Ocean Defenders is an app designed as a contest submission on behalf of the Xprize Big Ocean Button challenge. It focuses on the massive garbage problem in the oceans, and “gameifys” collecting and disposing of trash in a meaningful, engaging and educational way for both kids and adults. Judging and voting commences on September 1st, 2017. Project Duration: February 2017 – December 2017 Project Type: Pollution awareness app and game Designed For: Xprize Big Ocean Button Challenge contest My Contributions: UX/UI Design and Project Manager Programs Used: Sketch, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, UX Pin, Balsamiq Website: https://herox.com/bigoceanbutton Nautilus Innovation Behance page: https://www.behance.net/NautilusInnovations Click here to demo the app on UX Pin Click here to see the Ocean Defenders app presentation Strategy Why It Was CreatedThe ocean is filled with trash. From plastic to fishing line, diapers, paper, glass and metal, our ocean looks more and more each day like a landfill rather than a beautiful, majestic ocean. This app is focused on addressing that issue head on. Target AudienceThe focus of the app is on kids who enjoy beach combing and live near a large body of water (lake, river, ocean, etc), or are otherwise concerned about the health of the ocean. Inspirations: Pokemon Go and HabiticaPokemon Go encourages users of all ages to go outside, exercise and explore their surroundings in order to catch Pokemon, gain items and challenge gym leaders (ie, other users who have ``taken over`` a certain landmark). The game has been so popular, even a plethora of non Pokemon fans downloaded and currently play the game. Habitica, while lesser known has had a similar effect among a wide age group. It is a RPG style game where users create an avatar. Their selected character levels up and gains access to equipment as the player completes tasks in real life (ie walk the dog, do homework), while characters lose health if they fail to complete a task (ie forget to walk the dog, eat junk food, etc). This app has proven to be popular among individuals of all ages, including college students. Both of these games have encouraged positive activity, especially from individuals on the autism spectrum who are otherwise wary of going outside and may not effectively complete tasks, but are eager to do so if the game they are playing encourages it! Research Collecting trash abundance and current direction dataThere are a plethora of organizations who are currently tracking marine debris. Some of them are reported in scientific journals, while others are actively collected in databases. This particular app will aim to increase the database collected by TIDES; Trash Information and Data for Education and Solutions on behalf of the Ocean Conservancy. Data collected by users will be stored as Google Maps pins to show active beach and watershed cleanups. It will also sync with NOAA ARGOS buoy databases, which collect current data to educate users about where and how trash travels through the ocean. Here is the TIDES website Analysis Other apps tackling this issueThere are two apps currently on the Google Play store which address this issue head on; Marine Debris Tracker (Southeast Atlantic Marine Debris Initiative/University of Georgia) and Clean Swell (Ocean Conservancy). Although this is a typical competitor analysis, I like to think of this as analyzing our current ``allies`` and seeing how we can better help the cause. Click the photos to see the apps in the Google Play store. Marine Debris Tracker app Clean Swell app Current app weaknessesThe Marine Debris tracker app is not visually appealing. It is also rather confusing to operate, and it is quite bare bones as far as features go. It does automatically register your lat/long coordinates and show leader boards however, which is pretty cool! The Clean Swell app is surprisingly well designed! It allows users to simply and easily swap between adding and removing trash from the submission page. It also awards badges to users who pick up a certain estimated weight of trash. However, the app is focused on the individual user, and not on the community of people who pick up trash, as there is no leaderboards present (which the Marine Debris Tracker app has). It also does not include forums or any notifications of trash clean up days, or an interactive map to show and educate users about currents and where trash winds up.User Feedback User research has been conducted on behalf of Inland Ocean Coalition, a nonprofit organization based in Boulder, CO. We sampled a total of 35 individuals age 5 – 16 in a one on one, in person setting. Questions asked included: – When you go to the beach, lake or river and you see trash, do you pick it up and throw it away? – Do you feel more motivated to do good when there is an incentive? – On a scale of 1 – 5, how much do you care about garbage in the oceans? – What are some of the things you would like to know about when visiting the beach? – How can picking up trash be made fun and engaging? – Are you aware of the types of trash in the oceans and how it affects marine life, as well as how much garbage is currently in the oceans? I also did a test where I laid out several items; fishing line, a cork, plastic, rubber, cardboard, tin can, etc. I also had cards available, which identify breakdown duration period. Testers were then asked to rank which took the longest, and asked to rank how long it took each material to degrade in the ocean. They were then asked to rank on a scale of 1 – 5 how important it is for them to know about this information. Results: – Younger individuals required more motivation to pick up trash; older individuals simply picked up trash. Interestingly enough, I found that individuals who were autistic (regardless of age) greatly preferred motivation and gameification factors. – One other factor I had not considered is that kids want to know what kind of animals are in their local areas, and how trash is affecting them. – Most were unaware of the immense garbage problem in the ocean, but once they found out, they wanted to know more about what types of animals were affected by what kinds of trash. – Gameification features such as medals were mentioned (as this relates to Xbox Achievements and other things they are rewarded for in video games). – Most kids did not correctly guess the degradation times of the garbage presented to them (most adults are unaware of it as well). However, almost all of them rated it a 5, indicating this is information they really need to know about. Here is the Inland Ocean Coalition website PersonasThe app is targeted at kids ranging from those who first received a smartphone to mid teens, roughly 8 - 15 year old demographic. Because children are receiving smartphones at such young ages, we can capitalize on that and turn it into an educational opportunity! Customer Journey MapThis is a ``emotion based`` map which gives us a understanding of what goes on before, during and after our app is used and how that affects our users happiness and satisfaction levels. SitemapHere you can see the beta outline of the app with the main features. Design App featuresThe app largely builds on the foundation which Marine Debris Tracker and Clean Swell have developed; make logging trash not only easy, but fun and rewarding. Taking the extra step to add RPG elements will really help engage users. Furthermore, it will include an interactive map displaying currents and coordinates where trash was collected, leaderboards, an events page and customizable features for your avatar.Rough wireframe pre sketchesHere are some rough sketches prior to the conventional wireframe mockups. IOS Wireframe samplesHere are the IOS mockups, displayed on an Iphone X. Mockups were created using Balsamiq. Android Wireframe samplesHere are the Android mockups, which were created using Balsamiq. Production Ocean Defenders v 1.0 design samplesHere are the version 1 UI samples of Ocean Defenders. Future Iterations Gameification considerationsWhen approaching user experience design from a gaming perspective, it is important to consider how to make the experience more challenging and rewarding for users. Although we do not have a clear approach yet, we approach the transition from easy to to difficult using the method shown here. Potential sample biases and app shortcomings – Some smart phones are not water resistant; limits the ability to use if wet. – The game aspect opens up the possibility of inaccurate trash reports for the sake of leveling up the individual’s avatar. This is a problem Habitica faces as well. Future Possible Features – Built in forums – Additional skins and customizable features – Sync ability with Meetup.com – “Trash calculator”, which asks users to track how much garbage they use in one day What I learned from this project – How to manage a team, select talent (including myself, two developers, a graphic designer and a data scientist). Hiring and managing team members. – Further developing my wireframe and UI skills – Developing a project under pressure. – How to bring attention to a large ecological problem and make it accessible to the public.