E-waste Recycling Hub

Reducing electronic waste by encouraging second-hand use

Emphasizing circular economy model, increasing access and exposure to second-use methods

problem

With the advent of faster electronic product consumption and advancing technologies-- electronic waste continues to rise exponentially. 

Our team was tasked to identify a target group and design a solution to reduce management of electronic waste.

How can we encourage PC builders to sustainably manage their electronic waste through second-hand use?

date

Aug - Dec 2022

team

2 UX Designers 2 UX Researchers

project

Georgia Institute of Technology

solution

A circular economy model, increasing access and exposure for tech fluent users

A donation shelf at each community center will have a shelf dedicated to used PC parts. Donators can easily list the item on the mobile application and drop off their item by walking to the nearest community center. Users who claim the item can pick up, review and keep for second use.

Build a Community

Build a community amongst users of niche interests, such as PC-building

Give Items a Second Life

Consumers can increase their sustainability impact by giving fully functioning items a second life

Scalable System

Partner with local community centers to scale and be available to community centers in US

List your old item

Within the mobile application, you can easily donate items you no longer need and drop it off at a local nearby community center

Quickly claim items

Users looking for an electronic can easily find available listings within their chosen radius.

Connect over shared interests and item queries

Both donators and receivers can connect with one another, discussing part descriptions and creating a community of this niche hobby.

process overview

Research

01

Exploratory Research

Literature Review

We conducted literature review led to mapping the electronic waste journey to identify possible touch points.

Task analysis

We analyzed each task at identified touchpoints, investigating potential obstacles and solutions.

Site Visit

We visited Novus Solutions, a e-waste recycling center based in Greater Atlanta to better understand the electronic recycling process.

Competitive Analysis

To compare existing solutions for users we conducted competitive analyses using online research and site interviews.

02

Behavioral Research

User Surveys

To quickly obtain and compare quantitative data we surveyed PC gamers and we distributed on GSU Discord server and analyzed using Qualtrics.

Link to Qualtrics

Semi-structured Interviews

To supplement our existing survey data and understand the reason behind users' behavior. We recruited survey responders, and conducted 1-hour interviews using Microsoft Teams, Zoom and BlueJeans.

Link to transcription

Affinity Mapping

To derive insights, we transcribed interview data and organized quotes using Google Sheets. We then created an affinity map using Miro to identify target users, draw connections between them and discover overlapping themes.

Link to Miro

Categorizing User Types

While affinity mapping helped us understand core themes amongst our target group,  we noticed two different types of behaviors which we separated into two personas, this helped us narrow down the commonalities that exist between the two.

03

Framing Problem

Current solutions are time-intensive, lack trust and transparency-- yet PC users value efficiency, trust, knowledge, and are strongly motivated to help others.

How can we encourage PC builders to sustainably manage their electronic waste through second-hand use?

process overview

Design

01

Ideation

Defining requirements

We used our insights about our target user to create requirements. We used these requirements as a guideline for our ideation phase, and to validate our designs.

Brainstorming Sketches

Our brainstorming session was separated into two parts: the first was to individually brainstorm immediately after creating requirements, and shared our ideas over Zoom. Then we created visual representations and commuicated our ideas to discuss in person.

02

Concept Decision and Validation

Storyboarding

After deciding on three main concepts, we storyboarded them to breakdown each step of our design solution. We evaluated each idea by discussing how each met our 5 requirements. We decided on our third idea, E-recyclehub as it best met all 5 requirements.

Idea 1 - Gamified Recycling Finder
Idea 2 - PC Building Organization
Idea 3 - E-waste Recycling Hub
03

User Flow

Using Figjam, we created user journey for two use cases, when a user is donating their old item and when they are receiving an item. For each user journey, we also created user flows for their mobile experience which we used as a guideline for our low fidelity wireframes.

Donator Mobile Flow
Donator Journey
Receiver Journey
Receiver Mobile Flow
04

Wireframing

We created our low fidelity wireframes using Whimsical and performed a quick user flow validation with friends for feedback.

05

Refinement and Visual Design

Competitive Visual Audit

We conducted a visual design study by evaluating sites commonly visited by our target user group which we had previously collected in our user surveys.

Moodboard

We collected inspiration from Pinterest to align on and create a visual style guide. We used the feedback from our user testing to arrive at our high fidelity wireframes.

Reflection

Next Steps

Research existing solutions within circular economy

Now that our problem scope is much more narrow-- I'd like to do a UX audit of similar solutions in the donation space to see what works and doesn't work

Usability Testing

Prototyping a simulation of a drop-in center, where users can pick up or donate their used item to see what the experience feels like outside of the app.

Ideate on how to better emphasize social interaction between donators and receivers

Because we've learned later in our design process that our users highly value the relationship between donator/receiver, another, I'd explore how we can better enhance this relationship, and also do a competitive audit on existing apps that do this well.

Final Thoughts

Our solution removed the physical obstacles of finding and accessing a donation shelf and our usability test showed the tasks were simple enough for users to complete. We wondered, how can the experience feel more rewarding? How can we better connect our potential users, PC-builders to befriend one another as they are in close proximity to each other? 

This was a project completed within a semester at Georgia Tech but we are excited with our solution and eager to see how this project may evolve. While it focuses on a small population of users who are PC-builders and PC-building hobbyists-- a relatively niche hobby, we believe it has the ability to scale.

How can the experience feel more rewarding? How can we connect our potential users?

What if this service existed for various hobbies that require other electronics? Perhaps a beauty community that shares hair appliances, or novice-chefs who can share kitchen appliances? The impact of ideas are exciting and this project was an eye-opening exercise sustainability.

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