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STEP 1. Background
Since global warming and other environmental problems are getting more severe, MTR has been taking an active role to put efforts into environmental protection. To encourage the general public to adopt a low carbon lifestyle, MTR planned to develop an application to motivate users to take different carbon reduction actions in their daily lives. The application is expected to be a standalone application that includes green action tasks of different aspects such as recycling, green dining, reduction of the waste of plastic bottles, reduction of carbon dioxide, and so on.
STEP 2. Business Challenge
Development of a one-stop application: The mission of Carbon Wallet is to help users to develop a long-term green lifestyle via taking different green actions. However, there was no one-stop application that allows users to do more than just recycling plastic bottles. It would be challenging to centralize various green activities, tasks and rewards in just one application.
Difficulty of quantifying the efforts: Users will be frustrated if they do not know how much they have done for the environment. Without clear numbers to show the users how much carbon dioxide they have reduced, they are more likely to be demotivated and give up on developing a green lifestyle.
Reward Types: To develop a green lifestyle, it is important to pay more attention to the product choice in our daily lives. Hence, other than encouraging the public to take more green actions, the rewards are also the key of this loyalty program. If users are allowed to claim non eco-friendly products, the green actions finished by the users will be in vain.
Verification: The verification of users’ actions is another big challenge when it comes to an “activity to point” reward program. Unlike “spend to point” loyalty programs, users need to do more than just spending money to claim different rewards. There will easily be situations of point abuse or cheating. For instance, multiple pictures might be taken for the same plastic bottle or the users may claim that they have recycled when they are far from the recycling points. Without careful design of the verification process, the system might misjudge the validity of the photos, leading to the problem of point abuse.
Tight Schedule: Normally, the time required for developing and launching an application would be approximately half a year. However, due to the tight timeline, the time limit for Carbon Wallet is shortened by 3 months, which would be a huge challenge for this project.
STEP 3. The Solution
Regular Challenges and Events: To redeem free green products, dining or activities offers, users need to take a picture whenever they are doing recycling work, dining in a green restaurant, or filling water. Carbon Wallet points (CW points) will be given to users if the photos uploaded are valid. With the aim of encouraging users to perform green actions regularly, the green challenges and events are designed for users to earn additional points. Take the Weekly Step Challenge as an example, the challenge requires users to walk more so as to earn 230 CW points. If the users accept the challenge, they will travel more on foot, and then the reliance on gasoline-fuelled vehicles will be lowered. Hopefully, the release of carbon dioxide will be lowered in the long term.
Motivating Interface Design: On the home page of Carbon Wallet, the equivalencies of CW points transferred into reduced carbon dioxide are shown clearly on the top of the interface. Such a design generates a sense of satisfaction to the users, letting them know how much they have done for the environment. The improvement of users’ performance between weeks is also recorded, with extra rewards, users are more likely to be motivated to do better over weeks, and thereby to develop a long-term green lifestyle rather than just once or twice.
Green Rewards: One of the ideas that Carbon Wallet would like to promote is “Green In, Green Out.” As an activity-based loyalty program, users are encouraged to take different green actions to claim CW points, which is considered as “green in”. As for “green out”, users may enjoy the organic and eco-friendly rewards provided by different reward partners such as WWF, Leisurely Veggie, Eco-Greenergy, and so on. Instead of commercial rewards, providing organic and eco-friendly rewards may help users to foster the habit of choosing organic products, having more vegan meals, so as to develop a green lifestyle and protect the environment.
Verification With GPS: For verification, users have to take a photo when they are doing recycling work in designated recycling spots. The GPS location technology will determine if the users were in the recycling spots when the photos were taken. The photos will also be checked manually to see if they meet the recycling requirements or not. No CW points will be given to users who submitted a fake or unqualified photo. Without the trouble of installing large recycling kiosks, using a photo-taking system to track down users’ activities made the process more convenient and cost-efficient.
Scrum Methodology: To handle the tight timeline, Motherapp adopted scrum methodology to increase the efficiency of the development process. Using the scrum methodology, the application development process of MotherApp is agile with a great level of flexibility. If there are any changes or updates required for the application, they can be finished quickly without starting over the project. Apart from that, with more than ten years of experience, MotherApp is skilled in composing UX design and developing loyalty programs. Aillia is designed to assist the loyalty program-building process. Different models, codings, and interfaces could be applied to the new application developing process, which is much more effective.
STEP 4. The Results
Loved by Users: Apart from on-time delivery, the ratings and reviews are positive on Appstore. Carbon Wallet received 4.6 stars for average rating, which is positive and it proved that the users are satisfied with Carbon Wallet. An UX design approach allows us to develop the application from the perspective of users, their thoughts and convenience are considered during the designing process. One of the comments mentioned “The layout is nice and it is easy to spot major functions. Overall experience is good.”, meaning that the user experience of Carbon Wallet is nice.
Promotion of Organic Brands: By partnering with different organic restaurants or NGOs, Carbon Wallet acts as a medium for these organizations to promote their works and products. Once they are promoted, the users of Carbon Wallet will be more likely to visit and support them, leading to the revenue and awareness gain of these organic brands.
On Time Delivery: As mentioned, the time limit for the Carbon Wallet project is exceptionally short. It was quite challenging to launch an application in 3 months. Yet, with the help of Aillia, the flexibility and swiftness were enhanced during the developing stage, so that the application was able to launch on time.
Different Use of Loyalty Program: Carbon Wallet marked as a breakthrough of the loyalty program, proving that the model of loyalty schemes can be used in different aspects other than businesses. Apart from encouraging users to purchase, loyalty programs can also motivate people to develop positive habits, just like the case of Carbon Wallet.
程式深受用戶喜愛：除了能在限期前成功開發和準時推出外，Carbon Wallet 應用程式亦在 App Store 應用程序商店裡收獲用家的正面評分和評論。Carbon Wallet 應用程式在 5 星評分中得到平均 4.6 星的評價，顯示了整體使用者對應用程式的滿意度。正是因爲應用了用戶介面設計 (UX design)，使我們能使用更貼合使用者的角度去開發，考慮到他們的想法與使用時的便利性。我們從其中一個用家評價「(應用程式的)版面完善，用家可以容易找到各主要功能。整體用戶體驗佳。」(“The layout is nice and it is easy to spot major functions. Overall experience is good”) 可見，用家對我們在優化用戶介面上付出的努力的肯定。