What do you do with PC parts that stop working or that you upgrade?
The recycling and repurposing of computer parts is a current challenge in our society. PC gamers contribute to this e-waste as the industry in 2019 made up 24% of the entire market share of online gamers. With every year that passes, hardware processing speeds begin to dwindle, and new computing parts become available to purchase.
The challenge presented was to create an easier way for PC gamers to be more sustainable with their computing parts.
The following project activities are how I contributed to the overall success of our project:
During our initial research, we found literature regarding the common characteristics that gamers have. However, articles that focus on gamers’ sustainable habits are limited. Therefore, we used online forums and resources that could give us a more current understanding of how the PC gaming community manages their outdated or damaged computer parts. To gather more hands on information, we conducted further investigation by visiting electronic equipment stores around the Atlanta area such as Micro Center and Best Buy to understand recycling and electronic waste management policies.
Additionally, we conducted an initial interview with a member of our target user group who is a member of the e-sports club at an Atlanta university. We found that the information gathered throughout this interview was insightful in better understanding PC gamers’ recycling habits and continued to explore our users and problem space through surveys, contextual inquiries, and interviews.
Objective: To understand how different electronics stores currently take care of e-waste.
Methods: We investigated electronic stores’ websites, marketplaces, Reddit forums, and current electronic recycling apps:
Objective: Gain information about PC gamers demographics and recycling, reusing, and disposal habits while screening and recruiting interview participants.
Methods: We developed a 20 question survey using Qualtrics XM and distributed it onto five Discord servers.
Data Analysis: We received 90 responses within seven days of distribution. Out of the 90 respondents, only 81 of them responded that they have built a gaming PC, we only counted their responses for the rest of our analysis.
Objective: Understand users’ attitudes and behaviors towards the process of getting rid of PC parts they no longer need.
Rationale: Semi-structured interview will allow us to ask follow-up questions to get a deeper understanding of their pain points and other insights.
Data Analysis: To perform the affinity mapping activity, we entered our interview notes and transcripts into a spreadsheet. Then, we added them to Miro board and created an affinity diagram. Individually, we walked the wall and brainstormed design ideas, then came back together to discuss further implications.
During our brainstorming activities, we utilized methods such as SCAMPER and Mind Mapping to create ten unique ideas to discuss further. The main idea chosen was eCycle Hubs. We created a storyboard to show the path a user would take via a comic strip style graphic.
For our high fidelity prototype, we created three processes that the user would perform based on what they are trying to accomplish at the community center. Each process is listed below with a brief description and a button to the Figma prototype.
Recycling: The recycling functionality allows users to simply discard non-functioning PC parts into a bin to be properly disposed of. Items that are put into the bin would be picked up by electronic recycling companies and sorted at their individual warehouse. Users gain ePoints when they confirm that an item has been recycled!
Donating: The donating functionality allows users to place unwanted (but still functional) items onto a shelf in the community center for others to come and claim at a later time. Key product data is input by the user who is donating to give an overall understanding of what the item is, the brand, any extra information about it, and what it looks like. Users gain ePoints when they confirm they have placed an item onto the donation shelf!
Claiming: The claiming functionality allows users to pick up parts that have been graciously donated by other eCycle Hubs users. Through a real time inventory tracking system, the web app is able to keep an updated list of items that are currently on the shelf and ready to be claimed. A reservation process is optional if the user is unable to make it to the community center quickly and a 24 hour limit is attached to that specific item. Users gain ePoints when they confirm they have claimed an item!
We tested this requirement by performing a usability test with the goal to understand the time and success rate of users going through our prototype.
We gave our participants three core tasks that were pertinent to the core functionality of eCycle Hubs: recycling donating and claiming used items.
We tested this requirement with follow-up questions after the usability test, and we also sent out a Likert scale questionnaire and a heuristic evaluation.
Data Analysis: For the first design requirement, we utilized Qualtrics automatic reports to analyze the SUS questionnaire ratings. Also, we compared the completion time and success rates of tasks in an Excel spreadsheet.
For the second design requirement, we used the Qualtrics automatic report system to analyze the responses from the Likert Scale and Heuristic Evaluation. We also identified common themes from follow-up questions responses using an Excel spreadsheet.