Op-cycle provides accurate information to users about recycling and donation in their local area. Delivered in the form of a mobile app, it's an easier and more convenient alternative to the idea that you can "just Google it".
ROLE: UX Researcher, Product Designer (UX-UI)
TIMELINE: January 2022 - April 2022
The Problem
Australians want to reduce their ecological footprint, 
but feel discouraged by how difficult it is to find accurate local information on how and where to recycle household items and donate secondhand goods.
What else is out there?
The existing recycling apps within the Australian market were:
- Developed for specific local council areas only (Recycle  Right)
- Dependent AI technology that is inaccurate/

The market for donation or 'Op Shop' apps was even more limited:
- Underdeveloped and outdated (Australian Op Shops)
- Still in development, but more of a shopping experience (OpHop)
Recycling Apps
Donation Apps
User Interviews
I conducted 2x user interviews (1 in person and 1 remote) in order to better understand people's recycling & donation habits, and why they may or may not partake in it frequently. Insights were arranged into themes, with the key insights highlighted below:
The Opportunity
How Might We simplify the process of recycling or donating items, so that it is easier to find the right information and more time efficient to do consistently?
Developing the Right Solution
Once the opportunity was established, I used activities like Crazy 8's (below left) to generate ideas quickly, favouring quantity over quality.

- What kinds of tasks would users be able to complete within the app?
- What kinds of features could the app have?
I then plotted these onto a Minimum Viable Product Matrix, or MVP Matrix (below right).
This was important in order to establish priorities for the final prototype, ensuring I was putting efforts into the high impact features and ideas, without them being too difficult to achieve technically. 

By defining the key user flows or tasks, I was able to understand where tasks overlapped, and derive a logical structure for the mobile app interface.
Due to the time constraints of the project, I decided to pick just one of the flows to focus on when building and testing my prototype - the flow centred around the ‘search’ function of the app.
Creating and Testing the 'Search' Flow
The Task:
"I want to donate secondhand clothing in Port Melbourne"
I created two different options for the 'Search' function within the app, and used these in an A/B-style usability test. I wanted to discover which format/structure for this flow seemed most natural and logical to the participants, and whether any small details or interactions were overlooked.
What did the Usability Testing show?
Key Insights:
Option A - feels like an effort to have to type, would’ve expected more suggested options to choose from
- Option B - a lot of criteria to read through on this screen
- Search Results List - showing ‘distance from me’ would be useful and convenient
- Search Results List - it’s not obvious you can click on each list item to bring up more information about an individual location
- Search Results Map - would be nicer to see the list on this page as well instead of having to flick back and forth
Option A was preferred as it gave the user the feeling of progression and being guided through.
However, it needed further information/suggested input/prompts to make the task easier.
Final Prototype - 'Search' Flow
What Did I Learn?
When designing a completely new product, establishing a Minimum Viable Product is critical. This ensures you prioritise delivering the key features and flows that address your problem and opportunity. 
For this project specifically, priority was given to the flow which required the most validation through usability testing - i.e. building and validating the Search flow was more important than the Onboarding flow, given that the How Might We statement was centred around being able to find the right information quickly and easily.

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