Context & Overview

This project was completed for my Independent Thesis Studio, where we were tasked with addressing the global issue of climate change through design.


As individuals, it is difficult to know just how much of an impact we have on the environment. Most people have heard of the common eco-friendly habits of reusing water bottles, not using plastic straws, etc., but for many, these lifestyle changes seem too minuscule to make any significant difference in the grand scheme of climate change.


Ecobuddy provides users with a wide range of measures that they can take to live more sustainably. With this app, people can visualize and track their cumulative environmental impact over time. By quantifying environmental impact through ecological footprints and earth overshoot days, Ecobuddy demonstrates how small lifestyle changes, while seemingly inconsequential, do add up and make an impact at the end of the day.


How can environmental impact be quantified?

Ecological Footprints represent the human demand for resources vs. the Earth's ability to produce these resources. While seemingly infinite factors can impact one's ecological footprint, was used as a reference for core lifestyle aspects that would be surveyed during app onboarding.

Common ways to quantify an ecological footprint include global hectares and Earth Overshoot Days.

Sample factors that can affect your ecological footprint:

Market Research Insights

75 participants were surveyed, and a follow up interview was administered to 3 survey participants.

18-35 year olds were found to be the largest age group taking action to live more sustainably and combat climate change.

79% of participants were familiar with the concept of an ecological footprint, but less than half of those participants have ever calculated their own.

From my market research, I found many people were already frequently doing common things such as recycling and turning off lights when leaving a room. Other habits, such as using reusable grocery bags and water bottles, are things most participants do sometimes, but not always.

Main factors preventing them from regularly doing other eco-friendly lifestyle habits (that are currently accessible to them), are forgetfulness, inconvenience, and not knowing where to begin.

Competitive Analysis

To get a stronger sense of foundation, I investigated the current eco-app scene to gauge what makes them successful, and where they fall short in accomplishing user needs.

Critical points to consider:

  • Avoid information overload
  • Clear visualization of progress
  • An informative learning space
  • Straightforward navigation

Design Execution

Information Architecture

Low-fidelity Prototyping

Paper + Pencil Sketches

Before moving on to the higher fidelity visuals of the user interface, I spent some time ideating through paper and pencil wireframes. This process allowed me to do some rapid prototyping in order to get an idea of what some basic user interaction flows would look like.


To start off building the foundation of the digital interface, I began creating low-fidelity wireframes and mapping out user flows.

High Fidelity Prototypes & Animation

Once the user flow was mapped out, the designs were further developed into a high-fidelity prototype with animations.

Final Design

Prototype Walkthrough

Style Guide

By using a bright green and blue as the main colors of Eco buddy, I wanted to evoke the imagery of Earth while also retaining a playful and lively vibe. This helps to sell the app as approachable and friendly, encouraging users to dive right in to the world of eco-friendly living.


As someone who often felt helpless when it came to the issue of climate change, working on Eco buddy was quite rewarding for me. This was my first independent app design project, and I've definitely learned a lot along the way. I was able to refine and streamline my research and design process, as well as further develop my prototyping and animation skills.

Main takeaways:

  • Think big, narrow it down later.
  • When it comes to feedback, early and often is key.
  • Iterate, iterate, and iterate again.
  • Change is inevitable, and should be embraced.

This project was conducted during the height of the COVID-19 Pandemic, and like most things, it didn't quite go according to plan. Communication and feedback is essential; and with everyone isolated, we had to adapt to virtual discourse and adjust our project pipelines accordingly.