Designing the app that can save the world
Since the release in 2017 in New South Wales, Australia, we have been releasing the app in other countries. Like most things that relates to the unique situations of governments and its laws, it have grown to be too complex for its original structure. It was time for a complete redesign.
Our goal was to:
- Reduce the time spent on core loop by 50%
- Future proof layout for possible new markets
My role was to research, synthesize and create a solution to present to stakeholders and developers.
The challenge is finding a common user journey for all existing countries and their unique situations. Combining that with the hypothetical countries creates a complex research project.
Understanding what we are doing right
We created an overview of our user behavior from collected data, both qualitative and quantitative data, split into country specific categories. Reviewing our own history, structure, and possibilities to understand what a realistic way forward could be.
We knew that it was limited to what we can do about the physical user journeys and the opportunity lies with the app.
The user testing was split in to 3 major areas:
a) Different ways of identification
b) Colors and Theming
c) Refunds and rewards
Break free from bias but keep it sane
I created prototypes for the 3 areas in user testing with a wide range of possible solutions. With the goal for 50% reduction in time spent on core loop user journey we focused most of our effort on the identification tests.
We built simulated recycling centers in countries who dont have a deposit scheme to be able to do a valid user test. The digital user journey is intertwined with the physical journey and that required the testing to be at a RVM or other recycling location.
We also had to take into account what situation a user can be in when they are recycling. Are they holding 5 different bags with bottles and cans? Maybe a parent with the kids? Outside and sunny?
Since we are handling money it is important that felt safe, but keeping the playfulness. We ran mood tests to understand what felt safe but not boring and what was fun but not insecure.
Examples from the Identification tests
Examples from the Mood tests
Identification: Square Cards
Identification: Corner circles
Concept: Splash of color
Concept: Bucket of color
Home page with the new design
Getting closer and closer
We chose designs which tested better in countries with more complex systems (multiple identification methods and multiple recycling methods). The design was less favorable to countries with few options but it still tested well. While other solutions often tested very poorly with the more complex systems. We were able to disprove validity several of our most "darling"-designs, which was of great help to get buy-in for other designs.
Different ways of identification
Quick select menu
The identification user tests had greater influence on the result than the other categories. All methods should be available at all times was the key findings. It even tested high on users that only use one identification method 100% of the time. While the solution which scored the highest for single identification, had very low score for complex locations.
Refunds and rewards
There is a split in the feedback depending on the countries setup. Countries with a high degree of professional recyclers had completely different needs than countries with a low degree. The biggest fear among professionals was accidentely choosing the wrong payout in the app, while regular recyclers want to be able to switch it as easy as possible. We created a solution where the user can decide if they will use the "Quick select"-menu.
Colors and theming
Culture have a huge impact on testing the design style. In the US we have a high degree of people who rely on their income from recycling, while in Germany and Sweden it's moral obligation to recycle. The concepts "Colorful" and "Bucket of color" did not work for professional recyclers. While the "Splash of color" tested well with all groups it lowered the success rate slighty and "Minimal" was considered boring and forgettable. Resulting in a design that has enough colorful elements to make it memorable and without disrupting the usability or sense of security.