Keep it Cool — progress #02
This post is intended to report the advances and the current stage of this ongoing project.
"Keep it Cool" is an interactive campaign with the goal to raise awareness and to encourage people to make small, incremental, behavior changes that will help mitigate the effects of Global Warming. The primary audience is people who are somehow aware of the problem but don't know how they can help.
I started the research phase by talking with people and conducting a survey. I posted the survey (which had the goal to understand the level of knowledge people have as well as how much of an urgent issue this is and how they address it) into different Facebook groups about climate change (including one of people questioning it). From my research (combining the survey's replies and some interviews), I reached the following insights:
"I'm trying (to do my part). Not sure what's anyone's part is"
People are concerned but are not sure what they can do to help fight global warming.
"I use social media to alert people and share knowledge."
"I see no point (in arguing with deniers), their minds are closed."
Although it is very difficult to change a deniers mind, sharing knowledge is still the main way people get involved in this matter.
From these insights, and after doing some secondary research, to better understand this complex system (and how individuals can contribute to mitigating the effects of global warming), I generated 2 "how might we" questions, that basically redefined this project's goal:
1 - How might we provide the knowledge and the tools for people to engage in reducing their carbon footprint, by promoting small, doable, changes?
2 - How might we create a campaign that can help people spread their knowledge and invite people to act against global warming?
My vision for this project was to create a big campaign that would mix different media and different approaches. It would include a strong visual system, with some traditional ad-campaign pieces (posters, stickers, t-shirts, brochures, and social media presence), and an interactive app, which would have features like a carbon footprint reducer tool, offset certificates gifts, argue back (a text composer with credible sources of information to create replies in discussions about the topic), petition signer/creator, information resources, daily facts/tips, and more.
Considering the scope and duration of this project, I decided to focus on one main feature of the app, which is the Carbon Footprint Reducer Tool. Reducing each person's carbon footprint is one of the main ways in which individuals can do their part in mitigating the effects of global warming. There are some great Carbon Footprint Calculators online, but they are quite complex and difficult to use (there are multiple fields to be filled, and some of them require data that people don't usually know by heart). After some brief interviews, I realized that the simple fact of tracking some behavior change that will have a positive impact in the world can be enough to drive people to use it, even without tracking the actual carbon footprint changes.
Here is how this feature will work:
Users select (from a list) which actions they want to start doing. They then set their current state and desired goal for one week (the idea is to make small, incremental, changes, week by week). The app will help them remind and keep track of their weekly progress, as well as challenging other people to join them in those activities (using competition to create awareness and encourage more people to join). Below are some sketches of these features:
I will simplify the product, to create a testable prototype of it for next week. There are too many features and ideas that I would like to implement, but focusing on just a few seems the right choice to validate them, and to make sure I meet this project's deadline.