A carbon footprint calculator focussed on engagement (and emojis)
SELF-INITIATED / 2019
I designed and built a fun tool that tries to nudge people towards less impactful forms of transport, and also explores whether there are more relatable, engaging ways of expressing our CO2 impact. Users can visualise the impact of their commute in burgers, basketballs, sushi and more, and so far it’s been used in 85 different countries!
No one really likes to be told how much they’re damaging the planet, and most CO2 calculators don’t make it any easier. The results are often intangible, difficult to act upon, and a bit dry, which means they can end up having little effect.
Design and build a highly visual, relatable, and easily comparative CO2 calculator for commuters.
Role: Design and build
Team: Self initiated
Timeframe: 2 weeks
I aimed to be super fast and responsive with my testing, getting continuous feedback, making small iterations, and testing again. I used Reddit as a testing ground, which ended up being surprisingly constructive and enlightening. I followed this up with 1:1 usability testing, observing people using the product and conducting short interviews.
I’m still working on understanding how effective the site is, but one early finding is that people want to see their feedback in an way that relates to them personally, and factors such as size, weight or volume are still too abstract to be useful. Users tended to prefer examples such as ‘you need to plant this many extra trees’ or ‘you need to do *something* less to be carbon neutral’.
To increase the functionality and effectiveness of the site, I’ve identified some possible new features:
More diverse and impactful examples
Currently working on it!
Built in journey mapping
Similar to Google Maps, where users enter their start and end address, and then select a transit method, giving far more detailed, specific data.
Location specific data
My data comes from London transit options, but what if certain locations have electric buses, or different kinds of transportation options? How can this personalisation be introduced?
Augmented reality could be a really powerful tool for visualisations, and I’d love to explore how it could be used in regard to sustainability and carbon footprint.
Design and code
Ultimately this site was designed to be super easy to use, fun, and hopefully effective. To get to the final build I went through quite a few processes, a lot of which were pretty new to me: