Prototype | Recyclable items identification app

Prototype | Recyclable items identification app - student project

I've been recycling my entire life. It's kind of a family value, a second nature. So I recycle wherever I go and since I've been living as a digital nomad for many years, I happen to share my flat with different kinds of people. Most of them -to be fair, all of them- think recycling is unnecessary or a job for others to do, but also they don't do it because they don't not how to identify whether a package (that is not paper) is actually recyclable or not.

So, at home, I always have a place for recycling purposes, that is always tide up, except when I've flatmates because they are unable to identify items and this is always giving me a lot of extra work arranging, cleaning and putting all together for the recycling company or person that picks it up. I've tried everything, crash courses, signs, labels in their own language... nothing has worked so far.


This is the storytelling:

Prototype | Recyclable items identification app - image 1 - student project

*I'm not a designer nor something related to the industry, so pardon me the colours and writing!!!


Therefore, for me, a recycling spot at home has always been a big room for improvement. So I decided to solve the identification issue by using an app that tells users whether packages of goods are recyclable or not via reading the barcode or identifying one of the printed logos via scanning or selecting them from a category

Then, I entered the prototyping stage and, as you can tell now, paper would be neither my first nor my last option to do this part, so I did it digitally, took my iPad, open a new note and started drawing as were paper -for the very first time- and I reckon it ended up quite well.


This is the prototype:

Prototype | Recyclable items identification app - image 2 - student project


Then I went to XD to prototype the app and this is a screenshot of one of the flows (I loved this software and all the utilities it has, I can't believe is free!).

Prototype | Recyclable items identification app - image 3 - student project


Then I tried out all flows on my phone (the navigation needs to be fixed, yes!)


Issues found: the main one was relying on what I could get from the barcodes (thinking on developing, data retrieving and data management).

Initially, I thought I would find the material of the package of any product by scanning their barcodes as one identification item; however, the information provided isn't consistent for all packages because barcodes are not meant to describe products in detail. This is what the take a picture or scan or enter a barcode number was initially thought (not all smartphones models have cameras that scan so the input version was presented).

Then I realized that isn't actually necessary to have this option as the only one because most packages do have symbols printed everywhere that can be either recognized by cameras or by users that can select them from the "type of logo" option. For this prototype, I took plastic symbols because they are few and easy to handle and understand.

To solve the issue of what information to show depending on the way users identify the logo or package I've created 2 views. One view that shows the information that can be scraped from websites on the Internet combined with the information provided from the one coming from the "type of logo" option (the app should match the logo with the information provided on this second view).

At the end of any flow, the app would get users to this last view telling them if the package is recyclable or not, provide a little description of the package (the app shows information from the article "The seven types of plastic") and shows them a map that would tell where is the closest place to recycle the package.

Patricia, thank you so much for this course, I liked it very much for the clarity of the content provided, the resources shared and all the new skills it helps to develop!