Lizzie Teo
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UX Research Piece — PwC Australia

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UX Research piece & ideation for PwC Australia

An iPad app to motivate customers to return their food trays in order to improve the dining experience of customers at the Westfield food court as well as to encourage recycling.

 
Cleaners scanning for wastes to dispose of and tables to clean

Cleaners scanning for wastes to dispose of and tables to clean

What is the problem we are trying to solve?

On a weekday, food courts are usually jammed pack with office, business and blue collar workers. After finish meals, some people may have been considerate and made a point to throw their wastes into the bins, but many tables are often still littered with rubbish. 

How do we motivate people to clean up after themselves and throw their rubbish into the bins?

 
Labels below inserts not so obvious when customers approach with trays

Labels below inserts not so obvious when customers approach with trays

The ultimate impact we'd like to have 

For customers to have an enjoyable and restful meal. For them to feel good or rewarded for clearing the wastes of their meals from the tables.

To encourage the sorting of wastes for recycling.

For a food court to be more than just an area for lunching or dining ― it could act as a community lifestyle area with the embodiment of ambient digital features, green spaces with natural light and culture.

 

The Approach — Observational Studies

 
Tables were tightly packed into the space

Tables were tightly packed into the space

Observation 1 

Young professionals, 20s to early 30s

  • Caucasian lady

  • African

  • Caucasian man

  • Asian lady

WHAT?

Each approached the bin area, using the tray, slid the wastes into the slot that says “General Wastes”. Most of them did not recycle the plastic bottles or plastic cups.

HOW?

It seemed like a natural thing for them — to complete the task of clearing the wastes and leaving the trays on the shelf. 

They had no time nor headspace to think about recycling.

WHY?

Although they were In a rush, they were considerate, both to the next customer using a table and the cleaners. 

Looked like they just wanted to get out. Possibly the atmosphere of the place - crowds and tight layout of tables added to the feeling of claustrophobia.They’d not have felt compelled to stay on a few seconds more and sort out the wastes.

Emotions: Rushed and snappy

USER NEED

A young professional needs an easier way to sort the wastes and the motivation to do so.

 

INSIGHT

When these young professionals approach the bin, the trays obstruct the view of the labels “Recycling” & “General Waste”, and so they did not pay attention. 

Although the recycling bin has an indication — a round insert that should help guide the customers, these professionals didn’t bother picking up their plastic cups to throw into it.

HOW MIGHT WE?

How to make it intuitive for these young professionals to “naturally” drop the plastic cups, even the folk and spoons into the recycling bin?

How to make the labels of the bins more obvious?

 

Ideas

Westfield took recycling a step further. They had designed the trays with a coloured elevated section that holds plastic cups, plastic folks and spoon. The colour of this section corresponds to the bin for “Recyclables”. This is to help remind customers to recycle the plastic items.

A pigeon that looked like it could be choked to death was humorously painted above to remind customers how important it is to protect the environment.

Looked like they just wanted to get out. Possibly the atmosphere of the place - crowds and tight layout of tables added to the feeling of claustrophobia.They’d not have felt compelled to stay on a few seconds more and sort out the wastes.

Emotions: Rushed and snappy


Observation 2

 Two Indonesian ladies, mid 40s

WHAT?

The two middle age ladies chatted, ate their food and left quickly without throwing away their plates

Cleaner came and took the wastes away to the bins.

HOW?

The two Indonesian ladies seemed like they were having a serious chat. They were still talking as they got up to leave quickly.

WHY?

They might not have cleared the table because they were in a rush to get on with the day.

Emotions: Rushed

USER NEED

They need a good reason for clearing the table and placing the wastes into the bins

INSIGHT

When there's a cleaner doing the job, it feels ok to leave the tray of wastes behind. 

When they’re in a rush to get back to work, they've got no head space to think about cleaning after themselves.

HOW MIGHT WE?

How to make a customer feel like they have a good reason for throwing away the wastes?

How to make throwing wastes into the bin less of a chore?

Ideas

Westfield designs a reward system that encourages customers to throw away their wastes at the food court and return again to shop and dine.

When the wastes were thrown into the bins or when the trays were placed on the designated shelf, the sensor would indicate to the iPad above the bins to flash a barcode. Customers could then take a picture of the barcode and redeem points in the Westfield app to claim gift cards or movie tickets.


Observation 3 

Caucasian professional, late 40s

WHAT?

He approached the table last used by the Indonesian ladies. 

He piled the styrofoam plates with leftover wastes to one side and sat down with his meal, an iPad next to it.

A cleaner came over to pick up the dirty plates. He smiled and made a point to say thank you.

Started eating and playing "Game of War, Fire Age" on his iPad.

He stayed on even after he finished the meal and the cleaner had come to remove his plate and cup.

HOW?

He looked annoyed when he first saw the table. 

His mood seemed to improve once the cleaner cleared the plates

His consideration in thanking the cleaner also brought a smile on the cleaner’s face.

WHY?

He needed a clean table so he could place his iPad next to him and play as he ate. He used the rest of his time on the game as a way of taking his mind off for a bit. 

He stacked the plates and didn’t move them to the bins because that would mean losing the seat to someone else.

He wanted to be a good and considerate person to the cleaner who was making his lunchtime a more comfortable one.  

Emotions:

  • Annoyed, maybe a little disgusted for a moment

  • Appreciative of the cleaner

  • More relaxed after settling into eating and playing the game.

USER NEED

He needs to feel comfortable at a table in the food court so he can eat his meal and play a game on his iPad at the same time.

INSIGHT

When he has only an hour for lunch, he needs to quickly locate an available table in such a busy foodcourt. 
He could not leave the table to throw the wastes away because someone else would take the table.

HOW MIGHT WE?

How to ‘create’ enough clean tables for Andrew to easily locate and sit down to enjoy a meal?

How to encourage the last customer to throw away their waste?

How to have a comfortable sitting space so that Andrew may play his gadget and eat at the same time

How to have Andrew move away so that his seat would be made available for the next person?

Ideas

Westfield already provides wifi at their food courts. Now they’re taking an extra step — they’ve redesigned the size of their tables for professionals to comfortably use their gadgets while eating. 

They have also created a lounge area for professionals to chill out after their meals so that the tables could be freed up for other patrons. Having a lounge also means they could have a rested time before retuning to work.


Observation 4 

Customers in their 50s:-

  • 2 Asians

  • 2 Indians

  • 1 Caucasian

WHAT?

Each person approached the bins and left their tray with wastes above the bins

HOW?

The idea of dumping the wastes into the bins seemed to require these customers effort. 

They looked like they had no time nor headspace to do so. 

However they were considerate enough to clear the table for the next customer.

WHY?

Perhaps the sight of the cleaners clearing the wastes and wiping tables indicated to these customers that it was not their duties to do so.

Clearing the tables so that the next person could use it was probably enough of an act of consideration.

Emotions: Rushed, impatient

USER NEED

A customer in his/her 50s needs a good reason for completing the task of throwing the wastes in the right bins and leaving the tray in the designated area so that there’s a good reason for doing so

INSIGHT

These customers were considerate in removing the trays and wastes from the tables. 

However because it’s obvious there were cleaners there doing the job of throwing away wastes, it feels ok to leave the trays with wastes behind, on top of the bins. 

They probably feel pretty good to have at least cleared the table they last used.

HOW MIGHT WE?

How to make a customer feel like they have a good reason for throwing away the wastes?

How to make throwing wastes into the bin less of a chore?

Ideas

Westfield redesigned the top of the bin ― from flat to a rounded roof. This prevents patrons from leaving the trays behind with the wastes in them.

 


Observation 5

Caucasian Mother, late 30s with a baby and a friend, late 30s

WHAT?

The adults sat at a bar table. Space seemed cramped. Needed to sit sideways, half facing the child in a pram. No comfortable areas for prams.

Mother and friend turns to have their meals. The other looking after the child. 

Bins were located far from where they sat.

HOW?

The mother would have to feed the baby before having a meal. They would have had to take turns caring for the baby. They looked uncomfortable in the way they sat. Couldn’t say this was a relaxed meal time for them.

Bins were located far, this would be an effort and they’d have to depend on one person doing it while other care for the children.

WHY?

The reason for sitting near the bars was so they have ample space for the pram. It’d have been impossible to navigate the pram between the rows of seats.

Emotions: Not very relaxed. Uncomfortable

USER NEED

The mother and her friend need a good space to place the pram and at the same time have a comfortable time chatting over their meals.

INSIGHT

How to make it comfortable for the mother and her friend to have a good lunchtime with each other and at the same time able to care for the baby?

How to make it easy for them to remove the tray and wastes at the end of the meal?

HOW MIGHT WE?

How to make it comfortable for the mother and her friend to have a good lunchtime with each other and at the same time able to care for the baby?

How to make it easy for them to remove the tray and wastes at the end of the meal?

Ideas

Westfield designs a designated area in their foodcourt for families with kids and babies so that mothers, fathers or caregivers could enjoy lunch comfortably. 

Plenty of space was ensured between tables so that families could easily navigate their pram and park it next to the table. 

On one side of the wall, highchairs for children of 6 months to 3 years were included. 

Mounted high on the wall are two dispensers for antibacterial alcohol gel and paper wipes so that the families may use it for the tables and chairs to prevent spread of germs and viruses.

There is the usual set of bins “General Waste” and “Recyclables” but with a marked difference. There sits another set of bins in a miniature size for children. Both sets come with a interactive screen above. 

Depending on which side of the trash the bin was thrown in, the app game would indicate that a rubbish had been picked up that prevented the characters of pigeons and seagulls from swallowing them.


Observation 6

An indian blue collar worker, late 30s

Customer got to the bin and threw away the rubbish when his friend shouted for him, indicating the location.

Customer got to the bin and threw away the rubbish when his friend shouted for him, indicating the location.

Completed the task and left in a hurry with his friend

Completed the task and left in a hurry with his friend

WHAT?

Standing with a tray of wastes, he was scanning around him for the location of bins as many people passed him by on the walkway where people lined up to purchase food. 

He got to the bin when his friend shouted for him, indicating the location. 

He dumped the wastes into the right bins, a plastic cup to recycle and the rest to “General Waste” 

HOW?

It required much of an effort to locate the bins.

WHY?

This indian professional was considerate in wanting to return the tray and dispose the wastes. 

Although the place was busy and people were passing him by in a hurry, he pushed on and completed the task. 

Emotions: Perplexed but quite patient

USER NEED

He needed to locate the bins and make his way easily to get to them

INSIGHT

He was meticulous in getting rid of the wastes and dropping them into the right bins but was frustrated by the poor indication on location of the bins.

HOW MIGHT WE?

How to help him easily locate the bin and get to it quickly?

 

Ideas

Westfield has installed a large sign above each bin area so that their customers could easily return the trays and dispose the wastes. Westfield redesigns the layout of their food court to feel more spacious so that customers could easily navigate towards the bin areas.


Defining the space/product


Low-fidelity Protoyping

 

Reward System to motivate customers

THEME 1: LATEST IN THE NEWS

Hillary Clinton said, "When they go low, we go high!"

If the right type of rubbish gets inserted, customer would score credits to redeem for a gift card at Westfield to shop. This is to increase customer retention.

If the wrong rubbish gets inserted and detected by the sensor, Trump would go down. Customer would not win credits. 

Thoughts:

Don't think this would appeal to all demographics. Children and certain customer types might be be following politics.

THEME 2: SAVING THE ENVIRONMENT

If a recyclable rubbish gets inserted into the right bin, a plastic disappears from the ocean, thus saving a sea creature.

Inserting general waste into the right bin also rewards the customers with credits.

For every 100 credits earned, Westfield puts towards a dollar towards helping save the Great Barrier Reef. 

Thoughts:

This idea would work better in terms of easy comprehension for all demographics and children. And for a good cause. 

Chosen Idea

ANIMATION ― Plastics from the surface of the ocean disintegrating into microplastics. Passing sea creatures ate them and die, one by one.

ACTION ― Customer drops a recyclable waste, a plastic from the ocean disappears from the animated illustration. A dead sea creature comes to life!

ACTION: QR code appears. Message indicates for customers to download the Westfield Mall App. Customers take a picture with the Westfield Mall App / take the picture of code with their own mobile camera, then import into the app.

 

Improving the design of the food court’s layout and settings

Create a small designated area meant for families with kids and babies

  • Plenty of space between tables so mothers could navigate around with a pram

  • A drawn space next to each table for placement of prams, next to an adult's chair

  • High baby chairs included on one side of the wall

  • Rubbish Bins easily accessible on one side of the wall

  • Miniature Rubbish Bins designed for kids!

Bin areas

  • Mounted high on the wall are two dispensers for antibacterial alcohol gel and paper wipes so that the families may use it for the tables and chairs to prevent spread of germs and viruses

  • Redesign the top of the bin ― from flat to a rounded roof. This prevents patrons from leaving the trays behind with the wastes in them

A comfortable, restful eating area for white and blue collars workers

  • More space between tables so people can make their way to the bins without having to worry bumping into other

  • Install artificial daylight device called CoeLux to reduce strain on eyes. After all lunchtime is the only break people get from a busy 8 hours day

  • More plants of assortments to create an illusion of space. Research has shown greenery benefits people in various ways

A separate green space; lounge area with WIFI and library

  • This is so professionals like the gentleman I observed playing the Game of War could continue playing in a relaxed area after he has finished eating. This also frees up the table for others in need of a table to eat at.

A library with meditation digital gadgets and individual lounge sofa

  • Allows professionals to unwind from a hectic day and reset their minds through meditation and calm their senses.

 

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