The EcoFamily. Climate Change and the Ecologically Friendly Educational Tool
To ensure a difference is achieved, we need to change ourselves — each of us. ‘All of us need to translate our social, economic, and political activities to make them relevant for a world where a warming climate is alerting the future for humanity.’
This master thesis focuses on climate change and the next generation's education about eco-friendly habits that are implementable into daily life. The aim was to answer the following question:
What are the useful characteristics of a mobile app directed towards helping parents with the education of ecologically friendly habits at home?
It is crucial to increase people's awareness about the harmful activities that they can change to preserve nature. It can be done with a shock-based approach, like in the examples of shockvertising campaigns of many non-profit organizations. Another option is to achieve this by focussing on the positive actions that prevent adverse outcomes.
After studying eco-anxiety and considering the importance of its aspect, this paper focused on the second approach with a particular interest in families. In this way, the next generation could become much more aware than the previous ones. Furthermore, parents would be influenced simultaneously.
As a student at the Visual Communication Institute, my main focus was on a visual approach to the topic. The starting point began with the following crucial questions: what kind of environmentally friendly habits should be shown to the users? How can those habits be visualized? What kind of aesthetics should be applied?
Based on the above questions, different concept ideas have been introduced: memory influencing by using screensavers images, a gaming approach with interactive images, and, finally, using short gif animations.
The idea of the application grew with the brand mascots of the EcoMonsters implementation and the possibility of creating a personalized family visualization with colourful avatars. The habit tracking characteristic can influence the motivation of the users and helps to boost progress.In this way, the concept of the EcoFamily, a mobile application for families, was created — the application with the family of EcoMonsters that guides users through the animated EcoDiscoveries.
The final step was the wireframe visualization of all proposed app features and functions.
While writing this MA thesis and working on the EcoFamily concept from the points of view of the original idea and its visualization, my main goal stayed the same throughout, to contribute to the environment with my own eco-action.
What satisfies me from this MA thesis is that it brings attention to the topic of environmental preservation. I hope that even by choosing this topic for my thesis, I managed to increase colleagues' interest, teachers, friends, family, and readers in thinking about and implementing ecologically friendly habits in their everyday lives.
- Paloma López, Jiri Oplatek, Hansmartin Siegrist