Come and see how the muda prototype was developed, an online game for smartphones that transforms the way the user learns new habits of sustainable consumption.
This is a project developed as part of the UX Design six months long course provided by Digital House.
The dicovery begins!
Sustainable consumption are hot topics on Brazil. Unlike what happened 10 years ago when everything was very generic, now there is great segmentation both on the market sides. People are more open to less conventional forms of sustainable consumption. Although still resistant to paying more for sustainable products, they use their creativity to exchange clothes and renovate furniture.
ToolsIn addition to the very basic Google Search, Answer the Public, Google Trend, Google Academic, Quora, Research Gate, Ubber Suggest, Similar Tech, Facebook Insights, Instagram hashtags, Twitter Trending Topics and vidIQ were also used.
Mapping the publics involved
Society and its various segments, the Media in its different forms and channels, the most varied types of educational institutions, the public sphere of power and all its layers, non-profit organizations, and businesses ranging from local entrepreneurs to multinationals.
They are all part of the same society that is sinking in unrecycled garbage, programmed obsolescence and dubious production and consumption practices. For this study, it was defined that the focus would be on the individual consumer.
Talking to people of flesh and blood
After applying a very objective and straightforward filter questionnaire on sustainable habits and practices, it was possible to select a few people for the in-depth interview.
Using the empathy map as a guide to develop the script, questions were asked about what the person sees, thinks and feels, listens, speaks and does.
It was really nice to hear from people many of the beliefs and customs that were identified in desk research. Also, it was super interesting how patterns started to show up, as well as pain and gains started to get clearer.
Archetypes that humanize business decisions
Based on the surveys and interviews, it was possible to create two personas with different points of view regarding sustainable consumption, as well as with very distinct behaviors in the consumption and purchase decision drivers.
While Camila is more concerned with having more sustainable consumption habits and thinks more about the collective when making purchase and consumption decisions, Bruno is less concerned with the sustainability of her habits and always puts herself first when enhancing her purchases.
What do the two have in common? Both think that being sustainable is more work than pleasure. Both find it boring and tedious to adopt a new sustainable habit. Here may be pains relevant to the development that lies ahead.
What paths do personas take?
Even doing the interviews, there were still pieces to understand Camila's journey in adopting a new sustainable habit. New interviews were carried out. One of the interviews was done with a participant who was very close to Camila's persona. Two others were made with people who had difficulty losing weight and learning to play a new instrument.
Talking to people experiencing difficulties in adopting other habits was very revealing, as it brought rich insights to the project. There is nothing like different perspectives and a moment of withdrawal to have new points of view on the problem being investigated. (The image above does not show the complete journey.)
A closer look to Camila's needs
Why would Camila hire muda and how could her jobs be reframed?
After identifying the Jobs to Be Done use job stories, there was this fun session of How Might We, when several important questions were raised about the pains of Camila's persona. In addition to being easy and flexible, the HMW technique is very conducive to creativity and allows us to look at the same problem several times and ask more and more interesting questions about it.
All of the HMW's were superimposed on Camila's journey and it was very clear that there was a buildup of pain at the stage of the journey where she wanted to give up on adopting a new habit.
A quantitative survey was also carried out to cross with the qualitative data and validate some hypotheses. This survey was also important to understand how people feel when they give up on a new habit. It was amazing to get out of the chaos that is generative research and get here, when things start to define themselves.
Bringing ideas to light
An idea is never born perfect. In fact, the first ideas are always very common. Avoid settling for first ideas. An idea gets good as we mix references and exchange with the team, building together.
From a sustainable coach app (boring!) with green social networking functions, the idea evolved into an online geolocation game for smartphone that mixes fun and environmental awareness!
Brainwriting, brainstorming and crazy 8 were the techniques used in this ideation.
Context and emotions that the user experiences playing muda
Okay. Now that it's decided that the solution will be a game, it's important to understand why the user would play, how the game fits into the user's context, and what emotions the user feels on this brief journey. Here, then, a Big Picture Storyboard fits nicely.
Alternatively, a more complex and complete journey was designed based on the 12 steps of the writer's journey, which comes from the 17 steps of the hero's journey. One day you and I can have coffee and I'll tell you this story in greater detail =)
What would users, as players, wish they could do on muda?
Many different user stories were developed to compose the epics. The image doesn't display the richness and complexity of the game, but I´d be glad to show the whole map to you on a virtual coffee ;)
Value proposition - User side
Creating unique solutions
So far, it has been found that people found it boring to be sustainable and that adopting new habits was hard work. Ah, it was also discovered that throughout the user's journey, the biggest pains are in giving up. People feel like a fraud, feel guilt and shame for giving up a habit that is so important to society.
With that in mind, the tasks, pains and gains of Camila's persona were mapped throughout her journey by adopting a new sustainable habit. Here, task analysis was mixed to Value Proposition Canvas. You must be missing the other part of the model, right? Soon after the ideation, it was possible to complete the Canvas Value Proposition Model.
Value proposition - Product side
Only our solution does this
After the ideation session and keeping in mind that the solution will be a game, it was possible to map which could be the gain leverage, the pain relievers and the services that the game could offer. With Canvas complete, we arrive at our value proposition:
Our online game for smartphone helps customers who are looking for a more sustainable life to adopt more environmentally friendly habits in a fun way and to achieve a positive impact on the planet (unlike the habits apps that control and don't entertain).
Next steps coming soon!
Affinity Diagram, Site Map and User Flow
How can the game be organized in a way that makes it easier for Camila to navigate? In order not to break the user's mental model and behavioral pattern, the organization of Pokémon Go and Orna were taken as a reference.
Furthermore, for MVP, only the functionalities that generate the most value for the business were developed.
Handmade wireframes (lo-fi)
"Rabiscoframe" in Portuguese
You know you don't have to be an artist to draw a wireframe by hand, right? It was really nice to let go of the idea of perfection and just try!
I designed the screens I thought were most important: the home screen with the map, as well as the quests, collected items, and acquired powers screens. In other words, I focused on where the game generates more value for the user and for the business.
Digital wireframes (lo-fi)
A little bit of technology with Figma
Although many projects skip the digital wireframe phase, it has several benefits. In addition to promoting alignment between the different teams involved in the development, it also reduces project costs. Imagine redrawing screens that took hours to create in medium and high definition?
Medium fidelity prototype (mid-fi)
Adding colors, icons and text
Evolving wireframes into a mid-fidelity prototype involved developing color screens, some patterns of buttons and interactions, as well as text that empathized and spoke to the user.
This prototyping phase was also useful for analyzing the heuristics, as well as applying usability tests with players who approached our persona. Both heuristics and usability testing were essential to identify design errors and inconsistencies, and to better understand the mental model and user needs.
Style Guide and UX Writing
Choosing colors, shapes and words to connect
For me this was another delightful part to develop. Studying the colors and shapes that will connect with the user the most and testing the concepts was really fun. This combines my experience in marketing and communication with my new area, UX Design.
In addition to the look and feel, a unique way of speaking was developed. Young, informal and welcoming, our voice welcomes the player with open arms and does not judge if he makes a mistake or thinks about giving up.
High fidelity prototype (hi-fi)
That moment we waiting for so bad ^^
Developing the high-fidelity screens and interactions wasn't as simple as telling the story, but it was worth every effort. User feedback helped us to improve the prototype even further and make it fun and interesting for them.
After almost 6 months working on this project, I not only learned countless tools, but also learned to really put the user at the front and center of all decisions. It was amazing to start with an empty gray board in Miro and end up with beautiful, colorful and meaningful work!
Wanna test the prototype? Be my guest, and don´t forget to give your feedback! Play muda
Canvas Business Model
Let´s talk about innovation and money
Wow, how cool is it to go through business decisions so that the design project doesn't get alienated from the financial interests, isn't it? To understand how mud could generate income in an innovative way, the Canvas Business Model of the traditional habit-building industry was designed, making it easier to put the mud business model in perspective.
muda is a game, it's fun and entertainment, so it makes sense that your business model leans more this way. Thinking of it as entertainment also favors innovation in channel strategies and sources of income. The MVP has real potential and many testers asked to be a real game at the app store!