Get Up – Enabling Micro Donations towards Climate Activism
To be honest, the problem framing for this product isn't easy to explain:
In 1972, the Club of Rome commissioned the study "The Limits to Growth", which was conducted by Dennis and Donella Meadows. This study was the first to forecast the future development of the world using the System Dynamics methodology within a framework of various scenarios.
So for 49 years, humanity has known about a serious problem that is coming. And the design disciplines and designers have known it too. Yet there has been only marginal progress in how products are made, how we consume and how we cultivate our existence – in relation to our CO2 emissions.
Thus, at the latest with the appearance of Greta Thunberg in 2018, it was clear that environmental activist movements do not accept a continuation of the status quo and are increasing their pressure on politics and society. With all the sobriety I exercise as a designer and with all the good faith I have in the materialistic interventions in our production chains and supply chains to bring a measurable change in the guise of a reduction in CO2 reductions, I strongly believe that the radicalization and increased presence of the environmental movements is absolutely necessary to initiate and manifest aspects of tangible change.
So for me and Tino Pfaff from Extinction Rebellion, as well as a few other activist friends, the question of how we can support the environmental movements was the starting point for developing the vision of this product.
It was convenient for us that the hackaton #neustart:klima, initiated by campact, was about to take place in a few days.
With the question of how we could participate in this hackaton in mind, we went to the nearest bar and the initial design process turned out to be - conceivably simple - as follows:
Beer and chats with climate activists.
I deliberately emphasize the informal setting of the initial ideation process, because I have learned that having a close connection to potential stakeholders and users is an immeasurable asset for the design process of a product. While design thinking frameworks work great for exploring a problem in the context of business needs and values, the process of deliberation is crucial for getting real, genuine and unvarnished insights to uncover the true needs of people - and finally users of products.
So the evening went pretty well and when I outed myself as a designer for apps and the like, several of those typical "It would be good if there was an app that would..." moments emerged.
Since Extinction Rebellion is a climate alarm movement, and all climate movements benefit from donations, we quickly came to the basic idea of Get Up as an alarm clock, that triggers microdonations, when users hit the snooze button. Before i went into the process of crafting first wireframes and screen designs, we were dreaming about what the marketing narrative of such a product could be,to provide a useful product on the one hand and a gesture that serves as a thought-provoking impulse on the other.
The grassroots claim was formulated that evening:
Get the f*** Up
… and do something about climate change or hit snooze and support climate activists with a micro donation. With these conceptual considerations in mind, we went about registering for the Hackaton to assemble a team and turn the idea of the project into a more concrete form.
Enable micro donations to climate activists.
With the start of the hackaton, the way of working became more formal and my way of working more methodical. A total of 5 participants took part in the project. After an introductory talk and the verbal description of the idea, I started the moderation of the hackaton with a strategy finding for our business and product. I used templates for the business model canvas, value proposition canvas and business objective canvas that I had prepared for the work with my clients as a freelance designer. We then proceeded to have an absolutely compressed design sprint. We agreed on the challenge:
Enable micro donations to climate activists
The time constraint meant that even the very compressed and effective Design Sprint framework outlined by Jake Knapp would not work for us. So our steps for the 2 days were:
Conduct expert interviews to define the constraints
Map the user journey
Sketch 2 competing solutions
Decide on the best solution by dot voting
Build a realistic prototype (+teaser video)
Test the prototype with 3 participants from other teams that participated in the hackaton