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Building Ocean Habits

Master | Teamwork | 6 Weeks | Autumn, 2022 | Malmö University

The ocean is essential for human life on earth, however, we know surprisingly little about life underwater. The Building Ocean Habits concept offers a two-part learning experience which guides and supports individuals to increase their ocean literacy knowledge and build lasting habits. It also lets them engage in a network of like-minded people.


Ocean literacy, education, social innovation, empowerment, community

My Role

Design research, concept development, prototyping, UX/UI design

Other Team Members

Sarah Skavron

Simone Brandao


Place: The Basin

The starting point for the project is Södra Varvsbassängen (The Southern Wharf Basin) in central Malmö which is connected to the canals of the city and the sea. It is a place of important historical significance as it used to be the centre of ship repairs in Southern Sweden and was the working place for thousands of people. Now it is a place in transition as a huge urban development project aims to transform it into a new city hub.


Engaging people to increase their individual knowledge about the place, the basin, and build ocean literacy as well as habits for ocean care in the long-term and support to act on these environmental issues.


Kockum shipyard founded in Malmö


The shipyard closed

and new area took form 

6 to 11m

the depth of the Basin today


of the ocean is still unexplored

Design Process

Exploration and discussion of visions and potential use of the basin using more-than-human and participatory design approaches.

The Marine Education Centre as well as people living and working in the area were involved to understand and find out more about the existing knowledge, knowledge gaps, engagement and potential ideas and visions around the basin area.

Ocean - design process.png



Deep exploration was crucial for this project to understand the connection of the locals in Malmö with the basin and the ocean along with the Marine Education Centre's needs and approaches. To explore the topic, several creative design research methods were conducted:

  • Research
    Literature research and benchmark

  • Observation
    The Basin, channels and Marine Education Centre, snorkelling in the Ocean, seaside

  • Cultural Probe
    Different tasks that could be carried out over 5 days about ocean given 5 participants to explore personal perceptions

ocean probe full
Prove hover.jpg
  • Workshops with the Stakeholder
    To have a common understanding and later ideate and develop ideas together

  • Yoga Workshop
    90-min workshop with a yoga instructor and the design team as facilitators with people from different backgrounds to explore the perceptions around the ocean
    through the connection with the body. Supportive materials designed by the design team to help the participants to come up with ideas were used.

  • QR Code Activations
    To test our assumptions, for example, if people see and engage with QR codes and other materials in the space. Experiments were Message in a bottle, Online Quiz and Online Storytime Storytime.

slide - stakeholder workshop.jpg
QR Activations.jpg



To make sense of the gathered information throughout the exploration phase the affinity diagramming method and Golden Circle Model (Why, How, What) had been applied. The insights can be summarised around the following topics:

  • Awareness

  • Ocean Literacy / Knowledge

  • More than human

  • Empowerment

  • Collaboration

  • Community Building

  • Connection / Disconnection

Ocean Ladies 🌊🐠🐙 - Narrow Down In general (1).jpg



During the ideation and concept phase in order to generate ideas and discuss the possible obstacles several ideation methods were used:


  • Sketches

  • Crazy-8

  • Round Robin
    Informal brainstorming workshops together with the stakeholders and the design team individually to narrow down

  • Storyboard, Journey Diagram and Activity Map
    Display the activities that users doing and the logic behind them

Final Design

The final concept consists of a two-part learning experience that will guide and support the individuals to increase their ocean literacy knowledge and build lasting habits and help them engage in a network of like-minded people. For this project, we briefly introduce the first part for context and explored the second part in more detail.

  1. Awareness Spark:
    Takes the users on a walk around the basin. At different dedicated stations (Past, Knowledge, Future, Reflection), different activities invite the users to enhance their knowledge and reflect on the area as a part of the ocean.

  2. Habit Building:
    A web platform to develop lasting habits connected to ocean literacy and ocean care. It evaluates the users' ocean literacy and provides a learning process and ongoing activities accordingly created by the members and the stakeholders of the platform. It connects members of the community to team up for the activities.

Habit Building Journey Diagram.jpg
Prototype & test

Prototyping & Test

In order to test and showcase the concept better, the following prototyping and testing methods were used:

  • Wireframes

  • UX/UI Design
    Interfaces of the platform designed on Figma

  • Usability Test
    The digital prototype was tested by 5 users who are coming from different cultural backgrounds

Ocean - Screens hero.jpg
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