After four intense years I can finally sleep.
I’m not much of a talker, and although it may not seem like it I actually do enjoy company. I prefer to learn through observation and critical inquiry.
What was the most intense deadline you’ve had to make?
There were at least three that involved sequential all-nighters by the end. I think I’ve had enough of that.
What is the most useful piece of design advice that you have received?
Have more faith in yourself. Don’t be afraid to let your ideas be heard.
Other than design, what creative fields interest you most?
I’m absolutely in love with traditional animation, stop-motion, special effects and scale model work. My favourite thing about these fields is getting into the nitty gritty aspects of their creative processes, learning how they work, where they get their inspiration from and simply seeing how it all comes together in the end.
You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What colour would you be and why?
Ideally I would be sea foam green for its quiet yet stark presence.
Utilizing minimalism as a means to encourage sustainable lifestyles
In living in the developed world where capitalism promotes the ideal of more, we think little of our purchases, the sheer amount of stuff we keep tucked away, or of the unsustainable nature of the whole matter. Seeing how the people around me have taken the excess of consumerism for granted, I began wondering about how I could influence people to make more conscientious decisions in their lives. In researching avenues to approach the problem I came across minimalism; the idea of owning less and focusing more on the important experiences in life. This prompted me to think on how I could make the idea of less an appealing notion.
What my research and efforts became was Boro, a goods sharing service that provides users with access to thousands of items as an alternative to unnecessary purchasing. All items are located at physical branches in a fashion similar to that of a library, where once reserved users can pick up at the time of their convenience.
What this service aims to be is both a sustainable alternative as well as an economical alternative. Unfortunately to many the idea of the greater social interest is often seen as distant to their own personal interests, but what people do understand is their finances. By providing a cheap alternative to purchasing, users will be inclined to borrow the items they don’t always need. However, it’s not just about the items themselves, Boro is a medium through which users can connect to both new and familiar experiences.
User Flow and Functionality
Consisting of both a mobile application and a soon to be designed web module, how the service functions is simple and accessible. Upon opening the application, the user is initially prompted to sign in or create a new account either manually or through an associated Facebook account.
From here the user is brought to the homepage, a horizontal carousel of options appear that provide the user with a selection of new and trending items nearby, as well as those tailored to their interests based off of their usage. Should none of these interest the user, or they have their sights set on other prizes, the search bar at the top is immediately accessible.
Upon tapping, the carousel is replaced with an array of filters to help narrow down their search. Large icons, bold colours and a clear sense of depth indicate what is possible. Searches are further narrowed down through automatic textual suggestions to further indicate what is possible. Once the search is completed, results are displayed through a set width, this allows for clarity while also providing a wide set of options at a single glance.
Each item’s summary page immediately provides the user with key information through a clear hierarchy of location, availability, rental period, source, and description. All is carefully laid out for immediate intake. To add an item to your basket simply press the hovering button in the bottom right corner and press YES to the confirmation prompt. Scrolling down, further features allow the user to share items with friends over social media, as well as to pin them to their calendars for steady reminders. Due to the fact that many users will likely be of lower income, an important plugin is a google maps feature that shows the distance between the user and the item in question’s location. This is important so as to allow users to carefully plan out trips involving heavy or cumbersome items.
All items that are currently reserved by the user can be viewed by pressing the basket icon in the top blue menu. Items within this page are divided into two horizontally scrollable sections, the top being those yet to have been collected, the bottom being those yet to have been returned by the user. Due dates and collection dates are boldly displayed due to their importance as late fees are applied to any item past due. Should the user wish to be alerted of such dates outside of the app, the option of email or text notifications can be selected in settings.
Finally, the user profile is an important element of the application as it highlights key information from both the items they’ve supplied to Boro as well as from their own usage. I wanted to really emphasize with this page how much the user has saved in order to create a sense of progression in their usage and to show a kind of reward to their actions.
In continuing my work with this project I would like to increase the usability of the app in terms of features based on inter user communication, highlighting local events as well as DIY suggestions. Producing a web extension of this service is also a high priority.