Habitat helps motivate individuals seeking to live a zero-waste lifestyle through gamification.
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.
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.
The more ideas I generated, the more complex it became. I focused too much on game logistics and less on the important actions of tracking habits.
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 the garden healthy.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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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