Millennials aka people born between the years 1977 and 2000 are more aware about the environment and the effects of their waste management habits. They want to be more 'green', however for several reasons most of them do not compost. 

The project was done in a collaborative team of designers, engineers and business professionals.The final result was a service - Community Compost that targets millennials to compost.  


MY ROLE | User Research, Documentation, Problem Solving and Final Presentation

TIME | 6 weeks















We started our project with secondary research on Social, Economic and Technological factors on millennials and trends in the kitchen. (These aspects drive millennials' activities and performance.) After brainstorming and several rounds of discussion the SET factors were combined into key insights which transformed into product opportunity gaps.

                                                                                                                                      SET factors and POG generation


Product Opportunity Gaps are essentially the gap between the current products in the market and the potential for new or significantly altered products. We came up with various POGs, evaluated them using a decision matrix (below) and decided on working with the opportunity gap of food waste.


The people who get affected by a millennials' waste management habits were recorded in a stakeholder map. They were divided as Primary( Inner circle) , Secondary ( 2nd circle) and so on according to how and where they get affected by it.

After identifying key stakeholders, we did more research with them to get insights on their waste management habits. I did contextual inquiry, observation and interviews with millennials, while my teammates interviewed a potential end user of the compost - The farmer. 

                                                                                                                                                Contextual Inquiry 

                                                                                                                                                Contextual Inquiry 

                                                                                                                           Interview with the local farmers

                                                                                                                           Interview with the local farmers

Key Insights from the interviews revealed that there are two main factors affecting people's waste management choices- CONVENIENCE AND KNOWLEDGE.

After looking at the key insights we defined the Value Opportunity for our final outcome to determine what characteristics our product/service should have to successfully position itself within a set of desired characteristics. 


After defining the value attributes, we brainstormed further with the key insights and research in mind and concluded with a service that would motivate the millennials to compost more. A few service models included coffee shops such as Starbucks and local cafes ( coffee shops produce that large amount of coffee grinds which are one of the main ingredients of a compost). However, due to time constraint we decided to not include them in the model and iterated a few versions before the final service model. We included the local farmers as they were the end users of the compost and were excited about the opportunity when proposed to them . The team was more convinced for a service than a product as through secondary research we saw that there are a number of products existing in market that allow people to compost at home however, these are either more expensive than the average trash bin or conflicts with the issues of space and time. A few iterations of the service can be found below. 

                                                                                                                                                   Service Model Iterations

The final service model : A person would go to a farmer's market(usually on a weekend). He/ She would shop for fresh produce. At the final billing they would collect a bin(for use as a compost bin) and take it home. After a week's collection of compostable material they would go again to the farmer's market to shop and exchange their bin for a new one and get a donut( freshly made at the market and affordable to the farmer). The compostable material from the used bin would go the aggregate pickup or for use by the farmer and the bin would go for a wash. This would continue as a cycle.  

While deciding the final model we kept in mind that we are focussing on motivating the millennials to compost as they 'want' to be more green, and hence we are not providing a big incentive for the exchange, but something that they look forward to every weekend or a trip to the market- A free donut!

Final Service Model

                                                                                                                                             Service Model usability Test

                                                                                                                                             Service Model usability Test

We considered ergonomics as well as space constraints while designing the bin. 

Final bin design had graphics indicating what can and cannot go in a compost bin. 

                                                                                                                                                                Final Bin Design

                                                                                                                                                                Final Bin Design

User feedback from usability test

  • Size is good to be kept additional to a dust bin, below the sink or in the side.
  • Color could be more catchy so we don't forget tp take it with us.
  • Capacity is good for 1-2 people only to last a week
  • Easy to carry with shopping bag
  • Requires handles to carry

User feedback for service model

  • Provide more knowledge about composting in the market. 
  • Growing to farmer's market around the city. 
  • Look at including coffee shops in the process.
  • Including grocery stores such as Whole foods and Trader Joe's which promote 'green'.

The deliverable was a final presentation at the end of the course. We got positive feedback from the audience and professors along with growth opportunities to expand the model.