Prototyping: Everyday task

Project 1:

For the first project we had to think of an every day tasks that were are “professionals” in. As in, sure do things every day, but we had to be really familiar with the process and know it in and out. I had been chewing on this for a while trying to pick something manageable. I knew later we would take the task flow we developed from this task and making some sort of technology to help this process.

The initial ideas I had didn’t seem right for various reasons:

  • Emailing: This was just a huge beast that seemed like a lot  to tackle.
  • List-making: There are so many technologies that already do this and I personally like the process of writing lists in pen and paper anyway.
  • Taking the bus: This would be nice, wouldn’t it? But it deals mostly with trying to get the buses to have technology to tell you when it comes. That’s as simple as it is: you have that, and you’re happy and you don’t need an app that does 100 other things.
  • Reading articles and bookmarking: The problem I have is wanting time to do it, not the way I do either.
  • Using my alarm clock: I need something to wake me up and keep me up. But if I was completely honest an alarm clock is not going to make me happy about waking up and I don’t want to work on a project everyone is going to hate. (“But Jacklynn! You can make it a more enjoyable experience!” No.)



I decided upon recycling as an option.  I am silently frustrated with my the way my housemates recycle and as the new person am not prepared to step in an lecture 6 strangers about the proper recycling technique. Especially since I’m new to Pittsburgh. Simple things like not trying to recycled soiled paper or most pizza boxes. That’s right, pizza boxes! The oil in the cardboard is difficult if not impossible to clean and the box is unusable (according to past hearsay and confirmed through recent research). I know they mean well, but it’s juts hard to stay on top of information like this and I thought it would be helpful for their to be an app that can easily tell you what’s recyclable in your area or not. For instance, Pittsburgh is the first city I’ve been in that can recycle the hard plastic of bottle caps. It makes me worry about how much recycling is just thrown away because of contamination.

I decided I wanted my app to…

  1. Tell you what can & cannot be recycled in your specific area. Recycling plants would have incentive to send their information to the company since it would be helping them at no extra cost.
  2. Have products be quickly searchable to see if it’s recyclable or not, or even if certain parts of it are. My housemates will frequently through saran wrap into the recycle bin and I’ve just never considered that recyclable. (I’m not sure about this though)
  3. Has a list of common myths. Short and digestible. Also just interesting information about the recycling process and best practices. Like cleaning out your containers before throwing them the bag.

In my research I stumbled upon an app called iRecycle which actually did a pretty good job with many of these points (especially having local data!) and it was pretty well designed. It was so functional, in fact, it made me kind of think I should look for some other every day task….


To be continued :). 

Thoughts? Discussion? I'd love to hear 'em!

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