We were hired by Retrace Corporation, a company focused on enhancing the efficiency and profitability of environmentally responsible recycling. Retrace's main client is a recycling certification board, e-Stewards, which includes the e-Stewards Marketplace. The Marketplace is an online-auction platform for businesses to dispose of used electronics for the best value.
Stakeholder interviews revealed the opportunity to add several features to the Marketplace. We narrowed the scope down to a single "magic wand" feature articulated by the client. In the client's own words, "if the Marketplace's users could have a magic wand, they would be able to click on a button and have all of their used electronics taken away. Magically."
We designed a landing page that featured the button users would click on, but for the e-Waste to be taken away required a 3-step process:
1) Describing the e-waste and determining how many trucks were required for pick-up
2) Selecting the date and time of pick-up
3) Providing payment and pick-up location details.
Role: User research, interaction design, prototyping, UI design
A valuable lesson was learned: having a war room is beneficial to externalizing the thought process so that a team can speak the same language, refer to the same visuals, and collaborate during the design process. Externalizing invites evaluation and iteration.
We performed a heuristic evaluation of e-Stewards Marketplace to provide an in-depth evaluation of the existing website prior to any design recommendations. Over 100 criteria were used across eight categories (e.g. Landing (Home) Page, Navigation & Info Architecture, Forms & Data Entry). The evaluation identified further opportunities for Retrace and e-Stewards to address in the future.
Although e-Stewards Marketplace has no direct B2B competitors, performing the competitive analysis with B2C and indirect competitors still allowed us to better understand the electronic recycling landscape.
User interviews revealed three things to be priorities to users: data security, convenience, and responsible recycling. With this in mind, we created two user personas based on our initial hypotheses and data from user interviews. The team designed with Christopher in mind since he closely matched the users we interviewed. However, we believed Madison could very well be a secondary, indirect user of the service.
User Journey Map
The journey map documents the interactions or relationships necessary to fulfill the user's needs and the emotional states the user experiences throughout the process over a period of time. I synthesized key insights from user interviews and leveraged the user persona we created to understand Christopher's personal universe. The final artifact blends a narrative and visual viewpoint of the user in three phases, including the emotional experience levels before, during, and after pick-up of e-Waste.
The team went into a design studio to come up with initial design solutions in a structured setting by sketching, presenting & critiquing, and iterating for specific amounts of time. Shown below are a few sketches from the first of several design studios. We built upon each others sketches, which led to the first Axure clickable prototype. I took the opportunity to build a fully responsive prototype in Axure to practice designing for tablet and mobile based on the desktop website.
Usability Test Findings
We tested two clickable prototypes with a total of 10 users: 5 on version 1 and 5 on version 2. After each round, the team created an affinity diagram of insights noted from testing and then categorized the changes we needed to address in the next prototype or high-fidelity mock-up.
We presented to a panel consisting of Retrace Corporation's Marketing Manager, Monica Ruzicka, and our course instructors, Ashley Karr and Court Crawford, who acted as subject-matter-experts throughout the project. Monica was delighted with our presentation, findings, and was excited to pass along our deliverables to her developers.