Problem: WorldCitizen aimed to encourage Nigerians to donate their unused clothes rather than disposing of them in landfills. They needed to understand how Nigerians handled their unused clothes. They estimated that two-thirds of the total amount of purchased textiles in the last two decades (100 million tonnes) ended up in landfills.
Role: UX Researcher
Timeline: 3 weeks
Team: 1 UX Researcher, 1 UX Designer, 1 UI Designer
Approach: I was the only UX Researcher for this project. I conducted five user interviews and conducted an unmoderated usability test on the prototype.
Insight: I found that participants saw donating clothes as a duty but hardly donated to charities because they were inaccessible. Some participants feared donating to unknown people for religious and superstitious reasons.
Impact: I recommended enabling donors to locate beneficiaries via geolocation, informing them about the status of their donations and rewarding them with points for donating their clothes. My recommendations were implemented in the final solution and ramped up my grade to 97%.
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Revving the Engine
I had just begun the training phase of Zuri’s internship and was eager to get my hands dirty. My first project was to design an app for WorldCitizen that people could use to donate clothes.
WorldCitizen is a humanitarian organisation that provides people with necessary supplies. Their goals were to encourage and help Nigerians within Nigeria to donate clothes to those who need them and to make donating clothes trendy.
The global annual consumption of textiles per person has increased from 7 to 13kg in the last two decades, reaching 100 million tonnes. Two-thirds end up in landfills. WorldCitizen’s solution aims to persuade Nigerians to donate their old clothes rather than disposing them.
💡 After considering WorldCitizen’s goal, the purpose of the research was to define how people handled their old clothes in order to figure out ways to encourage donations.
I outlined three objectives:
- Identify how people handled their old clothes.
- Identify the factors people considered when donating their old clothes.
- Reveal the current frustrations they faced when donating their old clothes.
Picking the Method
💡 Conducting user interviews during the discovery phase seemed like the best bet because it helped me generate insights about people’s donation behaviours or a lack of it. I conducted five interviews over Google meet. Each session lasted between 30-40 mins.
Exploring the Donation Process
Recruitment: The Target Audience
The target audience comprised of people who had experienced donating their clothes. But, I was flexible enough to include those who had never donated their clothes. WorldCitizen’s goal informed my flexibility: to make donations cool and trendy and to encourage people to donate their clothes.
Interview: What is it about Donations?
💡 I interviewed five participants. The interviews centred on their feelings about clothes and giving them out. Each session lasted between 30-40 mins.
Analysis and Synthesis: Invisible Charities and Religiousity
To help me understand the data gathered from my research, I organised the interview notes, and deciphered the patterns.
💡 I found that participants saw donating clothes as a duty but hardly donated to charities because they were inaccessible. Some participants feared donating to unknown people for religious and superstitious reasons.
I created two personas. They served as a summary of my potential users. From this point onwards, my research focused on what Gabriel and Priscilla would love to see.
I pieced an aggregated empathy map that helped to explain how participants experienced each challenge while donating clothes.
Prioritising ‘How Might We?’ Questions
I considered how we might address the challenges Gabriel and Priscillia faced. I triaged the ideas using an impact-complexity matrix and focused on the “high value/low effort” quadrant.
Ideas in this quadrant were viable, feasible and implementable for WordlCitizen because they add more value to the organisation and require low effort.
As a result, my research recommended 10 features:
Unmoderated Usability Test
Once I had a prototype, I conducted an unmoderated usability test with ten participants. I did this to gain feedback from potential users.
💡 The test asked participants to make a donation with the Figma prototype and record their experiences, challenges and thoughts in a survey. 70% of test participants confirmed that they would use the product in real life. Most participants found the prototype to be simple, intuitive and hitch-free. However, the initial prototype did not allay the fear of donating clothes to unknown people and organisations.
Impact & Outcomes
World Citizen Donation App
The research I conducted propelled the design of WorldCitizen’s donation app.
The app improves the donation experience by prompting donors to donate their old clothes, linking donors to benefactors through geolocation, instant messaging and feedback systems, collecting reward points for donations, and delivering donations remotely or physically.
97% out of 100%
The project was graded by the training coordinators. I topped the scoresheet of my assigned cohort with a score of 97%. This was a confidence boost and encouraged me to take on more challenging projects.
Challenges & Lessons
Overall, improving the donation experience for a wide variety of users has led me to understand that most users see donating clothes as a duty. However, a gap exists between donors and benefactors. World Citizen attempts to bridge the gap, to make donating clothes trendy, cool and easy for everyone.
Contrary to plying through a linear design path, one unique thing about research and design is that the process is hardly ever linear. I discovered, while working on this project, how iteration can be used to reshape design decisions.