Are We There Yet?

Fall 2015

Most people just don’t care about the environment. So, can positive reinforcement of existing environmentally friendly behavior motivate college students to form sustainable transportation habits?

View the case study here.


Research & Strategy


Two Northeastern professors approached Scout, Northeastern’s student-lead design firm, looking for a fresh perspective on an ongoing research project to increase environmental awareness and sustainable behavior among people and their transportation habits.


Axure RP

There was no tangible problem to solve, no concrete deliverable to work towards. The project was completely open for us to discover and define on our own. Through background research, user data, conversations with experts, and interaction/interface design, the Scout team came up with an experiment to collect the data we need.

After reaching out to professionals and preforming on the ground research, we decided to begin ideating possibilities for what our deliverable would be. After lots of brainstorming, sticky noting and white boarding, we began forming a plan around a simulated scenario in which a participant would make transportation decisions, along with an environmental assessment. With this new plan, we assume that the user is echoing potential decisions they would make in real life.


Our experiment consists of an experimental group and a control group- both college age students. To begin the experiment, both groups would run through a web-based scenario that we designed. The scenario simulates what it's like to move to a new city after graduating college. Participants will make transportation decisions that will help us to calculate how “green” they might be in real life. Then for the next three months, the experimental group will receive positive reinforcement about their real life behavior. The control group will receive no positive reinforcement. After 3 months, both groups will take the same simulation and we will calculate if the experimental group makes greener choices.