and observation. I kept track of any usability issues with the app to ensure these problems would be fixed and made suggestions to address visibility issues, color use, and placement and removal of a certain elements within the app. I created several documents that provided information about the insights that were taken away from each usability test I and my partner conducted.

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