User Experience Designer
Team Conceptual Project
Role: UX Research and Design
Duration: 1 Week Design Sprint
There are tons of rubbish in the sea due to which some of the beaches in Portsmouth suffer. We uncovered that this is due to undegradable products not being disposed of in the right place mainly because of a lack of knowledge.
My Eco Friend app aims to help users select (bio)degradable products while shopping and provide information about where the rubbish can be locally recycled, clarifying “the code” of recycling symbols.
By my suggestion, we used the Design Sprint by A&JSmart which is similar to what we were required to do.
We used the exercise “From Global to Local” where we scoped with our knowledge problems related to water in Portsmouth and then discussed how we are impacted by them on a personal scale to help us find an issue we cared about. Then we used the “Dark Side” exercise where we imagined that every involved stakeholder contributes only towards significantly worsening the situation to help us build a picture to work against.
As a next step, we started discussing all the involved actors/ stakeholders who directly or indirectly contribute towards water pollution. I took the role of a scriber and using my curiosity I encouraged and steered conversations to unearth as much information as possible to allow me later to create a comprehensive Stakeholder map, which I did.
I suggested focusing on something we have accessible: a person who shops for groceries and follow them and the general product lifecycle from production to disposal.
The idea of the map was to spot the main issues in the journey and target a high-impact moment in the limited time we had.
My teammates started ideating potential ideas as outcomes to the brief. However, it was obvious that they in no way considered real-world people and their needs. I successfully managed to persuade them to go to actual people to understand more about them which would help us tailor our prototype better to them.
I suggested we create a few questions to validate our hypothesis of the problematic points on our map and learn more about our users. So I and my teammate went out to the city square and interviewed 10 people aged between the age group of 25-34.
Using affinity mapping I analyzed the gathered responses and synthesised them into short insights. All of that we learned from our interviewees we mapped on User Persona and created a Point of View statement which to inform our criteria for brainstorming.
Thanks to our diverse skillset we brainstormed a range of solutions and narrowed it down to an infographic video and an app. After some discussion, we decided to go forward with the app as we thought it would have the biggest impact potential with the lowest investment because it will fit into and be useful for the lifestyles of the target audience users.
Once set up on our prototype direction, we imagined how our app will be used by our target audience by creating a user story of Andrew, our user persona, in the real-world use-case scenario, the grocery shop. This helped us also map a user flow of Andrew with our app.
We generated our content for the prototype by referring to the user story and flow and thinking about what information Andrew might need in that case. Based on that we created two user flows within the app relevant to the goal Andrew had. These flows were just enough to demonstrate a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) for the final presentation.
I conducted secondary research on visual artefacts on the topic of water from a range of industries; aerial pictures of Portsmouth; and sustainability apps for recycling on a similar topic. From there I developed a colour scheme which later I ensured my teammates apply it consistently in our digital prototype.
To validate our idea, figure out more details and fine-tune our prototype quickly we conducted four user tests where we gave the participants two short tasks to do within our app.
I think we should have done better to emulate the environment in use to get more accurate insights.
Even though the shared personal knowledge on the topic of our group combined with the provided information by sea experts from University of Portsmouth and Edith Cowan University was quite significant, I feel that we could have improved the strength of our idea by doing a literature review to ground our idea better. With that potential gathered research, we could have used the invited experts to validate our hypothesis.
Also, towards the end of the sprint, we should have conducted remote usability tests to gather quantitative data to understand and prove the usefulness of our solution on a bigger scale.