Live Light

a platform encouraging a lifestyle of sustainable consumption

fall 2018 · 8 weeks · UX / Service Design

how might we encourage and empower people to make more sustainable lifestyle choices every day?

Livelight is a community-powered digital platform of resources, actionable content, and engagement opportunities for people who want to live more consciously, from those who are just learning about the issues surrounding sustainability to seasoned activists who want to mentor others.  



my role

secondary research, UI information architecture, lo-fi & hi-fi wireframing, curation and organization of UI design system (& symbols library)

discovery research & defining the problem

We began this project wanting to design something that would encourage people to choose a more sustainable lifestyle and provide them with the means to do so.  But what does that mean?


Sustainability is a complex topic.  It means different things to different people.  It is operating on a systems and communities level.  About 100 companies produce 70% of carbon emissions.  


Deeply ingrained cultural and social schemas must be changed.  


We know systemic change starts with small changes by individual groups and communities.  So how might we get the ball rolling?


Our research led us to the following design goals: 




research-driven design goal

leveraging community to foster systemic change

As a society, we are acquiring and discarding material things at an ever-increasing rate. We are constantly that we need to consume things to feel a sense of belonging and wholeness. We know "money can't buy happiness" but most of our habits don't follow that mantra.  Things like wasteful production processes and packaging, planned obsolescence, and inethical labor practices drive a cycle of consumerism that is bad for us and our planet.


In order to reduce our subconscious need for “stuff”, we need to build stronger social connections (Conscious Living).  After all, nature thrives on symbiotic relationships and the conservation of resources.  What would it look like for humans to do the same?



research goal

My team spent about 3 weeks researching the existing Marbles Kids Museum guest experience using the following primary and secondary research methods:


- examining the museum's website and marketing collateral

- fly-on-the-wall and participant observation

- unstructured and semi-structured Interview (with museum team members)

- on-site surveys (with museum guests)

- stakeholder mapping

- site mapping

- photography

- examining user-generated content (online reviews, social media posts etc)


We researched their mission, current engagement strategies and visitation rates and presented our findings to the Marbles Team for validation (see clickthrough below).

research-driven design goal

community education

Getting started with more a sustainable lifestyle seems like a daunting task, especially when there is not one single source of truth.  As a consumer, it is difficult to know what companies are trustworthy and which are simply greenwashing.  Most companies are unclear about their materials sourcing and production processes, making it difficult for consumers to know whether or not their products are produced in a sustainable way.  And companies will likely continue to do so until their consumers demand better.


research-driven design goal

equipping the community 

with actionable opportunities


Just because you know there's a problem, doesn't mean you're ready to act.   We knew that we needed to empower people to make changes in their own daily lives at their own pace and according to their own abilities & resources.


"living lIght": the ethos of a lifestyle

According to John Thakara, author of "In the Bubble: Designing in a Complex World", to live light we must "minimize the waste of matter and energy, reduce the movement and distribution of goods, and use more people and less matter" (Living Lightly).


So how do you brand a movement?  We needed something flexible enough that anyone could adopt it.  The concept of "living lightly" captured the essence of our mission quite well.   


designing services & systems instead of things

identifying gaps in the existing landscape

Existing digital tools that encourage a sustainable lifestyle operate at the surface level.  They make the community a source of competition and reward "good: choices with pointless "points" or "badges".  They focus on small, everyday choices but rarely offer much more than a "why don't you take the bus today?" or a "don't forget your reusable water bottle!".  

We wanted our platform to operate differently- by building a community of people sharing their journeys and working together.

visual exploration

We felt that the livelight's visual identity should feel authentic and human. We experimented with various sketchy visual styles

lo-fi UI mockups

This is a select sample of our low-fi wireframes.  At this stage in the process, we tested the logic of our task flow and matched it to the voice of our brand.

onboarding flow

learning, community & action

introducing live light

onboarding flow

An onboarding flow briefly explains the livelight philosophy. Establishing a sense of acceptance and friendliness was critical in this stage of the user journey.


The learn section of the livelight platform is an ever-growing source of content built by livelight and its community members. It equips those who are ready to now with the knowledge they need to be ready to act. 


First-time users can complete modules about the livelight mindset.

get educated

From news to how-tos, livelight's mobile platform sources and aggregates curated content from across the web about sustainable living into a central learning hub.  LIvelight team members work behind the scenes to make sure content is relevant and scientifically accurate.  

engage with the community

The livelight community is all about connecting livelight’s like-minded users to one another and their communities on both a local and global scale. 

see how others
are living light

livelight aggregates and displays content from social media within the livelight app.

a community

of mentorship

From sustainble living bloggers to political activists,  livelight mentors are a great source fo inspiration and learning for those looking to adopt lifestyle changes.  Mentors can host events, start forums, and create action plans for community members to attend and follow.


Livelight equips those who are ready to act with the ability to do so. 

the community offline

From climate rallies to clothing swaps, livelight members can find ways to learn and make a difference with the community in person

goal setting & tracking

Making changes incrementally is made easier with livelight's built-in planner which syncs to the user's calendar of choice.  Users can follow plans created by others or create their own to make small changes at a pace that works for them and their lifestyle.

empowering light consumption

livelight’s partner organizations can sponsor “tools” under the livelight app’s act section. For example, this label scanner that might be sponsored by EcoLabel Index offers users the ability to de-mystify the eco-labels on products to learn more about what they mean and the enviromental impact that products bear.

live light branding & visual language

We designed livelight's brand to reflect its values of...


The hand-drawn logotype reflects the livelight's friendly, organic nature.

color scheme

livelight's color scheme was chosen to let the content shine.  It is friendly, calm, and minimalistic.

custom typeface

livelight's custom typeface composes the logotype and appears throughout the platform


San Fransisco is the primary typeface used for the livelight UI. Basic Gothic Pro appears in print collateral.


a consistent set of icons appears within the livelight app UI


LIvelight's voice is empowering, friendly, encouraging, and inclusive.  It is never patronizing or critical.  

illustration style

a consistent set of icons appears within the livelight app UI


This project was a collaboration between myself and two of my talented classmates: Sarafina Kamara & Felix Chang



let's chat about design :)

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