GadgetCycle App
Role: Researcher, UX / Ul Design, Branding, Animation
Tools: Figma, Otter AI, Adobe Illustrator, After Effects
Timeline: 4 weeks
GadgetCycle is a digital marketplace for used electronics that allows sellers to easily estimate the value of their used electronics and decide whether to sell, donate, repair, or recycle their devices. If users choose to sell, they can utilize GadgetCycle's product photo suggestions and generate captivating product descriptions in seconds to attract potential buyers.

How it all started...

Several years back, I delved into a gripping dystopian sci-fi novel "Waste Tide" by Chen Qiufan, which depicts the adverse consequences of mishandling electronic waste and sheds light on the economics of the recycling business. This thought-provoking novel had a lasting impact on my understanding of e-waste pollution effects and pushed me to focus on the problem space for this project to explore possible digital solutions.

To solve the problem, I followed the end-to-end human-centered design process, which included primary & secondary research, competitive analysis, task flow development, and user testing, among other steps.

Secondary Research Insights
To better understand the problem space, I began my project by conducting an extensive secondary research
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Research Insight #1
There is a clear problem with e-waste. Just in 2019 alone, Canada generated 757,000 tons of e-waste (UN e-waste monitor Report (2020). To address this, initiatives such as recycling programs, trade-in programs, online marketplaces, digital divide programs, and various government initiatives have been implemented.
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Research Insight #2
Insufficient attention is given to prolonging the lifespan of electronics. In a study by Christine Cole, 30 e-waste experts have expressed concern that recycling has been overemphasized as a treatment method, while initiatives to fix or reuse products have been neglected. 
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Research Insight #3
There is a demand for more environmentally-sustainable solutions. Three-quarters of Gen Z consumers state that sustainability is more important to them than brand names, and 75% of Millennials are eco-conscious to the point of changing their buying habits to favor environmentally-friendly products (Nielsen).
Research Synthesis
I decided to prioritize solutions that enable a circular economy rather than just emphasizing recycling, as these solutions are currently underemphasized yet highly encouraged by e-waste specialists. 
I selected millennials and Gen Zs as my target users because they are more inclined to favor digital products that promote sustainability, and also more likely to be interested to save money by reducing expenses associated with purchasing new electronics.
How might we help millennials and Gen-Zs to save costs in order to facilitate a circular economy?
Understanding the User
After I identified my target audience and potential problem space, I conducted semi-structured decontextualized interviews with 4 users and implemented an affinity mapping process to clarify further goals, pain points, behavioral patterns & motivations of my persona. 
One of the main goals of my primary research was to find out what users from my target group would prefer the most: to sell, repair or donate. These findings will further inform the definition of the problem space.
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User Insight #1
Users would generally prefer to sell their old electronics because it would help them to recover some costs
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User Insight #2
Even though the cost is a factor, saving costs is not enough to attract Gen-Zs and Millenials to digital marketplaces for used electronics. Instead, eco-conscious users are more interested in apps that prioritize both financial incentives and environmental impact
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User Insight #3
4 out of 4 interviewees used Facebook marketplace in the past and found the experience time-consuming, effortful, and lacking in incentives. 
Research Synthesis
Eco-conscious millennials and Gen-Zs are more interested in selling their old electronics over donating or repairing, however currently they find the process time-consuming, effortful, and lacking in incentives.
How might we provide environmentally conscious consumers with a hassle-free electronics selling experience to facilitate a circular economy?

Primary Research: Existing Solutions in Relation to interviews findings

Solutions Insight 1
There is public mistrust toward trade-in marketplaces like Decluttr, It’s Worth More, and GadgetGone.   For example, when I was looking up Decluttr, the top most popular search on Google was: “Is Decluttr a legit company?”
Solutions Insight 2
Users don’t want to hand their products to the buyer without a guarantee of being paid. According to my primary research, mistrust is likely caused by the fact that users must hand over their gadgets before getting paid. This is something that half of my interviewees brought up as a red flag in the second-hand selling process.
Solutions Insight 3
Sellers would prefer more control over setting their own terms and conditions when it comes to handling the item and getting paid.  This is one of the reasons why, despite its drawbacks, the Facebook marketplace is more favored by users. There is more control over setting your own terms and conditions when it comes to handling the item and getting paid. 
Solutions Insight 4
Instant Value Estimation feature helps users to identify if there's an incentive to commit to the selling process in the first place. The instant value estimation feature that Declutter, Itsworthmore, and GadgetGone marketplaces utilize is useful to help identify if the value of the device is worth the user’s time and effort in the first place. 

Meet Persona: Exhausted Alex 

Task Prioritization
After creating 40 user stories related to my persona’s experience map and problem space, the next step was to develop them into epics that could inspire the potential functionality of the app.
As I reviewed the user stories, I noticed some commonalities and consolidated them into 4 epics, which are listed on the right side.
I chose “Used electronics selling tool” epic because it addressed the most pain points from the experience map.  Experience map pain points that I aimed to address: Looking for a typical price takes too much time  Writing a good product description with all the necessary laptop features takes too much time and effort  The user feels that they spent too much time and effort going through the selling process and have no incentive to do it again
Filter for received offers: Sellers want to reduce time spent negotiating prices and do business only with trustworthy buyers
Escrow Payment Page: Sellers want a guaranteed payment as well as protection against delayed payments or fraud
Buyer management tool: Sellers want an easy and secure way to interact with buyers and schedule meetings
Environmental impact dashboard: Sellers want to see how their decisions affect the environment and feel incentivized to sell their old gadgets
Task Flow Diagrams
Persona:  Alex, is an environmentally-conscious millennial who wants a second-hand selling process for old electronics that doesn’t require too much effort and time on her part
Main task: To sell a laptop
Sub-tasks: I divided the task flow diagram for selling a used laptop into 2 interconnected tasks:  
1. Estimating the value of the laptop  
2. Creating a listing to sell the laptop 


With the primary task flow now established, it was time to start sketching out the various screens for the marketplace. 

Low-Fidelity Prototype

After completing the sketches, I converted them into low-fidelity wireframes and conducted 2 rounds of user testing with 5 participants each. I employed a design prioritization matrix to sift through the user feedback and determine the most important changes. The objective was to identify usability issues and ensure that the app's functionality was on point.

Visual Identity Story

After finalizing the mid-fidelity wireframes, the next step was to establish the brand identity for GadgetCycle.

I’ve started conceptualizing the brand’s identity by examining pain points that users brought up during the initial interviews. I discerned two key objectives for the brand. Primarily, the app should simplify and streamline the process of selling used electronics, leading to descriptors such as effortless and approachable.  Secondly, addressing the prevalent issue of hoarded devices necessitates evoking sensations of uncluttered spaces, resulting in adjectives like fresh, decluttering, and clean.  

Consequently, the brand encapsulates an ethos of effortlessness, freshness, decluttering, cleanliness, and approachability.

Colors & Accesibility
Green was chosen as the primary color due to its association with a financial opportunity and environmental responsibility, two values encouraged by the GadgetCycle app.  After creating the moodboard, I considered alternative green shades but ultimately chose a vibrant and accessible green for the main brand color. It evoked a sense of freshness and proved more engaging than other options. Incorporating accessibility in all design decisions is crucial. To ensure that the app's colors were accessible, I tested their contrast. Any color that did not meet the accessibility criteria was either modified or eliminated.
Watermark & Logo
After experimenting with various typography styles for the watermark, the Satoshi bold font was chosen as the base. For the main logo concept, the challenge was to incorporate both the circular economy symbol and the representation of electronics. The concept began with cyclical arrows and gradually integrated an electric plug to encapsulate two main premises of the app.
High-Fidelity Prototype

Now that all of the design decisions have been implemented, I am thrilled to unveil the high-fidelity prototype of GadgetCycle

Marketing Landing Page

After finalizing the high-fidelity prototype, I prototyped a responsive marketing website for GadgetCycle that could be accessed through both desktop and mobile devices. The primary objective was to craft an engaging copy that clearly communicates the GadgetCycle’s value proposition and inspires users to download the app.

How GadgetCycle benefits users?
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It helps to make better pricing decisions and spend less time creating a listing
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It helps to decide what to do with used electronic devices that can’t be sold
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It enables to save money on new gadgets while simultaneously reducing e-waste