Project Overview
The Product
Our free skill sharing app and website will provide a platform for individuals interested in upcycling to connect, share ideas, and learn new skills. Users will be able to browse a wide range of upcycling project ideas, view detailed instructions and materials lists, and share their own projects with the community.
Project Duration
December 14, 2022 – Dec 31, 2022
The Problem
Users of free skill sharing apps and websites that focus on upcycling often struggle to find information and resources on how to get started with upcycling projects. Many users are not sure where to find materials or what to do with them once they have them. Additionally, users may not have access to the necessary tools or equipment to complete upcycling projects, or they may not have the knowledge or skills to complete the projects on their own. This can be frustrating and discourage users from pursuing upcycling as a hobby or creative outlet.
The Goal
The goal of our free skill sharing app and website is to become the go-to destination for individuals interested in upcycling. We aim to provide a comprehensive and user-friendly resource for users to find inspiration, learn new skills, and connect with others who share their interests. By building a strong and active community of upcycling enthusiasts, we hope to encourage more people to try upcycling as a way to reduce waste and create unique, one-of-a-kind items.
My Role
UX Designer leading the app and responsive website design from conception to delivery
Responsibilities
Conducting interviews, paper and digital wireframing, low and high-fidelity prototyping, conducting usability studies, accounting for accessibility, iterating on designs, determining information architecture, and responsive design

Understanding the User
User Research
Our research has uncovered a community of upcycling enthusiasts who are looking for a one-stop-shop to learn new skills, share their projects, and connect with like-minded individuals. From busy working moms to college students on a budget, our potential users are diverse in their backgrounds but united in their passion for sustainability and creativity. By providing clear and easy-to-use resources, as well as a platform for sharing and learning, our skill sharing app and website can empower this community to make a positive impact through upcycling.
Overview
The target audience for the skill sharing app and website is individuals interested in upcycling and sustainability.
Through online surveys and in-person interviews, we gathered insights and information on the demographics, interests, and needs of these potential users.
Demographics
The majority of potential users are aged 25-34, with a roughly equal gender split.
Most users have some college education or a bachelor's degree, and are employed full-time or part-time.
A significant number of users are parents, with a focus on teaching their children about sustainability and upcycling.
Interests
Potential users are highly interested in upcycling as a way to reduce waste, save resources, and be more environmentally friendly.
Many users are looking for quick and easy upcycling projects that they can do on the weekends or with their children.
Users are also interested in learning new upcycling skills and techniques, and sharing their own projects and ideas with the community.
Needs
Potential users want an app and website that is easy to navigate and search, with clear descriptions and images of upcycling projects and classes.
Users want the ability to sign up for and participate in upcycling projects and classes, either in person or online.
Users also want a platform for asking questions, getting feedback, and sharing their own upcycling projects.
Users are looking for resources and tips on upcycling and sustainability, as well as inspiration for their own projects.
User Personas
Competitive audit
Overall, the main competitors for a skill sharing app or website focused on upcycling are Upcycle that and Craftsy. Both of these platforms offer community support, however, only craftsy is a skill sharing platform. Meanwhile, Skillshare and Etsy are good inspiration for skill sharing and marketplace platforms respectively.
Initial Design
Ideation
I did a quick ideation exercise to come up with ideas for how to address gaps identified in the competitive audit. My focus was specifically on finding video tutorials that are tailored to the user’s interests.

Digital Wireframes
After ideating and drafting some paper wireframes, I created the initial designs for The Upcycling Project app. These designs focused on delivering video tutorials tailored to the user’s interest.


The low-fidelity prototype connected the user flow from signing in, selecting topics, to viewing gallery of video tutorials based on the topics selected.
view low-fidelity prototype here:
https://www.figma.com/proto/Zg12PJEUpT5kz0xhAZpeil/The-Upcycling-Project-mobile?node-id=2%3A739&scaling=scale-down&page-id=0%3A1&starting-point-node-id=1%3A4
Mobile App Usability Study
This usability study aims to evaluate the user experience of 5 participants using a skill sharing app and website focused on upcycling. Through a series of tasks and interviews, we will gather insights on the app's ease of use, functionality, and overall satisfaction. Our goal is to identify any areas for improvement and ensure that the app and website meet the needs and preferences of upcycling enthusiasts.
Insights
1. The app is generally easy to use and navigate, but there is a need for more advanced and beginner resources.
2. Participants appreciate the ability to use the app without signing in or creating an account.
3. The lack of community platform which would be useful for participants to ask questions and get feedback of their upcycling project.
4. Lack of marketplace feature on the app
5. Participants had difficulty finding and contacting instructors or facilitators for upcycling classes, suggesting a need for clearer information and communication channels.
6. Some participants had confusion or inadequate information on materials and skills needed for upcycling projects, indicating a need for clearer project descriptions and resources.
Refining the Mobile App Design
Iterations
To add ease of access, I moved the Profile icon to the bottom sticky navigation and replaced its former placeholder with the app settings icon. I also merged the Profile and My Classes screen into one concise Profile screen where the user will be able to find their classes, their downloads and reviews that they have given. In this Profile screen, the user is also able to upload their own video to share to the community and send and receive private messages to other community users. I have also added a Follow feature where users and contributors can follow each other's profile.
A gap found from the usability study was the lack of the ability to have a discussion within the app. To address the issue, I added a discussion tab within each video tutorial where users can share their opinion and comments. I also added a review section as a way for creators to receive feedback of the tutorial that they have shared.
Final Dedicated Mobile App Design
View high-fidelity mobile app here:
https://www.figma.com/proto/Zg12PJEUpT5kz0xhAZpeil/The-Upcycling-Project-mobile?node-id=19%3A345&scaling=min-zoom&page-id=15%3A143&starting-point-node-id=15%3A144
Responsive Design
To address some of the gaps identified from the usability study, I designed a website that will accommodate more information about the product. The website does not necessarily mirror the design and content from the app, instead it contains more product features, community information and resource pages.
Website Sitemap
After identifying user needs and considering the goals and resources of our website, I created the sitemap to organize the content and structure of the website in a logical and effective way.
Website Wireframes
The main focus of the website will contain pages not just video tutorials, but also resources to marketplaces, materials, news and updates and community membership.
Website Usability Study
User Research Summary
Overall, the website received positive feedback from users in terms of ease of use and functionality. Most participants were able to complete the tasks and find the information they needed on the website. Participants appreciated the variety of upcycling projects and classes available on the website, and found the resources pages helpful. However, most of the participants did not know what to do first when they opened the home page because they were met with a huge banner to download the mobile app. They thought that's the first thing they need to do.
Participants also suggested adding more advanced and beginner resources, as well as more in-person and online classes and workshops.
Iterations
The initial wireframe is structured without proper emphasis on the important areas of the website such as the Explore page, Join/Signup, Marketplace resources and Donation page. Users teting the low-fidelity mockup always click on the download button which was not where I wanted the user to go first while using the website. The user is supposed to use the website for watching video tutorials and to find more resources for their project which is not available in the dedicated app.
Based on the user behavior findings, I decided to use grid of card layout on the top portion of my tiered layer cake layout. Here, I was able to create a prioritized call-to-action to the most important pages of the website without stealing attention from one another.
Final Website Design
View high-fidelity desktop prototype here:
https://www.figma.com/proto/OQte5UMFObHdrdc9jvjBEF/The-Upcycling-Project---Website?node-id=28%3A632&scaling=min-zoom&page-id=28%3A631&starting-point-node-id=28%3A632

Takeaways
Impact
The Upcycling Project App have a number of positive impacts, including increased user satisfaction, improved user experience, enhanced learning and retention, stronger community connections, and a promotion of sustainable practices. By designing the app or website with the needs and goals of the target user group in mind, it can provide users with the resources and support they need to learn new skills, connect with others, and engage in upcycling projects that have a positive impact on the environment.
What I learned
I learned that, it is essential to understand the needs and goals of the target user group in order to design an effective and useful app. I also learned that, incorporating interactive elements and community support can significantly enhance the learning experience and retention of information for users.
Next Steps
1. Conduct research on how successful the app and website is in reaching the goal to provide a comprehensive and user-friendly resource for users to find inspiration, learn new skills, and connect with others who share their interests.
2. Add more educational resources for users to learn about upcycling.
3. Create a dedicated community forum to facilitate more user interactions.
4. Provide a dedicated marketplace for users to sell and buy projects without going to other marketplaces.
5. Add skill level category on the tutorials filter function
 

You may also like

Back to Top