Generation Y & Z know that the environment is suffering under the strain of humanitys waste, but access to information about helping to ease the load is not so readily available.
Enter Sustainify, an app developer whose goals center around promoting sustainability and sustainable alternatives to millenials through their augmented reality app.
Every year, humanity dump a massive 2.12 billion tons of waste. If all this waste was put on trucks, lined up they could go around the world 24 times. It's insane.
Sustainify wants to help change this, one smartphone at a time. The app in itself is a really cool concept; one part AR and one part Pinterest, they aim to be a hub of sustainability information and possibilities. Through this app, the team at Sustainify want to give people the tools to know what materials were going into the packaging for the products that they buy and what impact that packing may have on the environment if put in landfill. To accomplish this, I was brought in to design an app in the vein of Cartwheel which used barcode scanning to bring guests to product pages tied to their sustainability information, a sustainability score, and links to Pinterest-like projects which provided alternative uses for the packaging to avoid having to throw the packaging away.
I was hired, alongside one of my colleagues, to design all new branding and comp up a feature-focused user interface.
Think for a minute about the ocean. What do you see, in your minds eye? A vast stretch of blue? The jade of a wave that's just peaked, and returns to the sea? Isn't it beautiful?
That would be ideal, but the worlds oceans today are a dirty, litter-filled place. 288 million metric tons of waste were estimated to have been dumped into the sea in 2012, and the number has continued to climb since then. Sustainify wants to help remedy this, and as such I chose to represent them with a crisp, cresting wave mark.
A wave is a powerful force, rushing forward with vigor and determination. Like the human race, the journey of the wave is a fervent, but also remains remarkably cyclical. In the spirit of breaking the cyclical nature of our habits, the wave in the logo does not crash in on itself, but remains frozen in an attempt to capture this moment of fervor. An aperture-esque spiral defines the wave, representative of the augmented natures of the application. This is complimented by a rounded-edge serifed font, which balances out the heft of the subject matter while simultaneously conveying the pleasurable experiences contained within.
I've had my hand in designing sites and other experiences before, but this was really my first time starting an app from scratch and really making it my own. In the flow, I wanted the fun-yet-powerful design language to be ever-present, channeling bits of snapchat's intuitive UI with a liberal injection of Material Design.
What resulted was an app that was both fun and useful. Relying heavily on the sugestions of the user base, the final product allows you to scan any item and determine its recyclability, and reusability. From there, you can keep scanning, see pintrest-esque projects based on your scans, or read up on sustainability in the new. You can see screen mockups and a UI map below that can take you further into the experience!
Being a small company, they couldn't jump the hurdles necessary to get their funding, and so it was. But I still had a grand time, and learned a little more about our world in the process.