My role: Chief Design Officer
Design tools: Figma, Adobe XD, InDesign
About the project: ​​Ecolect is a sustainable application that serves as a resource hub and community platform for individuals seeking to live eco-friendly lifestyles. It provides users with information, tips, and tools to make environmentally conscious decisions in their everyday lives.
This project was part of EIA, an intensive international entrepreneurship program, that emerged from concept to execution, involving the formation of teams and delivering a final pitch in less than 15 days.
Understanding the Problem
In today's world, individuals face increasing challenges in making environmentally responsible choices. The lack of easily accessible information often leaves people uncertain about the environmental impact of their decisions, leading to unsustainable consumption patterns and environmental degradation. Additionally, the absence of a supportive community increases the difficulty in adopting and maintaining eco-friendly lifestyles. As a result, there is a pressing need for a sustainable application that not only provides users with reliable information, practical tips, and tools for making informed decisions but also provides a sense of belonging within a supportive community.
User Needs
•Demonstrate individuals’ impact on the environment based on their lifestyle to emphasize the importance of personalized feedback and data visualization, and to help them understand their environmental footprint better
•Use gamification to engage the younger generation and educate in a playful and interactive way
•Collect data for better information to provide users with actionable insights and personalized recommendations
•Visual measurement and reduction of carbon footprint
•Encourage sustainable product choices in promoting sustainable brands, tools, and services
SWOT Analysis
First, we decided to focus on the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats of the project we were creating. We understood that it's important to know the internal and external factors that will impact the design, marketing, and branding processes. ​​​​​​​
Competitive Analysis
We next focused on conducting competitive analyses of brands offering similar services. Our primary goal was to gain insights into the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) of their companies. Through this process, we identified key areas of differentiation, made decisions regarding our own business strategy, and positioned our product to address key market areas. 
Target Market Research
Since the program took place in Portugal and I had a very diverse team from around the globe, we decided to create an inclusive app for everyone. However, we quickly faced the challenge of data collection difficulty. Based on our research, we knew that the United States, European, North African, and Asian countries contribute the most to the ecological footprint. After consulting with business strategists, we decided to focus on the United States, due to the international growth potential and easy to identify areas for positive ecological change. 
User Personas
After gaining insights from User Needs, SWOT Analysis, Competitive Analysis, and Market Research, we were able to establish potential two types of User Personas. The first group comprises people consciously living a sustainable lifestyle and actively contributing to environmental improvement. The second group consists of "conscious beginners" who are interested in improving the earth but are not sure where to start.
User Interviews
We decided to focus on user interviews over user surveys for in-depth exploration of users' experiences, motivations, and needs. On top of that, we were able to build personal connections, observe body languages during interviews, have honest responses, and gain unexpected insights. Use this link to access interview questions and responses.

User Interview Interpretation and Key Takeaways:
Based on the responses provided by the interviewees, many individuals are aware of the need for sustainable behavior, however, various challenges, such as convenience, cost, and lack of accessible alternatives, prevent their ability from fully adopting sustainable practices. While there is general awareness on sustainability there is a gap in the deeper knowledge of sustainability .

1. Participants generally view sustainable behavior as actions and decisions that meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. It involves being mindful of environmental, social, and economic impacts, and making choices that minimize harm to the planet and its resources.
2. The survey revealed that many people still have unsustainable habits in terms of housing, eating, and commuting. A significant number of respondents live in large houses or consume energy-intensive resources. Dietary habits showed a preference for meat-heavy diets, and a reliance on gas-powered vehicles for daily transportation,  though they are public transportation.
3. While there is a general awareness of sustainability and its importance, the survey showed gaps in deeper knowledge. While recycling and reducing plastic usage electric vehicles, solar panel rebates, plastic/glass bottle returns for refunds, and bans on plastic bags were well known, some respondents have limited awareness of sustainability initiatives while others express skepticism about the extent of their country's commitment to sustainability.
4. Several factors influence individual actions towards sustainability. These include financial limitations, convenience, lack of information, and social norms. To promote sustainable behaviors, these barriers need to be addressed through education, incentives, and systemic changes.
5. A majority of respondents expressed interest in a mobile application or solution that could provide tips, information, and resources to adopt sustainable practices conveniently. The app should be user-friendly, have a social platform for sharing experiences, and offer rewards or incentives for sustainable choices.​​​​​​​
Card Sorting
After carefully analyzing interview responses, conducting brainstorming sessions, and organizing card sorting exercises, we identified important features for further implementation in the app.
Eco-friendly habit tips: Tips and guides for adopting sustainable habits in daily life.
Eco-tracker: Track and manage personal carbon footprint and resource consumption. Energy and water usage and monitoring and spending insights
Sustainable shopping: Provide information on ethically responsible and environmentally friendly products.
Community platform: A social space to share experiences, ideas, and challenges in sustainable living. Allowing users to connect to like minded people.
News and updates: Information on the latest developments in sustainability and climate action. Including government guidelines to help make informed decisions.
Goal setting: Set and track progress towards achieving personal sustainability goals.
Rewards: Offer rewards for eco-friendly choices to encourage continuous sustainable behavior.
We identified three main user journeys and based on that created information architecture.

User Flow 1: User lands on the main page, takes the test, receives results, and is able to access recommendations & interpretation.

User Flow 2: User lands on the main page, logs in, takes the test, and gains access to results, while information is stored in his/her data collection for future reference.

User Flow 3: User wants to attend an event and socialize based on his/her own day and location preferences.
Low-Fidelity Paper Prototype
Mid-Fidelity Digital Prototype
High-Fidelity Clickable Prototype 
Conclusion & Key Learnings
During our intensive 15-day innovation program, I was fortunate to collaborate with an exceptional, creative, and dedicated team of five individuals. Each of us brought unique backgrounds and perspectives to the table, contributing to something greater than ourselves. Together, we encountered challenges, celebrated victories, and ultimately united to construct a platform that mirrors our collective commitment to social responsibility and environmental stewardship. This project serves as a testament to the power of collaboration, growth, and leadership that I experienced throughout this transformative journey.
In my role as the Chief Design Officer, I had the opportunity to enhance my skills by engaging with fellow designers from the program. Listening to the diverse needs of individuals and collaborating with other creatives widened my understanding of design principles. This journey not only expanded my technical abilities but also deepened my appreciation for the collective impact of teamwork and creativity in driving meaningful change. 

Key Learnings:
•I learned that fear only serves to limit our potential. By not being shy or afraid to reach out, we open ourselves up to a world of endless opportunities and possibilities.
•I realized that learning isn't just about absorbing knowledge from people. It's equally about teaching of the experiences and perspectives of my own. We're all teachers and learners in this journey.
•Understanding users isn't always straightforward. People often struggle to articulate their needs, which pushes us to dig deeper into the psychology behind their actions. Empathy and intuition are crucial in design process.
•Great design doesn't happen overnight. It's the result of countless iterations, each one refining and polishing the concept further. It's a process of trial and error.
•Collaboration isn't just about working together, it's about creating a space where everyone feels empowered to speak up, knowing that the best solutions emerge from collective creativity.