February 2021 - February 2022
Education is the first step to taking climate action. Climate Trivia aims to educate students about the climate crisis and gives them resources and infographics to understand the issue.
Climate Trivia Origin
Over the years, I've become interested in helping out in the climate change space. I feel like it's the biggest challenge we have to face as a world. However, as a designer, I've never really knew how to get involved. I got the gist of climate change but I never knew the science around it.
I knew I wanted to focus this passion project on Climate Change education but for people, who are like me, that want to learn more about climate change and want to get involved but don't know how. I did some initial user interviews to make sure I wasn't the only one as well as see what the general attitude about climate change was.
The thing that has bothered me about Climate Change as it has been portrayed in the media and pop culture is that they tell you that climate change is happening but they don't say why it's happening or what we can do to help. So, I want to make learning about climate change to be fun while also educating people about the science behind it.... the only issue is I have to learn the science myself and I can't do it alone.
What I Did
I did everything so far. The user interviews, the climate trivia questions I'm asking and the prototyping.
Having said that, I am looking for graphic designers (to help with infographics), UX researchers (to help with UX research) and environmental experts (to help with questions)
I put out a survey to online design communities I'm a part of and I also posted on my LinkedIn connections.
25 people answered the survey. I asked three main questions: How much do you know about the science behind Climate Change?, How much knowledge about climate change would you say you know? and What do you think is stopping you from learning more about climate change?
Here were the takeaways:
Sure there were a couple of responses who felt they knew a lot about the science behind climate change, but these responses validate that people want to know more about the science behind climate change, even though they already know the gist, which is my theory.
This question was interesting compared to the first question. But I think overall, this is encouraging that there are people who feel like they know some stuff about it but not at an expert level.
There was one response who felt that they knew everything on the first question but didn't put them at 10 for knowing everything on this scale.
This question is where I gave them three choices (which were the three most popular responses to this question). I also gave them fill-in responses in case that wasn't how they were feeling. The answers to this question made me rethink my whole project to be honest because I do want to educate people on climate change but there is this extra element that it is too anxiety-inducing and too depressing.
Which I understand, I get that way too when thinking about climate change. But I also think there should be an element to giving people hope and optimism for the future in what I create.
I also figured that being busy and not sure what to do would be the most common answer since that is what I would answer.
The user interviews were used to get a sense of what their feelings are around climate change and what they've been doing so far to get to the point. At the end of the survey, I asked if people wanted to be user interviewed and to give me their email to schedule. So of the 25 participants, 9 had indicated they were interested. I then emailed those 9 people and 5 had responded back with their available times.
After I interviewed 5 people, I organized what they said in an affinity map using FigJam. I sorted their quotes into 13 categories. Since that is a lot, I'm going to highlight the 3 biggest points I've found.
1) Users don't know what to do
They've been told to recycle more and go to protests and etc. But they can't see how much impact they are making from one single action. Although they also expressed that they are busy with their job and other things, they also feel like something urgent needs to happen.
I can understand this pain point. For the last couple of years I've never been sure of what to do either. However, I feel like if I educate myself and get involved in the community, I feel more connected than ever.
2) Governments and Corporate Businesses could be doing more and should care just as much
Although, users aren't sure of what to do in terms of individual efforts. They are aware of the fact that there are bills that needs to pass. Although corporate businesses has gotten better over time, they also have to be better too.
As I've done more research on Climate Change, a lot of waste is caused by big corporations and the narattive around climate change recently has been that it's all because of us. When in reality, it's also about oil companies, plastic manufacturers and other industries who rely on fossil fuels instead of alternative energy. If they did change how they do things to be more sustainable, it would make a much bigger impact on the world than any individual effort.
People who are curious about climate change want to educate themselves on climate change but don't know what to do in order to improve the future of the world.
By providing education, resources, and infographics in a trivia style game, those who are curious in climate change will have a better sense of what to do and be encouraged to take action.
I started off the ideation phase by creating a mind map. Creating the mind map helped me organize my thoughts on what this project will entail and what I want to accomplish in a visual way. This exercise allowed me to explain that I wanted to make climmate education fun and bring some form of optimisim to the field.
My favorite game show is Who Wants to Be a Millionaire and I happened to be watching a lot of these episodes while I was doing research for this project. For those that don't know Who Wants To Be a Millionaire is a show where contestants have to answer 14 consecutive multiple-choice questions in a row in order to win 1 million dollars. The fun part of the show is I find that I learn so much about a topic even when I'm wrong. I also really like the idea of having lifelines that help the contestants out along the way.
It got me thinking of what if I could use that Millionaire method to this problem?
I used Adobe XD to explain my idea of Climate Trivia in a better way. At this stage, I was less focused on the design and more on the function as I figured I could improve the look.
The first screen says:
Answer 20 questions in a row to grow a tree.
If you get a question right, your tree will grow a inch
If you get a question wrong, your tree will start to shrink.
I started off with simple questions like "what does CO2 stand for?" with four answers. There are 3 lifelines: 50/50 that is the same from Millionaire, where it gets rid of two wrong answers. Super Grower is where the virtual tree grows 5 inches and Second Chance allows the user to guess twice on one question. After the user answers the question, you will see an infographic and an answer explanation with sources, regardless of if it was right or wrong. you could see the tree grow an inch, if you got it right.
There are two big challenges for doing this on my own: 1) I don't really know much about the science behind climate change and 2) I'm not a coder
Since I can always get someone to code eventually, I set my sights on learning more about climate change. After all one of the reasons I started this project was to educate myself in the process.
I watched a few documentaries about this topic. But the one that had a lasting effect on me was The Story of Plastic. It changed how I see the world and now I'm more aware of the issues around waste in the world. I've also started a recycling campaign in my building. I hope to do more.
After that documentary, I started a spreadsheet that keeps track of all of the questions for this game with what's the answer and the source when I'll come back to it. In 3 months, I had 47 questions. This process alo helped me find other sites that will be helpful in the future. I want at least 100 questions for it to be ready.
After doing more reasearch and figuring out what needs to happen, I decided to go back to sketching again. By doing this, I had two discoveries:
1) The virtual tree should be a separate page. This will help with the design since there is more negative space during the answer questions and it might also be easier on the coding.
2) after doing more research, I've started to realize that idividual efforts to end climate change are great but won't be the sole reason. A lot of the blame should go to corporations and politicians. So I thought of having a separate page that just lists resources to look up, organizations to donate to and politicians with bills that need changing. This can help users feel like they've done something as well as be more educated on the topic.
Eventually, I decided to move my prototype to Figma and designed it so it looks like an actual game. There is still some work left to do but you can play around with the features.
I had worked on this project for a year and had to put this on hiatus due to busyness on my end. But it might come back if I have more time.