“My Local Services” is an app that helps to provide the residents of South Australia easy access to council services, although after a recent user survey they uncovered that many residents struggle with recycling. The brief has tasked me with designing a new “Recycling” feature that ensures users that they are recycling the correct items, while also providing them with creative ideas on how to recycle certain items to be of use in the household and daily life. The primary audience the feature is directed to are families with small children.
With this brief set out, I began my four-day Design Sprint.
Commencing my design sprint, I began with mapping out my goals for the feature, splitting them into primary and secondary goals.
My goals related to what I wanted the finished product of the design to include. For me, the main points from the brief were the most important; helping the user to recycle while also giving creative ideas for recycling. This would require an easy-to-understand layout to swiftly help users, making it an untaxing task for them.
I continued with my assumptions and “how could it fail” questions. These helped me outline potential problems this type of feature could bring to the app and user, helping me to design around these and avoid potential problems early on.
A recycling feature in itself is quite large especially with the crafting addition, so my biggest worry was how I was going to keep the feature simple and cohesive while still having a wide range of capabilities.
Next were my Sprint Questions to Answer which brought up what I wanted to achieve in the design of the recycling feature, relating to the goals of the design.
I questioned things such as clarity of the design, engagement of the user, and simplicity which all relate to my main goals. Looking back at these as the sprint goes on helped me to narrow down my design ideas.
Directly related to the sprint questions to answer is the “How might we” questions which question how I, the designer, will use solutions effectively to overcome the challenges and problems previously brought up in the sprint. Some of the included questions are; how might we use color to distinguish recyclables from non-recyclables which relates to the clarity of the feature and how might we encourage users to try out the creative feature which relates to the engagement of the user towards the app.
Now that my goals, questions, and queries were down and in mind, I continued to the map and target part of the sprint where the designer maps out how a user will navigate to and through their app in 4 incremental steps; Discovery being the ways the user can find the app/feature, learning is how they figure out the app and it’s use, using being them using the app for what it was designed for and finally goal being what they want to achieve/get out through the use of the app. My map followed the path of a user who is unsure if an object is recyclable, finishing with them finding out from the app. I then got my 3 top How might we questions and stuck them where they applied on the map with them clustering between the learning and using sections, showing me where I should be focusing for my design concerning my goals.
With my area of focus pinpointed, I moved onto sketches of possible designs I would use for the recycling feature. After sketching them down I then marked which ones I found were the closest to my goals and questions from earlier in the day.
At the beginning of day 2 of the sprint, I went back over my work from the day before to finalize the features and solutions for the design. I had come to the conclusion that the feature would start with a clear selection choice to pinpoint the type of material the user is searching for, which will then give them more options specified to the material they chose. This will keep the many different objects and materials grouped and easy to differentiate. When finding their object or material, the user will be given concise information on where it goes in terms of recyclability. From there the user will be given the option of using that material to create and craft something else with a step-to-step guide.
With the features decided, I created a storyboard first through words on sticky notes, and then with sketches to finalize the design from start to finish of the feature.
On day 3 of the sprint, I made up a prototype of my storyboard within the website for designers; “Figma”. This helped me to create and simulate the abilities of the feature as well as showing off the aesthetics. The design went under a few minor changes in some areas to stay true to the goal of the feature. Here’s the link so you can see how it works: https://www.figma.com/proto/4bXh4HSrxXVLtPqaomftUH/Recycle-App-Feature?node-id=5%3A5&scaling=scale-down&page-id=0%3A1
My goal with the aesthetic was to stay true to the design of the original app, using orangey reds and simples icons. I colour coded the recyclables from the non-recyclables to retain clarity. Colour also helps the craft button stand out so the user may be intrigued to try it out. Giving a wide range of different family craftables including pictures with step to step guides also helps to keep the design understandable and engaging.
For the last part of the sprint, I had two user tests the prototype and give feedback. To summarise, the feature was simple to understand and engaged the user throughout. In terms of my primary goals, I feel I achieved a sound design that accomplished the requests of the brief.