UX researcher and designer


UX design,
UI design, project manager — Mobile
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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. It also seeks to address the ease of donating, which has been shown to be a barrier.


Academic literature around consumer behavior shows that individuals are not overly concerned with where their used items go. They are instead most concerned with the ease of donating.

Research question

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


Academic literature around consumer behavior shows that individuals are not overly concerned with where their used items go. They are instead most concerned with the ease of donating.

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

Generative research

Environmental context

Mismanagement of used textiles has 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. 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.

Ethical differences

Some religious not for profits still promote an anti-lgbtqi+ agenda The Salvation Army is one example (Valle 2019).

Social responsibility

Ha-Brookshire and Hodges (2009) 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—not an altruistic want to “give back”. 

Bargaining process
Illustration: bargaining process a user will go through when deciding whether to donate their used items.

Our subsequent user research supported these findings

This critical insight was the first indication that we could not rely on altruism alone. Our product had to be convenient too.

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.

Competitive analysis

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.

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


Google Maps icon

Google Maps

Foursquare icon


GoFundMe icon


Yelp icon

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:


“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.”


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

User research

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.


Persona beginnings

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.

Finalized personas


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.


“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.”


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.


“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.”

Information Architecture

Journey maps to donations
User flows
for our initial personas
listing metadata​ structure

Service blueprints

have scrapp come and pick up your donation
drop a donation off to a Scrapp affiliated not for profit
support a Scrapp affiliated community organization
support a cause you care about

UI design

Initial sketches
Early prototype
Color palette
Buttons and
Onboarding and
create an account
Donor idendity
Search listings
Scheduling a pickup
Making a monetary

Project managers: Adam Inglis and Nicole Miller-Krezelak.
Research: led by Davira Jiménez, assisted by Nicole Miller-Krezelak and Adam Inglis.
Information Architecture: Led by Nicole Miller-Krezelak, assisted by Adam Inglis.  
Prototype and Visual Design: led by Adam Inglis, assisted by Nicole Miller-Krezelak.  
CUNY Human-Centered Design Instructor and Mentor: Efrat Yardeni