I was provided with a six-page copy document related to the issue of electronic waste and was tasked to determine how to turn it into an effective user experience. Through research, the final design needed to include a home page, contribute, and blog. It was also required that the experience be fluent on mobile and desktop platforms.
What is e-waste?
Electronic waste (or e-waste) is the term used to refer to electronic products that are nearing or have come to the end of their lifecycles such as televisions, office equipment, household appliances, computers, tablets, and mobile phones. As technology rapidly evolves, and people purchase the latest “must-have” products before their existing equivalent has reached the end of its lifecycle, the volume of discarded electronic products continues to swell.
The growing amount of electronic devices that are being thrown away is posing a challenge to waste management systems. Disposing of these gadgets using conventional means (i.e. throwing them in the garbage bin) can be hazardous. Electric appliances and devices contain metals and components, such as mercury and lead, that, if not extracted and handled properly, can seep into soil and water if the device ends up in a landfill and cause contamination.
After sorting through the provided copy document filled with complex information and a variety of statistics, I continued my research and looked at organizations that were currently fighting against e-waste. I investigated companies such as E-Waste LLC who send a box right to your door, you place the electronics you wish to dispose of into the box, and it is shipped back to E-waste LLC to be recycled. Southeastern Data partners with industry leaders in economics and healthcare to resell their old electronics to low-income companies. This technique allows low-income organizations to stay up-to-date on their equipment but at lower prices. Unfortunately, no one is making the change to better the electronic recycling process or finding a solution to rapidly slow the speed at which electronics are being thrown away.
This site targets the younger generation who utilize a variety of technological devices on a daily basis and raises awareness about the importance of recycling these electronics when they are being replaced. Gen Z is known as the world-changers; this generation can still make a difference in the environment if the correct steps are taken.
WWF E-Waste organization's website aims to educate Gen Z about the importance of recycling electronic devices. Disused electronics are being exported to developing countries where toxins are seeping into the soil and water supply. Employees at recycling centers are being exposed to hazardous toxins which are causing health issues for these individuals. By educating themselves through this website, Gen Z will be shown options that they can take to lessen their carbon footprint on the environment.
Ideation & Design
Sketches and Wireframes
These wireframes are the bare bones of what information the website will hold, how the information will be displayed, and how users can interact with it. By limiting the design aspects and fully focusing on content, this ensures that the most important content is displayed in a comprehendible way for the user. This site includes eye-catching statistics, interactive maps, impactful photography, and iconography to engage the reader and raise awareness about the importance of e-waste.
I chose a dark mode site because this topic can be deep and unsettling for some users as they are unaware of the large impact e-waste has on the environment. The use of impactful photography visually shows the users the countries that are the most impacted by e-waste; however, these countries are not the ones creating the waste. A bright yellow call to action is used for a strong contrast against the dark blues and greys throughout the site. These call-to-actions encourage the user to financially donate to the cause and to do their part in limiting the amount of e-waste they produce.
In relation to the desktop view, the mobile view displays strong statistics, impactful photography, and engaging iconography. The main call to action of the site still remains as it pushes viewers to donate to the WWF E-Waste organization to assist in raising awareness of the e-waste crisis.
I enjoyed this project because it first sparked my passion for data visualization. This had been my first time experimenting with dark mode as well. It was insightful, challenging, and enjoyable all in one! It was insightful to learn about a new conservation topic that I had no previous knowledge of. Diving into the copy document and sorting out the most important information and understanding the dynamics of a blog and donation page was challenging. Finally, using data to create an informational site that encouraged users to lessen their carbon footprint was something I enjoyed most of all.