Give the Users What they Want: Elevating the User Experience of the Buy Nothing Project
Natural resources are being depleted at an extremely unsustainable rate, and it has caused harm to the planet, animals, and to ourselves. Factors that are contributing to the earth’s pollution are caused by overconsumption from our current linear economy. The Buy Nothing Project encourages a circular economy by having hyperlocal groups associated by neighborhoods that are hosted on Facebook, and have users give each other items at no cost, that would otherwise be discarded. This thesis explores how Facebook is not the right medium to host the Buy Nothing Project, and how empathizing with users of the Buy Nothing Project by following the Human-Centered Design process, can help create a more meaningful experience for the user. By designing a mobile app that aligns closely to the user's goals, there is potential for increased usage by current participants, an opportunity to educate current users on the positive environmental impact they are making from participating in the project, and the possibility of attracting new environmentally conscious users. To better understand the user, a digital survey was conducted that yielded over 40 responses, five interviews were organized in which to better understand pain points and goals, and a digital prototype was created and tested with six individuals ranging from current participants of the Buy Nothing Project to those that were unfamiliar with it. Results indicated potential success and an overall more positive experience than the current state of the Buy Nothing Project. Users felt like they were making a positive impact on the environment, that the app was reducing redundancies, and it granted potential to reconnect them with their community.
buy nothing project, UX design, human-centered design, design research, design thinking, UX/UI, redesign, Honors College
Lesley, C. (2021). Give the users what they want: Elevating the user experience of the Buy Nothing Project (Unpublished thesis). Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas.