Take My Trash
A platform that aims to solve the challenge of urban waste in the city of Dhaka by connecting waste generators to potential buyers. We won the ASEF Summer University Innovathon with this project.
Oct 11 to Nov 2, 2021 - User research and low fidelity design mockups)
Nov 3 - 14, 2021 (Final Design and Development Phase)
The project has been implemented and taken over by our Innovathon mentor Fahim Uddin who is the CEO of Garbageman start-up in Dhaka.
In the team of 7, I was one of the two UX designers. I did user research, user flows, UI design - low and high fidelity prototyping and documentation
The landfill in Dhaka is 11 floors high. How do we prevent the 12th floor from being added?
With a growing population, Dhaka (Bangladesh) is facing serious challenges handling the enormous amount of solid waste generated by its 21.8 million residents. The aim of the project is to solve the problem of waste segregation and recycling. We focused on a small target user group - waste generated by small public and private events.
tonnes waste generated per day
waste dumped in open spaces
waste separated so that it can be recycled
UX - Initial User Research
Discover: what stops people from recycling their waste?
Method of research :
Talks with people living in Bangladesh, organized by ASEF.
Mentoring by CEO of Garbageman, a UNDP affiliated start-up in Dhaka, which currently is working on a similar problem statement targeting the industries
constant feedback from our team leader who is an architect and a local resident of Dhaka
research done on urban waste management in Dhaka and globally and website articles on this topic
Key Takeaways :
No formal system for waste management
People dump the trash on the streets - there is no enforcement of any policy to discourage this.
There is a community of bhangarwalas (waste pickers) picking from this dumped waste hoping to get something valuable from it on reselling.
Define: what stops people from recycling their waste?
Redefined Problem Statement
How can we help sustainable event organizers to safely dispose off event trash, without taking too much time or resources (human labor as well as financial)?
Ideate: what can solve Samia's problem?
"Uber, but for your event trash!"
An application by which you can book trash pick-up before your event. The company comes and drops of bins (with different colored lids) to segregate the trash before the event and collects them after the event. The recyclable trash will be given to the manufacturing industries operating near Dhaka. Our out-of-the-box solution was hammered down to a feasible one by the help of our industry mentor.
Design: A pick-up service for your event trash
From the initial user flow, we created a user story for users and buyers to see the end-to-end process while using the mobile application.
1. As a user, I want to book a pickup for my event
2. As a buyer, I want to place an order for waste material
How might we help users select a package suited for their event? (booking screen - packages)
Users can input the expected types of waste for their event.
Algorithm shows options based on the number of waste types selected (quantity of bins).
Users will have the option to add additional bins to accommodate more waste for selected waste types.
Users may also choose a custom package in case the options do not fit their event or if they have a larger-scale event
How might we make the buying process more convenient for buyers? (buying screen/order form)
We added a button to view inventory while the buyer is on the ordering screen.
Buyers can input the quantity desired instead of using the plus/minus buttons, since waste materials will be sold at large quantities.
How might we make the product more INCLUSIVE and reflective of the Dhaka community? (illustrations used)
Illustrations were made to resemble the ethnic community in Dhaka. The women are illustrated wearing salwar kameez and their skin tone is kept a bit darker
The colour palette of the illustrations was kept similar to the coloring of people living in Dhaka and their everyday outfits
In the prototype, we used the actual region names and possible names of people who could live in Bangladesh (eg. Ms Nodi Rehman)
The avatar (before it can be changed by the user) will take a gender neutral shape by default
Both men and women are depicted in the application, signifying that this application can be used by all. There is room for inclusion of different genders in the future.
How might we make the product more ACCESSIBLE to more users?
Admin side application is separated so the user side application is not bloated, takes up less memory space and can be downloaded in the normal phones which have low storage
We decided to make an android application as the user community we target do not often have expensive iPhone. With the application, we hope that more people will be able to access our service, as compared to a web-based application
There will be a hotline number included, for people who are not very proficient in English. They can call the number and ask for help.
What did I learn?
Overcoming my own bias
Bangladeshi culture is unique and it plays into how a user would interact with the interface. To make the application welcoming and user friendly, I had to detach from my own cultural values and put myself in the shoes of the target audience. Our team leader had a clear vision of inclusivity and gave constant feedback to ensure that the application was intuitive and welcoming for the users.
Working virtually with diverse team located in different time-zones
Our team is composed of members across 5 time zones and 7 countries. Using collaborative tools and having open communication helped us accomplish the tasks needed and ensured that everyone was on the same page. The diversity of the team also helped us look at the application through different cultural lenses and aided in making a more inclusive design. I realized the importance of having a diverse team and accommodating constant feedback in the design process
What could have been done differently?
We did not take actual user feedback on the interface, but we plan on implementing this idea on the ground. During that time, we will collect the data of the misclicks and other interactions and optimize the interface further
Scaling up and accounting for partnerships
Implementing different levels of privileges in the same application - currently it is partitioned into three different applications and log-ins. For example, additionally, we can have a delivery person log in from the admin side, and they would only be able to access the features which pertain to their job.