MyEcoPal

Point-of-purchase mobile app that changes household habits for the better.

Scope
Mobile Design - Garage Stories Hack the Planet 2022
Roles
Creator, UX & UI Designer, Strategist, and Presenter
Time
Feb 25-27, 2022
Tools
Google Survey
Google Doc
Figma
Miro
Excel
Word
Zoom
Discord
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Overview
What's the story?
Objective
 
Overview
A simple approach for consumer transparency.

MyEcoPal was an annual virtual hackathon hosted by Garage Stories in collaboration with DKV and 5G Transatlantic Lab that took place during the weekend of Feb 25th to 27th, 2022. A total of 200+ individuals across the world formed teams to transform the narrative of world’s current environmental narrative through technology. I teamed up with a Back-End Data Analyst to create and pitch MyEcoPal in which we were among the top 9 teams invited for a final pitch for project funding from the sponsors.
What's the story?
Problem Context
We were tasked with the topic of household habits in which options within that realm were explored. As a team, we made the decision to focus on establishing a simple and digestible philosophy that is accessible but also achievable.
Proposed Solution

MyEcoPal influences consumers’ point-of-purchase decisions based on the data provided by the app. Using their mobile devices to scan the bar codes of products which would instantaneous provide environmental and climate impact information that generate an overall rating but also provide a “better” alternative with similar price point. Not only do consumers hold the influential power with their dollar, but they can also better understand what the brand embodies in terms of its fight against the environmental and climate crisis.

Simplified Scrum Process

Team Discussion

Task Delegation

UX - Discover (User Survey | Market Analysis)

UX - Define (Affinity Map | User Persona)

UX - Ideate (User Flow | Wireframes | Prototype)

Scrum Recap & Planning

Scrum Meeting

Concept Testing

UX - Testing (Usability Testing)

Presentation

Scrum Recap & Planning

Scrum Meeting

Presentation Refinement

Strategic Pitch (1st Judging Round)

Final Pitch

Day ONE
Our first day revolved around the logistics of the hackathon since it ran virtually and hosted in Barcelona which involved time differences, deadlines and assigning roles. I led the discussion regarding our project as well in which we both decided that the proposed solution was the most logical approach for a two-day time constraint. This project took on a simplified version of a Scrum project methodology.

As a UX Designer, I prioritized the Discover process in order to validate our proposed solution.
Discovery Focus
1 | How does our proposed solution measure in terms of validation?
2 | Can we establish data that would propel our proposed solution forward?
Discovery Steps

Survey

Survey

Insights

Market

Analysis

Analysis

Survey

A survey was conducted with 10 respondents to discover common household purchase decisions regarding environmental and sustainability perspectives.

80%

of respondents value the sustainability and environmental impact of their purchases

90%

said that they are likely to change a purchase if they had more information about a brand’s impact

66.6%

are reported to make purchases without much information about the product’s brand or company practices

Top environmental and ethical practices that are important to respondents include:

1. Labor practices

2. Low waste packaging/manufacturing

3. Pollution (tied with LGBTQ rights)

Purchase decisions are based on the top features:

1. Price

2. Familiarity

3. Durability

4. Environmental Footprint

Market Analysis

A quick competitive analysis was performed to identify existing technology that are direct or indirect competitors with our project. Different apps were explored including Yuka, a nutrition app, to gauge the market space in which we were trying to infiltrate.

Yuka.jpg

Overview

Key Objectives

A mobile app that scans and gives users a health overview of food and cosmetics products.

- Independent app with no external influence on data

- Objective analyses of information provided to users

- No brand advertisements on Yuka to target users

Overall Strategy

- App provides users with "healthier" recommendations for food and cosmetics

- Based on an objective approach to data analyses

- Information transparency with no external influence

Yuka

SWOT Analysis

Strengths

- Simple concept with quick scan feature

- Independent app that's objective which adheres to its mission statement

- Users have access to data analyses that are easy to understand

Opportunities

- Expansion beyond the food and cosmetics product line such as cleaning products

- Worldwide access to international products

Weaknesses

- App could expand into more product listings

- Some bar codes can't be scanned

- Based on American products and target users

Threats

- Potential competitors that could mimic the same business model

- Need a business model that is future-forward

UX Analysis

Usability

- Straight-forward usability and features

- Quick scan is accessible to use esp in store

- Product overview is comprehensive with simple UI

Layout

- Structured layout that capitalizes on visual hierarchy

- Minimal UI elements simplifying user experience

- Interface highlights the product and its ratings

Navigation Structure

- Nav bar at bottom; handy for one-hand use

- Icons have labelling which reduces cognitive load and accessibility friendly

Compatibility

- Available on all Apple & Android products

- Supports a responsive platform for all devices

Differentiation

- Subjective data analyses is an incentive for users

- Business model is simple to understand

- Users can upgrade account for more extensive features

Calls to Action

- CTA is peppered throughout the app with bar code scanning and product comparison either from history or from suggestions

Define Focus
1 | In what ways can we pinpoint user goals within the app?
2 | What are some features that the app can leverage to target consumers?
Define Steps

Affinity

Mapping

Insight Summary

User Persona

HCD User Persona

Affinity Mapping

An affinity map was created to summarize the user survey findings to generate ideas.

Group 1.png
User Persona

Generated a primary user persona that best embody the  app's users to apply a

human-centered  approach for the project.

User Persona (Hack the Planet)(1).png
Ideate Focus
1 | What steps do users have to take to engage with the app?
2 | How can we transform the user flow into wireframes and prototypes?
Ideate Steps

User Flow

Flow/Sitemap

Wireframe

Prototype

Prototype Link

User Flow

Laid out the foundational steps that our users would take to use the app effectively.

MyEcoPal User Flow.jpg
Wireframe & Prototype

Transformed MyEcoPal's defined user flow into a set of wireframes and then into an interactive prototype.

Intro.png
Onboard 1.png
Onboard 2.png
Onboard 3.png
Scan.png
Analysis.png
Recommendation.png
 
Day TWO
Once user research data and analysis have been compiled into user persona, user flow, and wireframes, we were confidently moving into the second day with a clear direction of how to finalize the UI design part of the app and how to position the project in a way that was marketable and universal. An interactive prototype was designed and was tested by 2 users (back-end team member and another participant). The hackathon then focused mainly on the presentation and strategic positioning of MyEcoPal.
Testing Focus
1 | Are the key user goals achieved?
2 | What further improvements can be made to enhance the app's key messaging?
Testing Steps

Usability

Testing

Insights

Presentation

Pitch Deck

Usability Testing

Tested MyEcoPal's function to ensure its overall usability with 2 participants.

Testing Insights

1. Simple messaging and functionality adhered to proposed solution

2. Leverage more visuals in product analysis screens

3. Apply more visual hierarchy to create emphasis across information

4. Make the user experience easy to use and understandable for all

5. Tailoring its appeal to serve a universal marketability

Presentation

Created a pitch deck that conveyed our project idea, processes, solutions, and future prospects.

Day THREE
The last day consisted of polishing our entire project package since the submission required a pitch deck that addressed our project details and a short video, followed by a presentation over Zoom across a panel of three judges and other hackathon participants. MyEcoPal was selected within the top 3 projects to move on within the “household habit” challenge to the final pitch in front of DKV executive and 5G Transatlantic Lab representative.
 
 
Takeaways

As this was my first hackathon, I was eager to learn from others and create something that I was proud of. MyEcoPal was a challenge that taught me invaluable lessons and connected me with individuals within the field that shared the same experience as I did. Collaborating with a Back-End Data Analyst, we took on multiple roles under the time constraints but worked seamlessly together throughout the hackathon.

I was able to connect with the Environmental Initiative DKV Executive a week after the hackathon to get feedback and advice regarding our two rounds of pitching. Here are some valuable key learnings and takeaways I was able to gather from our conversation:

1 | MyEcoPal had a simple but easy-to-understand approach to the hackathon challenge which made it a great contender.

2 | The designs within the prototype and the presentation were done in a strategic manner that stuck by its mission statement.

3 | Its product focus could have been condensed to a specific product type initially especially given the amount of back-end data set that it would have to process for analytic.

4 | The final presentation and pitching could have been tailored towards the profitability and growth for DKV as a partnership.

5 | More details on the back-end strategy on information and analytic processing would have made MyEcoPal a feasible product.

I would love to expand this project further within other environmental hackathons in the future as it has the potential to target the hair and body care product line in its first stage as it would have to refine its back-end processing to provide users with instantaneous feedback while they’re in the store to make quick and better purchasing choices. If you would like to collaborate on MyEcoPal further, please feel free to connect via email and/or LinkedIn.

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