Designing a UX Mobile App for Hydration and Sustainability Tracking in Academia
Authors: Ana Filomena Curralo, Pedro Miguel Faria, Antonio Curado, Paula Azeredo, Sergio I. Lopes
Abstract: Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) are favored atmospheres in the civic training of their audiences, undertaking a major role in Global Sustainable Development. The management of waste packaging represents a huge environmental footprint, particularly the plastic water bottles which constitute a major example of everyday waste that directly impacts our lives, not only ecologically, but also economically. Hence, the project RefillH20 proposes to reduce the sales of plastic water bottles in the 6 schools of the Polytechnic Institute of Viana do Castelo (IPVC), respective bars, canteens, and halls of residence. For this purpose, a smartbottle, equipped with a radio frequency identification (RFID) chip, has been designed and integrated within an institutional ecosystem, that includes several smart refill stations, enabling an automatic filling process with no physical contact with the equipment. This approach enables not only the computation of water consumption metrics typically used for hydration assessment but also the computation of relevant sustainability metrics and indicators through a mobile application, such as the number of refills per period of time, amount of consumed water, the estimated amount of averted plastic waste considering different approaches (temporal, cumulative, individual or referring to colleges, classes, etc.), the energy-saving from overall waste reduction and reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and information on users’ environmental footprint. This work presents the development of a high fidelity UX Mobile App prototype, which aims to allow users of RefillH20 ecosystem to monitor their water intake habits, as well as their contribution to improving the overall environmental sustainability in academia, and thus promoting the creation of awareness regarding their effective ecological footprint. By using a UX Design approach, the users have been involved interactively with these new digital products and services idealization, through their appearance and how they feel, use and remember such interactions.
Keywords: Design, UX Mobile App, Hydration and Sustainability, Academia
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