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Ecossentials Application Case Study

May 2022 - August 2022

Giving users the chance to choose more sustainable options is the first and easiest step towards making changes in their shopping experience.

ROLE

Project Owner, UX / UI Designer & Researcher

COLLABORATORS

Developer, Business Analyst

TOOLS

Figma, InVision, Illustrator, Miro

“Our personal consumer choices have ecological, social, and spiritual consequences. It is time to re-examine our lifestyles.”

- David Suzuki (Canadian academic, science and environmental activist)

4. My Design Process.png

I set realistic deadlines and deliverables to help this project's design process.

About Ecossentials

Why matter:
I wanted to make better shopping decisions that would not only benefit myself but also help the environment. However, the government bodies do not provide sufficient standards to measure sustainability to inform the public about eco-friendly products.

What is it:
An application to help identify the personal products that the users wish to choose which are more environmentally friendly and avoid those that are not.

The Mission of this project:
The mission is to make a difference to the users' shopping experience and assist them in switching to a more sustainable option; the users will benefit from the satisfaction of doing their part in helping the environment.

Research

I began my secondary research with a systematic investigation. Through my research, I identified information gaps in the green consumer market, which confirmed my design ideas, and supported my primary research.

According to a survey from March 2021, 53% of Canadian consumers agreed they bought from companies that were supportive of protecting the environment.

The global market value for natural personal care items was increased from almost 30 billion dollars in 2021 to roughly 50.5 billion dollars for the year 2027.

Problem Definition

Lack of consumer confidence on the eco-friendly products’ information affects purchasing decisions. The marketing gimmick of 'greenwashing' is widely used by many organizations to deceive the public. Ultimately, this will mislead consumers to make poor decisions so that the companies can take advantage of it to increase profits.

  • Difficulty in finding efficient ways to shop and to reduce the impact on the environment.

  • Unclear and inconsistent sustainability labels on consumer goods.

  • Figuring out and researching which eco-friendly products deliver its promises is time consuming. 

  • Getting consumers to understand and switch to eco-friendly products is challenging.

  • Eco-conscious users

  • Owners of sustainable businesses

For effective design decisions, I organized and invited the target users to an interactive workshop on empathy mapping. Based on the analysis and observations from the workshop, our team gained a greater understanding about the pain points and needs of our target audience.

I created three personas to represent the target audience.

Customer Journey Map.png

Consolidating the research and interviews, I created a narrative journey that centres around our eco-conscious user, Montana, who is looking for an effective sunscreen. The goal was to better understand the experience and the pain points and opportunities for the design.

Customer Journey Map.png

Expectations:

  • Strive for carbon neutrality in her purchases.

  • To buy sunscreen with recycled packaging.

  • Shop with a plan in mind to save time and money.

  • To be educated about the environmental impacts of products.

Problem Statement

Opportunity

With all the insights I gathered I was able to come up with this problem statement:

How can we engage our eco-conscious users about their carbon footprint impact, thus encouraging them to make better buying decisions?

Before the Sketch – Competitive Analysis.png

Competitive Analysis

Before the Sketch – Competitive Analysis.png

The project launch business S.M.A.R.T Goal

Analytics Plan

Upon the release to the market in the first year, the application will be used by at least 1000 active users per month who will be able to use its sustainability ratings to make informed purchasing decision. The use of referrals, networking, and social networks will help promote the business to enhance user relations. Users will also be directed to the homepage of that eco- business, and it would generate increased revenue from the website traffic.

Technology Stack

Before the Sketch – Competitive Analysis.png
Low-Mid Wireframes

The User Story

As an eco-consumer, I want to identify the products' sustainability when I am at the store, so that I can choose those that are more environmentally friendly.

Key Findings

  1. 70% of testers considered that the photo recognition a beneficial feature because it gives real-time advice since they do not have time to do extensive research when shopping in a store.

  2. 90% of the testers believed that the "Eco-Rating Scale" enables them to gather more sustainability information about the product or certain aspects of it. 

  3. Testers preferred the homepage to be simple and clean.

Product Benefits
14. Hifi wireframes(update).png
Lessons Learned
18. Impact & Lesson learned.png
18. Impact & Lesson learned.png
  • Considering that more than 80% of testers agreed that both platforms (app and browser extension) were convenient and useful, further research is needed on the potential of Browser Extension. As users believed that the app's photo-taking function would be useful when shopping in a physical store, while the browser extension might work better if they are shopping online on a computer.

  • A direct link to download a website browser extension through the app is suggested on the Profile or Favourite page.

  • It was found that the users’ testing and their feedback were critical for understanding how well the product supports them. 

  • Users’ reviews have built up customer confidence before making purchasing decisions. They encouraged users to rate different eco-companies when using these platforms. In turn, this will result in improved profits for this project. 

  • Understanding the science of sustainability will allow the users to appreciate the environment and learn more about their impact, not only as consumers.

  • Based on the comments from the users, future improvements will be achieved by exploring and analysing the target audience's experiences when using both platforms.

  • Collaboration with the team is more than just presenting ideas, it also requires listening with an open mind to help work towards a common goal.

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