Marco Cermusoni

Operator coach app

Operator coaching app

A gamified app that coaches heavy equipment operators to reduce their idling and lower their carbon footprint


Game Designer & Project Manager

OTHER Responsibilities:

Data Analysis & Client communication

Industry Client PRoject for:

Finning Digital


A picture of the team understanding the problem

A picture of the team understanding the problem

The heavy equipment industry currently lets its big machines run on idle for over 2,000,000 hours per year. While certain idling is necessary, in most cases, this behaviour wastes fuel and pollutes the air for no reason. 

Finning Digital tasked my team & myself to change that behaviour with a digital solution. 



Personal challenges

Data Analysis / User behaviour

Understanding the behaviour of heavy equipment operators was key to this project.

With the help of limited qualitative interviews but an extensive data analysis (with simple SQL queries and tableau) of several thousand machines with a high amount of precise information (such time breakdowns on fuel consumption, idling times etc.) we were able to obtain a deep understanding of idling behaviour. 


final screen design of home screen


After creating that understanding the users motivations & frustrations of a workday, and most importantly their behaviour around idling.

Using all available Canadian CATERPILLAR-data, I created IF conditions that track every move of the operator and translate that into categories and numeric values that served as a base of the game

Out of those values, I created a XP-based progressive level system to hook operators in with fast progress and keep them engaged over time (see image below). The premise of this mathematical model was to use positive reinforcement: if an operator performs well, s/he'll get rewarded, if s/he starts slacking there is no punishment, just less rewards. 

To keep operators on track around their idling behaviour and based on the values mentioned above, I developed a textual feedback system with specific missions that would reward them with XP and coins upon completion that are the in-game currencies

Cockpit for the operator to track his progress, missions and feedback

Cockpit for the operator to track his progress, missions and feedback

These coins can be redeemed to use real-world CATERPILLAR rewards starting with a simple USB cable and going up rewards such as e.g. steel-toe boots that require the operator to idle as low as possible (until a certain threshold, since some idling is necessary for the machine). 

To ensure daily check-ins of users, we added a spinning-wheel feature where the user gets one free spin per day to earn additional coins or instant rewards.

Having values and score for all of the above, enabled us to chart and balancing on the whole system and work with user predictions. 

reward pages including order procedure

reward pages including order procedure

Daily spinning wheel feature to ensure daily check-ins

Daily spinning wheel feature to ensure daily check-ins


Result / Impact

Continuation of app is in production with Finning Digital Engineers.

Quote of client:

"This app could reduce a Mining company’s expenses by 1.1 Million CAD per year through lowering fuel expenses and reducing emission tax"

If that assumption is applied to the whole industry, this app could avoid 300,000h of unnecessary idling time per year.