E-WASTE

 

A three month long project that focuses on creating design solutions revolving around the topic of garbage. Following our research, my group and I decided to concentrate on the rapidly growing problem of electronic waste, also known as e-waste. 

After primary and secondary research, interviews, and synthesizing our data, our solution focuses on mobile phones and interjecting our proposal in the existing process of buying and activating a new phone. We created a program that easily integrates into the current process by rewarding people for recycling their old phones.   

PROJECT INFORMATION:
+ Video and Visuals
+ Fall 2015
+ Design 481

GROUP MEMBERS:
Mae Boettcher
+ Nick Ricci
+ Summer Shang


How can we incentivize mobile phone users to recycle their old devices?

DESIGN QUESTION


DESIGN PROCESS

RESEARCH:

During our secondary research, we looked at existing solutions for e-waste and what is currently being done to get rid of it. We found that people are not educated about electronic waste, that recycling does not necessarily mean recycling, and recycling electronics is not a priority for most people. We have formed three research questions that we wanted to answer by the end of our project. 

 

1)  What do consumers care about most when it comes to recycling old electronics?

2)  Why do consumers keep unused electronics?

3)  What available options are consumers aware of when it comes to replacing, getting rid, or disposing of electronics?

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Our overall goal for our primary research was to understand the process of how people dealt with their old electronic devices after they stopped using them. In order to collect this data, we interviewed eight people.

From the interviews we found that:

+ people buy two or more major electronics a year
+ most people have old electronics laying around their house
+ people do not know or understand how to recycle

Our target demographic is:

+ 20-30 years old
+ uses up to date technology
+ college students and recent graduates

 

INSIGHTS FROM RESEARCH:

We generated some themes and insights from our research that could help us hone in on a specific area. 

 

POTENTIAL SOLUTIONS:

While our initial design solutions showed potential, none of them would be able to stand alone in addressing our problem space. We realized that combining the positive aspects from each would be a solid foundation for our proposed solution.

During this process we found some major takeaways:
+ Convenience
+ Facilitating everything
+ Rewards that aren't just cash
+ In device diagnostics
+ Recycling 


We are educating the users through onboarding during the initial device set up process, providing a convenient outlet to recycle old electronic devices, extending the life span of each device. 

DESIGN CONCEPT


Our project is divided into three parts:

 

+ Education - informing what can be done with old phones

+ Action - UI prompts users to take action and recycle their old phones or devices

+ Reward - there is instant gratification for recycling old phones

 

EXISTING SET UP PROCESS WITH AN IPHONE:

The process of setting up an iPhone consists of eight major parts:

 

WHY HERE?

We want to implement our solution between steps 5 and 6 of the iPhone set up process because:

 

+ it is already dealing with an old device
+ there is a seamless transition

 

OUR SET UP PROCESS

 

1) During set up, the users are prompted to recycle their old device.

2) Their old device is evaluated by taking a picture and an instant appraisal is provided.

3) Users then have the option to:

+ mail back the device for a cash value

+ bring the device to one of the many partner locations where they can receive instant store credit gift card

STORYBOARD:

 

OUR PROPOSAL:

 

NEXT STEPS:

If we were to pursue this project any further we would:

 

+ Look into what type of companies would be interested in partnering
+ Look into how we can incentivize users to actually opt in/evaluate the incentive positively
+ Usability testing
        - UI of new screens
        - Placement of the added screens in set-up flow 

To see the compiled research document, please click here.