Apple Climate: Track your environmental involvement and carbon footprint.          —          UX/UI, Product Design          —          Autumn 2017          —          Individual Project

Apple Climate


An interactive environmental platform where users track their environmental involvement

and carbon footprint statistics, encouraging environmental awareness one phone at a time.

The Challenge

There are already significant signs, epidemics, and disasters caused by climate change around the world; it has become an extremely pressing problem for humanity. It is our responsibility more than ever to get everyone involved in this crisis. I wanted to challenge myself to create a viable solution that could bring awareness to the environmental issues that are damaging our planet and encourage everyone to get involved and take action. 

My Approach


Many people are aware of climate change, but too many people that believe and care about climate change don't know how to, or don't put enough effort into taking the steps to make a difference and contribute to the cause. I decided that creating something accessible to everyone could serve as the first step in encouraging the community to become more proactive in sustainability.

Concept Development

By using affinity diagramming techniques and comparative analysis, I brainstormed different ways of consumer-end sustainability methods with the technologies and capabilities that can be widely available to environmentally-conscious citizens. My first round of ideations were divergent and led me to think of multifaceted ways to broadly address the issue: Smart disposal bins, community reward systems, environmental engagement tax deductions, etc. After narrowing down options with convergent thinking, I came to a conclusion that creating a semi-social data tracking application would be a viable way to encourage consumer-end engagement.

Information Visualization

The functionalities and implications of the application I want to design require high prioritization of information visualization and relies heavily on how the neatly presented statistics are interpreted and internalized by the user. Throughout the project, I kept in mind how to effectively present data in a way that encourages users to keep their carbon footprint in check.


Target User Group

Environmentally-conscious active application users looking for a multifaceted interactive platform to increase their awareness of environmental challenges and encourage their individual participation to counteract the negative impact of climate change. 

Design Goals

To create a semi-social climate change application that would send reminders for the user to habituate positive climate change practices and involvement as well as display personal trends that help the user visualize, monitor, and reduce their carbon footprint.

Some of the application's features and functionalities would include:​

  • The ability to log and compute consumer-end climate data.

  • Provide statistics and trends on the user's recycling and composting habits, electricity usage, and carbon footprint.

  • Provide tips and techniques to educate the user on sustainability, energy efficiency, and waste minimization.

  • Provide a news feed regarding recent climate-related stories.

  • Display local recycling and composting destinations.

  • Notification reminders on how to be energy savvy and limit carbon emissions.

  • Generic weather widget.


Multifaceted Engagement

By replacing the well-consulted weather application with a climate focused dashboard (that also holds the same capabilities as the regular weather app), the regular users of the weather app will be exposed to new features and tools to encourage them to become more environmentally-conscious.

Methods of engagement:

  • Logging personal data to visualize trends.

  • Monitoring energy use data provided by third party energy suppliers.

  • Receiving personal carbon footprint statistics derived from machine learning calculations that are based on data collected from the user and third party suppliers.

  • Consuming targeted news feed about environmental subjects.

  • Using maps to identify nearby resources such as recycling and compost collection locations, farmer's markets, etc.

Affinity Diagramming

As a concept development tool, I used affinity diagramming to brainstorm and organize important design ideas. Through this sprint activity, I gained clarity on the users I am targeting, the purpose of my design, the ethics of my design, how my design will engage users, and how information is collected, packaged, and displayed.



I created high-fidelity functional wireframes with Adobe Experience Design and used Principle to create animation mockups. Above is a snippet of my prototyping workflow in Adobe XD during the process of optimization for the iPhone X.

Usability Testing


I gave functional wireframes of my design to students that demonstrated an interest in sustainability across the University of Washington Seattle campus to conduct usability tests. After the usability test, I asked each user how difficult performing each task was, and gave them an opportunity to critique the application.


Some of my findings include:

  • Unintuitive or inconsistent back button on Recycling + Composting, Energy Usage, and Carbon Footprint pages.

  • Lack of prompting to scroll downwards on the Maps + Tips page to reach the Sustainability Tips dashboard.


These areas of improvement were addressed in my following design iterations by using Apple UI assets to mark a back-to-home navigation prompt that would be more familiar to users. For the Recycling + Composting, Energy Usage, and Carbon Footprint pages, I used Apple's standard for navigation elements (the default font presented in the color blue placed in the top corner) to create my navigation button. For the lack of prompting to scroll downwards on the Maps + Tips page, I used the horizontal bar seen on iPhone X devices to suggest the upwards swiping motion.

User Flow / Information Architecture

Final Design

iPhone 6/6S, 7, 8, X

Optimized for:


© 2020 — Verliquaoar Chen