A social platform to facilitate local sustainability efforts

Introduction /

Many young adults in Seattle are passionate about sustainability, but have difficulty getting involved. Working with a Project Manager and 2 Developers, I designed a web app called Demeter, a social platform to facilitate local sustainability efforts.

  • Team
    Daniel Lin - UX Designer
    Ash Shah - Developer
    Sierra McKissick - Developer
    Kristina Te - Project Manager

  • Duration
    1 week - Design
    7 weeks - Development

  • Tools
    Google Docs

Research Synthesis /

First, we conducted a survey with young adults in Seattle, WA and found found a pessimistic outlook among respondents about the environment.

When asked the reasoning behind these attitudes, interviewees cited the lack of concrete actions they could take in spite of growing concerns of climate change.

It doesn't feel like anything I do is enough to make an impact [on climate]. Exactly how do my actions make a difference?"
Shawn L.
Seattle Resident

In Seattle, we conducted a survey with 34 respondents regarding their sustainable practices.

Believe they should do more to help the environment
Know how to increase their efforts

Problem Statement

How might we increase environmental activism of young adults in their communities?

Problem Approach /

Sustainability is an inaccessible field with challenges which require expert knowledge. To increase environmental activism, we needed to focus our solution on practical and accessible environmental activities for everyday citizens.


I developed a storyboard of our first solution concept, an app which mobilizes individuals and their friends to work on local environmental projects hosted by event organizers.

Design /

Concept Sketches

Now that I'd developed a user flow for our solution, I further elaborated our product by fleshing out interactions. I made concept sketches of a newsfeed containing sustainability tips and activities.


I developed the basic structure of our web app by creating digital wireframes.

Design System

I developed a design system which evoked earthly, elegant, artisanal tones.

High-fidelity Prototypes

Before handing off my design specifications to developers, I implemented my design system and reduced the scope of the design to meet development and time constraints. Features such as social features and rewards became stretch goals.

Try the app

Results /

events hosted
Users said app
helped them
live sustainably
Monthly Users
Features delivered

This project taught me how to work on a cross functional team with limited time and development resources. This project showed me how integral designers are to development, as they have to make compromises, maintaining a feasible scope while advocating for their users. This project also revealed that some design specifications need to be clarified during development, because they were too big in scope or were not specified.