WEECO - Product Design

Weeco is not just a project but an attempt to change people's attitudes and awareness towards biofuels. Nowadays that kind of topic, and more in general environmental issues is important but at the same time can be confusing and difficult to understand.


The Challenge

Traditional biofuels (ethanol and biodiesel), also called the first generation biofuels, are not exactly what we could define as a green product. In fact, they have long been accused of increasing hunger in the world as they derive from raw materials in direct competition with the agri-food industry. Since 2009, however, the world of biofuels has made great improvements, and now biofuels are produced respecting some "specific social and environmental conditions". The so-called advanced or second generation biofuels (2G) derive from algae, oil and wood and cellulose discards. Since most of the materials arise from waste this new kind of biofuel is also promoting a recycling process. Our challenge is to make people understand the huge difference between the first generation and the second generation of biofuels, re-qualifying and promoting the use of this kind of product.


My Role

As part of a team, I was in charge of the design of the application. I also worked alongside with the graphic designer as well as the communication strategist.


Kick-off

Once having analyzed and researched all kind of information about biofuels and in particular the advantage of the second generation we started thinking: How can we make people approach the topic and make them understand the potentiality of the second generation biofuels? We envisaged a future scenario, motivated by a note from the European Parliament which requires all the States Members to ensure that, by 2020, at least 10% of total energy consumption in the transport sector is represented by renewable energy. For this reason, we thought about developing a strategy, linked to the use of the public transport system, able to reach the public and to be as engaging as possible.


Goals

After reprocessing the brief all together and after a preliminary research and brainstorming on the topic we were able to set our main goals:

  • Convey the idea that: “Biofuels represent a promising alternative to substitute fossil fuels and, given the relevance of environmental impacts of the transport sector” (Lanzini P., Testa F., Iraldo F.)
  • Give an answer to the following question: “Do biofuel really work?”
• Reach and engage a target of people, from 20 to 40 years old, that is usually considered less sympathetic towards that kind of issues.

  • The Target

    After completing the first analysis and preliminary research we were able to move on to the target analysis. After segmenting and clustering the target we could develop some Personas model, empathy maps and find out the main needs in common with the whole clusters:

  • Feeling useful
  • >Learning by doing
  • “On the go” access

  • The Idea

    To convey the benefits of biofuel we had to create something with the following characteristic:

  • Something that can follow the individual in his daily life, in order to enable people to effectively understand the potential of biofuels, thanks to the impact they have on people’s everyday life.
  • A digital product. In the era of marketing 3.0, the importance of interacting and feeling active for individuals has been proven. Moreover, a digital product would allow us to reach and involve the audience 20-40 y.o. effectively.

  • WEECO

    For all the purposes quoted up to now, we developed the application “Weeco”. Besides to support even more the strategy we decided to create some web content for the management of social networks, posters, "talk events" and partnerships.

    Naming is thought to be based on two fundamental concepts:

  • Community, summarized in the word we to highlight the importance of the contribution of everyone to safeguard the ecosystem and the big difference that each of us can do through the use of biofuels;
  • Sustainability, summarized in the abbreviation eco.
  • The combination of the two words brought to life "Weeco", the sound of the naming recalls directly to speed and is therefore directly linked to the idea of transport.


    Concept

    "Weeco" is a mobile application designed to make people interact directly within the world of eco-sustainable public transports and more specifically the one that are using biofuels.

    "Weeco" guides the user allowing him to travel in a sustainable way. Through a filtering tool, he will be able to choose the route and the kind of transport, he will be also able to display the GHG emissions avoided per route and per kind vehicle. Those GHG emissions will be then converted into points allowing the user to earn digital trophies, badge and even discounts when reached a pre-set score.

    The application will be linked to the major transport website in this way Weeco will be able to offer the more convenient travels in terms of sustainability.

    Once the ticket is purchased, the GHG emission avoided will be converted into a “real” situation, in this case: how many trees saved. In this way, it is possible to deeply engage the audience through gamification principles. This approach makes the user understand the damage they can cause, with traditional fuels and the real difference the individual can make towards the environment.

    The application goes from being a simple mobile application to being a smart travel application allowing the user to understand the world behind biofuels.

    To highlight the sense of community, and to enhance the gamification side, we included a "friends" section, allowing users to interact and challenge their circle, stimulating the GHG emission economy. The application also has and history section that keeps track of all of your travels.


    Mobile Application


    Storyboard and Scenarios

    After all the user researches we were able to develop some storyboard and scenarios, to understand how our digital product could improve the live of our user and create value. At this point we were also able to start thinking about the features of our product.


    Visual Design