Client

Young Planet

Project

Finding a new home for unwanted children's clutter

Role

Lead UX/UI Designer

Brief

The team of Reluctantly Brave has decided to tackle the issue of never ending children's clutter. After kids grow up, most of the items are not relevant to their age or activities anymore. The company organised community workshops, inviting families to donate their unwanted children’s items for free or for an exchange with someone else’s items. Every time these events were held they turned out to be a success - not only it increased bonding amongst the families within the Hackney area, but it also helped low income families and struggling single parents to find items they could not afford by themselves.

To develop this project further, the team came up with a non-profit mobile solution that allowed users to share and give away their unwanted items within the app. The team at Red C was asked to analyse the existing app design. 

Initial YounPlanet app design

Challenge

During the initial usability testing and most recent app statistics, we found that users were confused by its overall functionality and dropped out of using it in early stages. Home screen had the biggest dropout rate of almost 40%. The position and appearance of GUI lacked hints of how to use the app. Information like points or connections were lacking context on the home page too. 

Process

We conducted a usability test with a couple of young families from the London Fields community using the client’s original prototype to aid the redesign process. We focused on improving the usability by making the app more intuitive and easier to use. 

Once we had created an improved interactive prototype in InVision, our design team carried out detailed testing with different families. We learned that having items accessible on the first view is more convenient instead of accessing it through search. In addition, the settings button was given too much emphasis where search was not easy to use. Families were also looking for simpler ways to upload their items and connect to people who would want to pick them up. 

As a UI designer on this project, I have worked closely with the Young Planet team to create a brand identity that would appeal to parents looking to recycle their children’s things. The branding would also have to be neutral to all genders and do not contain any gender dominating elements.

Proposed wireframes

UI Styleguide

Outcome

Despite the limitations of using Facebook React cross-platform we were able to stick to the complex designs and develop the app within our schedule. The app has since been released on both iOS and Android platforms and is being used and tested within the communities around Hackney area. We received positive feedback about the appearance of the app and its use and the number of exchanges almost tripled within the first three months. In addition, we have designed a YoungPlanet website to attract prospective users within the web.

In future, Reluctantly Brave are planning to expand the app registration to other London areas. Our team provides daily support for the YoungPlanet app and continues to work on a roadmap in the future updates and enhancements. 

Finding the latest items

As soon as the app is launched, all the recently added items can be seen. Tapping on a star would add an item to Favourites instantly. Items can be searched by tapping the Search field at the top of the screen.

Create your own listings

Anybody using the app can add items that they are willing to give away. All that is needed is to upload an image or two of an item, select a category, age group and write a bit about the item itself.

Request items by messaging

To request an item without hassle, we included a messaging feature where items can be discussed and a handover can be arranged in the local area. As all items are intended to be free with YoungPlanet, no payment or personal details are taken in the process.

Reflection

It's a rare opportunity to work on such non-profit projects as Young Planet. The team at Red C was given a unique opportunity to directly influence and start reversing the issue that many other global organisations were trying to solve during many years. This app also shows that we as a community can be sympathetic and we are ready to help those in need, we just couldn't find a better way before. 

In addition, I valued my time working with the Reluctantly Brave team. We have put a lot of meaning into the wireframes and style guide, we made it inclusive to all ages and genders while making the app simple to use.