iBuyRight is a mobile application that provides social, environmental and health information to consumers about the products they purchase. The objective of the iBuyRight project is to build a proof-of-concept prototype that gives consumers access to a product’s rating with respect to social, environmental and health issues on their cellphone. By delivering this data to the consumer at the point-of-purchase, iBuyRight empowers the consumer with the knowledge to make informed purchases.
This project was initiated by Professor Dara O'Rourke and Alastair Iles when they first proposed their idea for a "social responsibility barcode project" to Professor Marti Hearst at SIMS. We have planned, designed and built a working, interactive prototype using a user-centered iterative design process.
To better understand our target users, we used a variety of needs assessment methods including interviews, surveys, and comparative analyses to assess whether there was a need for social and environmental product information. We learned that this need existed, that credibility is essential, and that users want to access this data on a portable device that they may already own. These findings suggested that a mobile application would be the best medium of delivery.
We used an iterative process to develop the design of iBuyRight's mobile interface. This process included the development of the prototype in several design stages that were informed by feedback from user testing and a heuristic evaluation. This enabled us to build a clean, effective user interface for iBuyRight with intuitive, logical interactions for the mobile phone user.
The challenge for iBuyRight was to develop an application that would provide relevant social and environmental product information to empower consumers. Because of the added challenge of designing the interface for the small mobile screen, we needed to pay particular attention to developing simple, clean, high-contrast screens with multi-encoded details to enhance legibility and comprehension of the data. By using an iterative design process, we were able to successfully build an application that user testing revealed as being highly-usable, easy-to-learn, fun and appealing.