Goal: Apply user-centered design techniques to create a product that relates to renewable energy

Problem: Renewable Energy is such a vast subject, we had to narrow our scope before doing anything else

Solution: Create a digital or physical experience that has positive impact on the world



Initial concept map brainstorm to narrow the concept

Concept map (1).jpg

After an initial brainstorming session we started to narrow down our focus: to harness the energy of children in the playground to use the energy to possibly help power the school

We researched what (if anything) was already out there


We found many other examples of energy playgrounds. We spoke to Empower Playgrounds, a company that provides playground equipment in underprivileged areas of the world. The children are able to read at night by the lights powered by the energy they expended that day. We spoke to a rocket scientist to get his perspective on how our idea might work. We discovered that the energy created in the playground would hardly be enough to power an entire school. We pivoted from our original idea.


We interviewed teachers and school administrators. We asked about energy education strategies, challenges and how they would improve the current renewable energy curriculum.

We organized all of our findings into an Affinity Map. This allowed us to understand and define the behavior of our target persona.

We realized that we had a huge opportunity to teach the lesson of our global energy crisis to the generation that could make a big difference for our future. This solidified what would be the focus of our website.

We wrote all of the elements we wanted to include on Post-It Notes and performed a card sort to begin to understand the Information Architecture. We then held a design studio to begin to flesh out how our home page would be organized.


Lo-Fi Mockups and Content Creation

Annotated WIreframes

Annotated WIreframes

We tested and iterated the primary content. The testing showed that content was key to our users having the best possible experience.

Explainer Video

We created a video to act as an entry point into our large scale concept. This would communicate our "why" and "what" in under 90 seconds.

Hi-Fi Prototypes

Now we were ready to put all of our concepts into a colorful, easy-to-navigate website which included our misssion, a map of our playground and how to get involved as well as our explainer video.

Key Takeaways and next steps

  • As a group we worked hard to stay focused which was difficult to say the least because there were so many different directions we could have gone in.
  • We created an MVP for this phase but there were many other elements we would want to explore in the future. Some of these include gamification in the form of district-wide competitions to see which schools could harness the most energy. Also, a wearable to track the amount of energy each student is producing during playtime.