MyCarbon Trackr 

Taking on Your Carbon Footprint, One Trip At a Time


Project Overview

MyCarbon Trackr is a mobile application that helps keep track of your carbon footprint based on your transportation choices. 

Project Details

  • 2 week duration
  • My Role: UX Designer & Researcher
  • Solo project


  • Interviewing
  • User Journeys
  • User Flows
  • User Archetypes
  • Storyboarding
  • Competitive / Comparative Analysis   
  • Wireframing

The Challenge

Raising Awareness

Climate change is no longer an abstract issue we can choose to ignore. Rising sea levels, devastating wildfires and heatwaves are now a part of our daily news cycle. After conducting research on the topic of carbon emissions, I discovered some pretty eye-opening numbers. The average American’s carbon footprint is 20 metric tons per year, resulting in 5.1 billion metric tons of CO2 emitted by just the United States alone. It is easy to feel like these pressing issues are too large for any one person to begin to address.

The challenge that came into focus was how can I help empower individuals to learn more about what their daily transportation carbon footprint is and create new habits that will reduce their CO2 impact.   

The Proposed Solution

Changing Our Habits

MyCarbon Trackr is a mobile app that allows its users to easily visualize and keep track of their transportation carbon footprint.
By shining light on the users transportation habits it will raise their awareness, allow them to make educated decisions and empower them to do their part in tackling climate change.

The success of the application can be measured quantitatively through user engagement and an overall reduction in their carbon footprint.

Initial Steps: Research

Getting To Know The Users

The beginning of MyCarbon Trackr’s journey from concept to app began with research. During this important phase of the design process I wanted to focus on three main components:

1. Interviews with potential users. 

2. Affinity mapping and user personas.

3. Feature prioritization based on insights.

User Interviews

Learning Where the Need Is

Before conducting user interviews, I wanted to ensure that the interview questions that I wrote out would be the most conducive towards gaining the information I was looking for. This proved challenging, as I didn’t want the questions to be leading, or promote any sort of confirmation bias.

The top three things that I wanted to learn during the interviews were:
  1. What kind of demand is there for the MyCarbon Trackr app?
  2. How can the MyCarbon Trackr app help reduce any pain points users currently have?
  3. What are the type of ways users can interact with the MyCarbon Trackr app?

Once I had a framework on the core questions I wanted to explore, I conducted five in-person interviews with a demographically diverse pool of users.

The Results

The interviews revealed several recurrent pain points that every interviewee experienced in relation to their carbon footprint. The most popular statements include the following:

“I have no idea what my carbon footprint is!”

“I would be very curious to find out what my CO2 emissions are.” 

“I want something that autologs my commute and does all the work for me.”

Affinity Mapping

Noticing Common Threads

Identifying our target users

Honing in on a Design Solution

After I synthesized the user interview data, I was able to better identify who my target users are, their needs and their pain points.  I wove together this information to create several user personas that are strongly rooted in research. Each persona illustrates the motivations, barriers, and needs that different MyCarbon Trackr users could potentially have.


Weaving a Narrative

Pulling from my user personas I began to draw out a storyboard illustrating an experience a user would have with the MyCarbon Trackr app. This exercise helped me visualize potential touchpoints as I embarked upon my initial design. 

Paper Prototyping

Learning Through Testing

For my next step I wanted to quickly iterate some paper prototypes to learn if my design was user friendly and gain insights on how it could be improved. The three tasks I asked users to complete included creating an account, sharing their leaderboard status and viewing their weekly emissions total. All 5 of the users I tested were able to complete all of the tasks without any help or prompts.

Task 1: Creating an Account

Here, the user was asked to set up an account. All of the users breezed through, and even stated that the flow felt “easy”, “intuitive”, and “quick” to navigate.

Task 2: Sharing Leaderboard Status

For this task the user was asked to locate and share their leaderboard status. Some of the testers had a little trouble locating the floating action button where the leaderboard icon was tucked away but once they found it they completed the task without any further difficulty.

Task 3: Viewing Weekly Emissions Total

The final task of a user viewing their weekly carbon emissions was a fairly straightforward prompt. What I was curious about is if any of the users would be able to find a secondary way of reaching the stats page by holding down on their profile image. Since this type of haptic touch is difficult to test for on a paper prototype all of the users accessed their stats by way of the “fab”.


Setting The Design Framework

Before I began wireframing I looked at a variety of different apps and took note of which styles, sequences, and motifs could inform my design. One key consideration that stayed with me during this exercise was that I wanted to design something clean, elegant and easy to use.

Task 1

Getting into wireframes was an exciting step because it allowed me to begin to play with colors, typography and visual hierarchies. Here, the onboarding process is made as simple and straightforward as possible through the help of a clean palette and consistent layout. 

Task 2

The Leaderboard and the ability to share to social media was an important element that went through multiple iterations in order to get right as these were both important features in the MyCarbon Trackr app.  

Task 3

At the core of the MyCarbon Trackr app is the ability to quantify abstract data and make it fun, meaningful and easily digestible for the user to process and interact with. The ‘My Activity’ feature allows the user to gain an understanding of their transit carbon footprint across different spans of time. 

The Design

Cool! How Does It All Look?

The design of MyCarbon Trackr speaks to a clean and colorful aesthetic whose functionality  prioritizes the user at every step. 

Task 1


Task 2

Task 3

Results & Reflections

That’s Great, Now What Does It All Mean?

When I first embarked on this design I thought I had a clear idea in my mind of what I wanted MyCarbon Trackr to be, an app that would allow users to plug in directions on a map and then have routes and modes of travel suggested to them based on the least amount of carbon output. 

What emerged from my user interviews, multiple design iterations and rounds of testing was a product that was ultimately far more exciting and comprehensive. The entire design process provided me with some great learning opportunities:

  • I (re)learned the obvious, to not get overly attached to your first idea, some exciting things may be waiting around the corner!
  • Design, iterate, test and repeat.
  • Keep it simple! No need to overcomplicate things!

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