Habitat
Zero-Waste Living

Summary

Habitat helps motivate individuals seeking to live a zero-waste lifestyle through gamification.

Making It Stick

Developing good habits is hard, especially when it comes to waste reduction. Since moving to California, I've seen a drastic difference in how people treat their waste. Back in my hometown, cashiers would double-bag my groceries (for heavy items). Here in California, I would be charged a bag fee. Because of this initiative to reduce waste, I decided to try out the 30 day zero-waste challenge to help change my habits.

However, it was incredibly difficult to keep up with the challenge, because changing habits is a slow and steady process. Instead, I decided to find a way to help motivated individuals live with less waste, one step at a time.

Who Will Benefit

I focused on two types of people who could benefit from this app. One type of user, which I would fall under, wishes to develop good habits on living sustainably, but doesn’t necessarily know where to begin. The other type of user can be kids, where this application can teach and motivate them to learn how to live with less waste.

Grow Your Garden

Because this was geared towards sustainable living, I thought the theme of gardening made a lot of sense. I brainstormed ways to simulate growing a garden, ideating on shopping for plants, completing habits associated with each plant that keep your garden healthy, and validating the ease of entry.

Challenges

The more ideas I generated, the more complex it seemed to get. I started focusing too much on the details of the game logistics and less on the important actions of tracking your habits. Bringing gamification to help you reach your lifestyle goals should not be as complex as applications that are merely serve as games.

Simplicity was the key factor to developing this experience, as it should be easy for any user to complete habits without the game element to complicate the app. I decided to strip out extraneous details, such as adding gardening tools as health points on the garden, or having multiple ways to keep your garden healthy.

Prototyping

Live Better

The screens below show the final iteration of Habitat, where you can have fun while sticking to your goals. Instead of trying to completely change your lifestyle and habits, this app helps you get to where you want to be, one step at a time.

Home Page

The home screen is comprised of the main view of your garden. Here, you can see the plants you bought and your garden’s health. Click on a plant to see its habit and stats. Complete the habit in real life and record it here, where you can gain health points and coins to further build your habitat.

Plant List

See a list view of the plants you own. Tap on plant card once you have completed your habit. Make sure you are completing your habits regularly, or your plants and garden will suffer!

Marketplace

Shop for more plants once you can keep up with your current habits. The plants on the market are one-time use and habits become more difficult. Challenge yourself by expanding your garden!

Buy Plant

If you wish to buy a Juniper Tree, it will cost you one coin and the habit of turning off the tap whenever you brush. But it’s worth it, because you’ll receive four coins per completion and see your plant bloom after you complete this habit three times.

Future Applications

Habitat can be applied to any part of your lifestyle that you want to change or improve. The experience can be applied to helping you live healthier, through a game where you are the physician who has to take care of all your patients. Habitat is currently under development, and any feedback is appreciated!

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