A web-based E-waste management platform for connecting electronics donors with local communities





ROLE: UI/UX Designer
DURATION: 1 Month | Nov 2018 - Dec 2018
TEAM: Ally Liu, Nupur Maheshwari



How can we raise awareness of recycling electronic waste?

In the world we live in today, technology is evolving at a faster pace than ever, and as a result people are switching through their devices faster. However, we found a large gap between people who have many electronics they don't use but don't know how to dispose them properly, and people who extremely need electronic products but cannot afford them for various reasons.


A web-based E-waste management platform for connecting electronics donors with local communities

We decided to come up with a platform, Eeco, to educate and encourage people to donate their electronics and therefore support local communities and individuals who truly need the resource.



Understand the current state

We began our secondary research by browsing through different websites related to e-waste management to get more knowledge about the current challenges and opportunities.

We decided to focus on discarded electronic devices including but not limited to TVs, laptops, tablets, phones, headphones, chargers, and cords. We defined three types of stakeholders: owners of digital devices, individuals who need refurbished digital devices, and an organization which provide recycling services (service provider).


Discover pain points and opportunities

When completing Guerilla Research, each of our team members interviewed 2-3 potential users, who could be anyone with an electronic device or hoping to purchase one. We realized that these were the user’s collective pain points and opportunities.

>> Pain Points

"I have no idea how to deal with my old device"

  • Some users have too many electronics they don't use and they don’t know how to properly dispose their used device
  • Some users cannot afford brand new electronic products
  • Some users are concerned about the quality of refurbished electronics

>> Opportunities

Connecting the gap between device owner and receiver

  • Some users have too many electronics they don't use while some users have strong needs for those devices
  • Although AppleCare and other recycling programs exist, users would consider donating their devices, if there was an easy way to do so
  • Users doesn't know if service carriers (e.g. T-mobile) recycle electronics that are too old or broken



Visualize potential users' experience

Based on our Guerilla Research, our team members collaborated on the first version of customer journey map on RealtimeBoard. We started by writing our user tasks, user feelings, thoughts, problems, and opportunities. We designed one for a Service Provider and another one for Customers who purchase second-hand products. With this journey map, we assumed that our service already existed and that our users could simply use our solution when buying or selling their electronic devices.

After we presented our first customer journey map, we realized that we focused too much on the solution instead of the process.


Map the current journey vs. ideal future

After presenting v1 of our customer journey maps to the class, our group realized that we had created our first journey map to reflect the journey of customers in an ideal world. In fact, the journey map was meant for us to map a customer’s journey in our world today, identify problems that arose, and then build a solution accordingly. We then shifted gears completely and came up with three customer journey maps for an E-Waste donor, an electronics buyer, and a service provider.


Dive deep into stakeholders' needs and goals

By consolidating both findings from secondary research and guerilla research, we generated four user personas to help us identify user needs and their end goals:

Bree: customer who requests and receives the refurbished electronics
Sam: customer who has too many electronics and wants to donate
Eva: founder of the e-waste management NGO
Joe: service provider who refurbishes electronics that are sent in


The value of rapid idea generation and flexibility

With each persona, we came up with three situations they could potentially be in. As a group, we built off of each other. Within 30 minutes, we had come up with a skeleton of 11 scenarios that simply needed to be filled out. Not every scenario was logical or likely, but they gave us a fleshed out idea of what our users’ goals and experiences were. We understood how Bree and Sam would interact, or what Eva’s end goal was. Most importantly, we learned the value of rapid ideations and how it would support us to move forward.


Find the problem behind the problem: why do I want to donate over trade in?

We selected 4 scenarios that connected to all of our stakeholders. We did the first round of speed dating during class and validated the idea that people have a need to get rid of their old devices, but lack the knowledge of how.

However, we found that participants have opposite attitude towards the idea of "donating". This finding made us to think beyond just raising people's awareness of recycling used electronics, but also understanding what motivates/demotivates people to donate than trade-in.


Identify important values of our service

Based on feedbacks we received from class, we recreated another 4 storyboards focusing more on the details of their donate / request process. Overall, we all found that users had positive feedbacks on receiving ‘thank you note’ after donation. From this second round of speed dating, we were able to identified important values of our service and therefore decided what are some of the key features we should include:

  • Form for users to register and/or request device
  • Thank you notes for building emotional connection between donor and receiver
  • Recommendation system to ensure the qualification of receivers
  • Visualize donor's impact by providing information about the donating community



Create smooth user flow for both donate and request users

In order to make our website clean and easy to navigate, we chose to keep our design to a form filling format, where the user was taken through the requesting/donating process step by step.

Based on our speed dating results, users feel more encouraged to donate if they can see how their donation will impact the community around them. So with that information, we added a screen that allowed users to choose a donation community and see how their contribution could impact that area. On the requesters side, we had them fill out why they needed a device, followed by a confirmation page. The requester could also choose to write a Thank You note to their donor.