Scrapp

for iOS

scrapp scrapp scrapp scrapp scrapp

Role: UI/UX/Project Manager

scrapp logo
Scrapp helps you donate simply, ethically, consciously.

Scrapp is an ethically-vetted mobile app for upcycling, recycling, and redistributing used goods. Its objective is to make donating and recycling simple and provide transparency around organizations that purport to be working in the public interest.


Project outline

Project outline


3 Team Members, 5 Weeks.

Deliverables: competitive/comparative analysis, user research, and personas, journey maps, user flows, site maps, sketches, wireframes and a clickable prototype.

Conducted: interviews, competitive/comparative analysis, usability testing.

Design tools: Miro, Meistertask, Figma, Google Suite, paper and pen.

Research question
Search icon

How might we make it easier to donate clothes and be more intentional about where they end up?

The problem

Over 85 percent of clothing and shoes purchased by Americans winds up in a landfill. At the same time, many are going without.

Our solution

Scrapp: an app designed to help New Yorkers donate easily to accountable organizations and donor centers. Scrapp aims to connect donors with organizations and people in need rather than have donors blindly give to donation centers that simply place textiles and goods in landfills or resell for financial profit.


Competitive analysis icon

Competitive analysis and generative research

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Background

User research finds significant deficiencies in non-profit organizations' website content, which often fails to provide the info people need to make donation decisions. Academic literature around consumer behavior shows compelling evidence to suggest that individuals are not that concerned with where their used items go. They are instead most concerned with the ease of donating.

Environmental impact

With the mismanagement of these used textiles also comes a significant environmental impact. The recycling rate for all textiles in the United States is about 15 percent. For textiles in clothing and footwear, it's even lower: 13.6 percent.

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Data sources: American Apparel and Footwear Association, International Trade Commission, the U.S. Department of Commerce's Office of Textiles and Apparel, and the Council for Textile Recycling. Infographic source: United States EPA
Donation scams

Neighborhood donation bins often have signs indicating that donated goods will go to the poor or, in some cases, to legitimate charities. But the needy do not always benefit from much of what is collected. Instead, the clothing is often sold in thrift stores or bulk overseas, with any sales going to for-profit entities that can be difficult to trace or contact. Planet Aid is an example of this type of organization.

Anti lgbtqi+ rhetoric

Some religious not for profits still promote an anti-lgbtqi+ agenda The Salvation Army is one example of this type of organization (Valle 2019), but there are others.

Scrapp wants to empower its users with the knowledge to make informed decisions about where their donations will make an impact that matters to them.


Literature review
Literature review

One of the first things we did when we began thinking about this project was a review of the academic literature on consumer behavior around donating. A study by Ha-Brookshire and Hodges (2009) stood out. The authors looked at social responsibility as a motivator for used clothing donations.

They found that: discarding used clothing was usually prompted by the need to make room for new clothes.

Jeans
Mittens
Neck tie

Social responsibility was a weak motivator for used clothing donation and there is a possible gap between how non-profits describe used clothing donation and how consumers understand it.

This finding disputes our initial assumption that people want to donate more ethically.

Our user subsequent research supported these findings.

This critical insight was the first indication that we had to first design a product that made the process of donating EASY. Our hypothesis: if we can bring people on-board with convenience — and we can meet that need — we will have a platform to use to also inspire them to donate more consciously.

Bargaining process

👆The user's bargaining process when they are deciding which clothes to keep and what to ditch.

Competitor apps

My team and I conducted a thorough competitive analysis to get a sense of similar apps within the same space as a proposed scrapp app.

We wanted to understand more about the current solutions for users looking for donation solutions from digital products. Having a good understanding of this initial landscape was an important benchmark because it informed the substance of our subsequent user interviews.

Giveit - Free Donation Pick Up icon
Giveit - Free Donation Pick Up
Community Thrift icon
Community Thrift
Forward: Re-use for charity icon
Forward: Re-use for charity
Salvation Army Family Store icon
Salvation Army Family Store
Goodwill Mobile App icon
Goodwill Mobile App
donateNYC icon
donateNYC
Google Maps icon
Google Maps
Foursquare icon
Foursquare
GoFundMe icon
GoFundMe
Yelp icon
Yelp

Donation apps are not uncommon, but our comparative and competitive analysis showed that certain trends dominate. Many larger organizations have created apps to help schedule pickups or to direct donors to drop-off sites. Map-based apps help donors know where there are donation locations nearby. None of the apps focus directly on the ethics of the organizations. We also found it hard to know what was accepted at drop sites vis-a-vis existing apps.


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Review of feedback left online

Having identified the competition, we wanted to understand more about the problems the vocal minority were raising online with them.

Much of what we discovered online mirrored the views expressed during our user interviews.

Online, reviewers often voiced frustration about the lack of information regarding what donation sites did and did not accept. One reviewer from Brooklyn said of a local Salvation Army drop off point:

persona

"My items were too heavy to carry on the subway so I paid $20 to uber down to the donation center to donate clothing only to find they couldn't accept any more donations. This should be advertised online so I wouldn't have wasted money trying to give a donation that wasn't accepted. Very disappointing. Defeats the point of donating."

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"Donations are refused an hour before closing... don’t come!", another user wrote.

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Interviews

My team and I conducted several rounds of interviews with a variety of user types from our personal and professional networks. Interviews were recorded in-person and transcribed for further analysis and abstraction using affinity mapping design exercises.

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Synthesis

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Affinity mapping

affinity mapping exercise

After transcribing and analyzing our first round of interviews, we did several affinity-mapping exercises to identify and qualify the sub-themes that began to emerge within top-level categories.

The data we captured revealed insight into our user's demographics, motivations, pain points, current solutions, likes, and needs.

affinity map slideshow

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Findings

Here's what we learned about our users from our interviews

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Their motivations

decluttering
Decluttering
ethics
Ethics
giving back
Giving back
guilt
Guilt
value
Value

Our users were primarily motivated by the need to declutter or make room for new items in their wardrobe. This primary motivation was the catalyst, but there were other contributing layers involved around guilt felt when items went to waste or landfill. In that sense, ethics were another motivating factor, particularly around the goals of the not-for-profit repurposing the goods. Finally, the value of the items was also a motivating factor for our users.


solution icon
Their current solutions

hoard it
Hoard it or ignore it
give it away
Give it away
throw it away
Throw it away
donate it
Donate it
seek value
Seek value or sell it
recycle it
Recycle it

Our users described several current solutions to their clutter woes. Often it gets hoarded or ignored until it just becomes too much. Some items are given away to friends or family. Items were left on stoops or in hallways for others to pick through and take. Sometimes items were discarded to a landfill. Sometimes goods made their way to a donation site. At times users would seek value for items that were perceived to still be "of value".


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Their pain points

map
Inconvenience around donation process and nearby donation sites
knowledge gap
Knowledge gaps around the donation process
selective
Donation sites only take certain types of items
conflict of interest
Conflicts of interest with unethical charity (ie: some are anti LGBT)

The number one annoyance for our users was around getting their items to donation sites. They also complained about knowledge gaps around where to take their stuff and who would want — or refuse — it. Some of our users also expressed concern about the underlying ideology of the charity receiving the goods.


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What they love

decluttering
Decluttering
The environment
The environment
social impact
Social impact
Financial return
Financial return
convenience
Convenience
discovery
Discovery

Our users told us that they love getting rid of the clutter in their lives. Some of them loved making a social impact and others were more focused on the environmental impact of waste to landfills.


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What they need

convenience
Convenience (overwhelmingly)
incentive
An incentive
a good cause
A good cause
informative
Information

Our users need convenience over everything else. Its the biggest barrier and cannot be understated. It came up again and again in our interviews. Regardless of ethics, most donors want to drop goods close to home.

Some users don't want to donate. They prefer to trade their used goods or re-sell them. Others won't donate to causes or charities that are discordant with their moral code.

designing collaboratively

Designing collaboratively

design tools
Design tools

Miro screenshot

We used Miro 👆to work on scrapp collaboratively.

Figma screenshot

We used Figma 👆to build and test our prototype. Figma is my design tool of choice, especially when working with teams, because of its multiplayer/collaborative functionality. It helped us iterate quickly and get work done while in the same room, and while working remotely.

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Personas

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Persona sketches

persona sketchs

Here 👆 is some insight into how we built our initial personas using the data we extrapolated and abstracted from our interviews.

Our trader persona was later dropped because although some of our users expressed a desire to sell or trade their used goods, we had to prioritize and narrow the scope of our project. Scrapp is really about donating and recycling. There are numerous trading apps out there for users wanting to capitalize on their goods.

Later, our social do-gooder type was combined with our environmentalist, eventually becoming "Doff", our (drop it off) personality.

Refining our personas enabled us to design for everyone, without it becoming too crowded.


persona icon
Finalized personas

Gioh persona

Gioh

Get it out of here

This user is motivated purely by convenience. Their used clothes often go to a landfill because they are too busy juggling a young family and work to concern themselves with such things.

Need

"I need a pickup service"

Pain Points

"Carrying bags on the subway takes energy and it's a lot to carry."

"I'm incredibly busy. I just don't have time."


Doff persona

Doff

Drop it off

This user is most interested in avoiding waste to landfill. They want to recycle, upcycle, bicycle.. all of the cycles. They are motivated by reducing their carbon footprint.

This user loves feeling like their donations go to a cause they support but they want to know where their donation will end up.

Need

"I would like to know who needs what"

"I won't donate to any religious charities who promote an anti-lgbtqi+ agenda. I need other options and it needs to be clear"

Pain Points

"I struggle to find drop off locations"

"No easy way to see the philosophy of a donation site."


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Information Architecture

IA icon
User journey sketches

After conducting interviews, we discovered that we had some false assumptions about donors. Initially, we believed that donors would choose donation centers and causes based on ethics and accountability. We discovered that all of our interviewees based their donations on convenience. Even if they wanted to support causes they simply found it easier to donate to the closest drop point.

boot
jacket
pullover

We based our journeys on how we could alter these “convenience drops” by providing the information users need to donate to ethical and accountable charities or even better, highlight the charities that offer convenient pick-up.


Current assumed journey

We assumed that donors would either drive, take public transportation, or walk to drop boxes or donation centers, leave their donations and continue on with their days. We know users are frustrated by inconvenient drop points but also by not knowing what donation centers accept. One interviewee expressed helplessness not knowing where goods actually end up.

user flow


Find a location and drop off goods

Having an app on your phone that will easily display (list and/or map) where to donate but also WHAT is accepted is key. A huge pain point for donors is not knowing what is accepted where. We also realized at this point that there are definitely niche donation centers. For example, some animal shelters accept used bedding and towels; textile recycling centers accept unwearable items. In this journey, the user is dropping the items.

user flow


Schedule a pick-up

Most pickup options are offered by donation centers that have the resources to fund pick-ups. These organizations are sometimes affiliated with a religion, which can be a deterrent to users.

user flow


User flow scenario

We based our user flows on different personality types and purposes. We knew that having as much information as possible upfront would entice users to take different paths to donation. Some users may want to donate to support services for returning citizens or the homeless while others might want to donate to organizations that have strong accountability to the environment and climate change. Giving them all the information they need to make informed decisions was at the crux of our flows.

socks
skirt
vest

Schedule a pick-up or find a donation site

Find a nearby drop off point and take your donation items in-person. Find out exactly who takes what, and what the organization stands for. Don't have time to drop the donation off? Schedule a pick-up instead.

👇 Below offers some insight into how we initially planned out our early user flows with our original four personas


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Service blueprint

donate in person icon
Donate in person
Doff persona

Doff

Drop it off

Support community organizations directly.

Find a nearby drop off point and take your donation items in-person. Find out exactly who takes what, and what the organization stands for.

service blueprint: drop it off


pick it up icon
We pick it up
Gioh persona

Gioh

Get it out of here

Logged in user with profile and preferences preset

Service blueprint: we pick it up

We come and pick it up and take it away. It goes to our facility where it gets sorted. It is then sold to a third party or other second-hand good dealers. Profit goes directly to your elected cause/s per your profile settings.


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Prototype

lofi proto icon
Initial sketches

Sketching as many screens as possible was necessary to consider how we wanted our users to interact with Scrapp. We debated whether or not we would need to ask for locations or profile creation immediately or if the app would be stickier if we allowed users to browse without commitment. We discussed various layouts for the map page and how much information we include.

lofi sketch

lofi sketch


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Wireframe

We built our mid-fi wireframe and prototype with Figma for collaborative purposes. As planned we kept our onboarding to a minimum. Users are only really required to set up a profile if they want pick-up services. We toyed with the idea of a location/nearby option and also a search function and saving search locations.

wireframe


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UI elements

Donation category icons

icons


Social icon variants

icons


Button variants

buttons


Onboarding and home

Screen - Home Screen - Onboarding


Search

Screen - search Screen - search results Screen - search results with map


Listings

Screen - Gowanus E-Waste Screen - Out of the Closet Screen - Listing - Sean Casey Animal Shelter


Search

Screen - search Screen - search results Screen - search results with map


Schedule a pick up

Screen - Organize a pick up Screen - search results with map Screen - search results

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Usability testing

Usability testing was a very important step in iterating on Scrapp. We presented our prototype to five users and received both positive and negative feedback in our first round of testing. This feedback encouraged us to shift some of our UI flow and helped us clear up some confusion in opening screens. We also had issues with our wires that we cleaned up based on user feedback.


next steps icon
Next steps

You know when you think you get how people operate based on wildly inaccurate assumptions? That was definitely what happened to us during the discovery phase. As a group, we truly believed that people wanted to donate their goods to causes with which they are ethically aligned. We learned this is NOT the initial motivation: getting rid of items in the most convenient way possible is all that matters. Once our users realized that they have little choice about where their items end up, a perceptible shift was felt.

Our next steps will include building out more screens to focus specifically on categories of donation opportunities. We want to highlight unconsidered options for our users such as donations to animal shelters (as demonstrated in the screens below). We will also continue to organize screens for best UI flow and focus on style as we head into development.