Summon your friends while saving the Earth

Amanda Lim Emily Rohman Lauren Phillips Tanner Pelkey Taylor Thompson
My Role
UX Researcher UX/UI Designer
2 Weeks
Interactive Prototype

The Problem:

People who care about the environment already have developed positive habits around recycling and reducing waste. For others, the process is confusing and convoluted with little immediate personal gratification. How might we design a product that will influence more people to develop better recycling habits?

The Solution:

TrashTalk!, a mobile app that empowers environmentalists to inspire collective efforts among their peers to develop positive habits around recycling and reducing waste.

Approach & Deliverables:

Work in a 2 week sprint with a collective team to design a mobile app that solves a world problem. Provide a high fidelity clickable prototype based on thorough user research and analysis, usability testing, feedback and iterations.


User Interviews

We wanted a deeper understanding of peoples' perceptions of the recycling process and how it impacts the environment. We interviewed 5 people with various backgrounds but ultimately had a desire to recycle in some capacity.

Research Statement

As a user researcher, I want to understand the user’s depth of knowledge about recycling.

Objectives: To Understand...

  • The user’s habits and perceptions about recycling
  • The user’s decision-making process when recycling
  • The user's needs and frustrations about recycling


After our research phase was complete, we synthesized the data into our problem statement and theorized on a solution. We organized our user interview insights into an affinity diagram and empathy map in order to gain a deeper understanding of our users' pain points and generate innovative solutions for their needs

User Insight Statement

Environmentalists who consistently practice good waste management habits feel that their efforts cannot make an impact without collective action from peers to establish better recycling routine.

Based on our research and analysis, we found that users have a strong desire to recycle but lack the energy, incentive or knowledge to develop better habits, especially if it is inconvenient.


Following the research and analysis phase, we sorted our data into a feature prioritization matrix to determine the best features to incentivize users to develop better recycling habits.

Feature Narrative

After researching direct and indirect competitors, we listed key features that we liked from existing sources and features that we wished could be implemented based on our user pain points from our interview data.  From there, we ranked them by priority/impact and complexity to determine our key features.

  • Track personal recycling goals and achievements
  • Compete with friends through recycling challenges
  • Use AR to gain knowledge on an item’s proper recycling method and track personal recycling stats

User Flows

Our original user flow design was convoluted and confusing, so we simplified the design and went back to our research and analysis to avoid feature creep and stay on track with our feature prioritization.


We started with simple sketches, then progressed to low fidelity wireframes. After performing 5 usability tests, we needed to add some clarity to our designs and simplify the task flow.

Low Fidelity Wireframes

High Fidelity Prototype

Based on usability testing of our low fidelity prototype, we developed the high fidelity wireframes based on iOS standard guidelines.  We designed the app with three main tasks in mind:

  • Add an item to your recycle total and keep track of your environmental impact
  • Challenge a friend to a recycle themed contest
  • Invite friends to join the app

We wanted to keep the design fun and playful with the ability to interact with friends to inspire better recycling habits. We focused our color palette on nature colors to keep an environmental theme.

Click Image for Prototype

Feedback & Iterations

Overall usability testing was positive. Users had an easy time navigating the app and found the ability to challenge a friend fun and incentivizing.

Future Progression

  • Leaderboard: users want to see their overall progress against their friends
  • Ability to organize events through app
  • Links or resources for atypical items
  • Monetization of reward system for recycling

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