cover image view prototype


What is the first thing that comes to your mind regarding “eco-friendliness”? Recycling? In the user survey, the majority of respondents picked “recycling” as the most effective method. But sometimes, "recycling is a distraction to our growing waste problem". A lot of recycled products cannot be further recycled and will end up in the landfill as well. To save the environment, we should aim at creating zero trash.

But in some cases, it is not always feasible. For hygienic reasons, used tissue paper as well as the gloves and masks used by surgeons in an operation should not be reused. On the other hand, some manufacturers tend to package dry food items individually in disposable containers, which creates unnecessary waste. Despite knowing these issues, many consumers are unable to act upon it. Some find it hard to locate zero waste stores while others find the products too expensive.

To tackle these problems, I created Unwrap. It is a mobile app design that aims to help users find zero waste stores, read reviews, and save points on each spending in return for discounts and gifts. With these functions, it is easier for shoppers to find zero-waste alternatives and store owners can retain more customers.

My roles


Methods/ Tools

UX research

  • User surveys

  • User stories

  • User flow

  • Personas

  • Google Form

  • research, reviews

  • Whimsical

  • interviews

UX/UI design

  • Sketches & Wireframes

  • Usability tests

  • Mockups

  • Prototypes

  • pencil sketches, Figma

  • guided and unguided tests

  • Figma, Illustrator

  • Figma, Illustrator, Photoshop

Visual design

  • Color & Typography

  • Logo design

  • Material Design Guidelines

  • Figma

Motion Design

  • Launch screen animation

  • Data Visualisation

  • Illustrator, After Effects

  • After Effects

Market research

  • Competitive Analysis

  • App store reviews, interviews



  • “Don’t know the location and the opening hours of zero waste stores.”

  • “Zero waste products are expensive.”

  • “It’s unclear how buying from zero waste stores can help with environment.”

Zero waste store owners

  • “Compared to supermarkets, our shops are treated as an option instead of a need.”

  • “I’m not tech-savvy enough to promote my store online.”


User research


To understand how people think about zero waste shopping, I created a survey with 3 parts.

Part 1: Ideas on Environmental Protection

What do you think is the most effective way to help the environment?

Among the 30 respondents, the majority voted “recycling items” (99.6%) to be the most effective method to protect the environment. Other common methods include “bring your own bag” (89%) and “reusing items” (83%). Only 38% of the respondents believe that zero waste shopping is an effective method.


A lot of people seem to value recycling over the concept of zero waste. But according to the owner of “Earth, Food, Love”, recycling is a distraction to our growing waste problem.

recycle problem

That is because while certain material can be recycled to create other products, those products cannot be further recycled. They will end up in landfill just like other non-recyclable waste. That is why recycling is not enough to improve our environment. We need to create less (if not zero) waste.

Part 2: Awareness of Zero Waste

1. Have you heard about zero waste stores?

2. How often do you buy from zero waste stores?

While 67% of the respondents have heard of “zero waste stores”, only 30% have bought from zero waste stores. In the follow-up interview, users said the main reasons they could not commit to zero waste shopping was because:

  • They do not know where the shops are.

  • zero waste products are too expensive

  • They worried that package-less items are not always hygienic

To tackle these problems, I should include in my solution (1) the location and opening hours of stores, (2) a loyalty program with discounts and gifts for regular customers, and (3) reviews from customers to potential customers.

Part 3: Consumption Habits, Goals and Frustrations

1. How did you come across zero waste stores?

There is, indeed, a lack of online presence and promotion for the majority of zero waste stores.

2. If you could have a personal account from zero waste stores, what type of info do you want to see?

Zero waste shoppers

Non zero waste shoppers

The majority of respondents, regardless of their consumption habit, would like to see how much resources they can save. This makes sense because such data is not easily available on a daily basis. Providing this information to consumers will also boost their incentive to continue buying from zero waste stores.


Based on the demographic info of my respondents, I created 3 personas.

persona Sophie

Student, 21


She leads an eco-friendly lifestyle and tries her best to create no trash. She also likes to promote ways to help the environment on her social media.


  • Not sure if the zero waste stores are open or not.

  • Some zero waste stores are expensive and not very budget-friendly.


  • I wish to know the opening hours of the zero waste stores nearby.

  • I wish to get discounts for some products.

“While we gain efficiency out of disposables, our earth suffers.”

persona Michelle

Business analyst, 37


She has a busy daily work schedule and so she has to prioritize efficiency above all else. But she is also willing to try an eco-friendly lifestyle if it is not too inconvenient.


  • Does not have time to look up the location and opening hours of zero waste stores.

  • Not sure what is available in each store.


  • I want to know the location and opening hours of the zero waste stores nearby.

  • I want to read a quick summary and reviews of the stores I am interested in.

“There must be more we can do to help the environment without trading off our time too much.”

persona Peter

Store owner, 45


He is the owner of a zero-waste store and is committed to a zero-waste lifestyle. But he is not very tech-savvy and does not know how to promote his stores online.


  • Doesn’t know how to promote his store to new customers through social media.

  • Notice that many people visit the store out of curiosity instead of a need.


  • I want to show that a zero waste lifestyle can also be easy and convenient.

  • I am willing to work with other zero waste stores to provide promotional gifts.

“It’s not just about banning plastic bags. It’s about being conscious of your every decision and how it plays a role in our shared world.”

User Stories

The goals and frustrations mentioned above can be summarised in the following table:

As a customer:


I’d like to locate the zero waste stores in my location.


I’d like to know in a glance which are the stores that are still open.


I’d like to understand how zero waste consumption can contribute to the ecosystem.


I’d like to get discounts and gifts for my loyalty to zero-waste shopping.


I’d like to read reviews of the stores that I’m interested in.

As a zero waste store owner:


I want to promote my shop to new customers.


I’d like to see more returning customers (not just one-time enthusiasts).


I want people to understand how their consumption habit can impact the environment.


I’d like to get feedback from my customers on what they like and dislike about my store.


I want to learn about other zero-waste stores as well.

Competitive Analysis

I evaluated three apps which have similar functions: Happy Cow, Starbucks, and AirBnB.

happy cow logo
happy cow list happy cow map happy cow reviews


  • Sufficient information

  • Results available in list-view & map-view

  • Reviews from users


  • List view is cluttered

starbucks logo
starbucks map starbucks points


  • Locate stores nearby

  • Keep track of points and rewards


  • Lack opening hours & reviews

  • Unclear directions: Scan icon & “Scan in store” button

airbnb logo
airbnb list airbnb details


  • Clean and minimalistic layout

  • Information presentation is neat and organized


  • Large info card: Almost showing one apartment per page. Not optimized for a quick mobile view.

Learning from these apps, Unwrap should make the search process intutive and the information optimized for mobile view.

Search zero waste stores:

userflow search

View results (list view & map view)

userflow view result

Check data

check data

Sketches & Wireframes

Some of the sketches:

uw sketches

Some of the wireframes

uw wireframes

User Testing of Wireframes

In the test, I asked participants to describe what they thought the pages were about and explained how to navigate to different pages.

Here is what I've learned:

1. Highlight important information to save the user's time

I learned that if users cannot immediately tell apart a list of information while skimming, it is already considered not user-friendly. To save the user’s time, I created a color-coded earmark system.

no earmark


arrow left to right revised uw wireframe


wireframe explained

Green indicates stores that are open, yellow are those which are closing, and dark grey are those which are closed.

2. Write precise titles

Given the limited space on a mobile screen, I prioritized short titles in my initial design. However, some users found the title “How I spent” confusing because the chart which follows is not a complete summary of every item (zero-waste or not) the user bought.

vague title


arrow left to right precise title


In the revised version, I changed to the title to “Zero waste products I bought”. It’s longer but it makes more sense to users.

3. Make navigation easier

I also tested the mode of navigation.

side menu

Hamburger menu

bottom nav

Bottom navigation

The majority of users chose bottom navigation over side menu because they just need to tab on the icon to go to their desired page. Conversely, the hamburger menu option requires users to open a side menu and find the page from the menu.


Based on the revised wireframes, I created a mockup. Here are some of the pages:

uw mockup

User Testing of Mockups

Here is what I've learned:

Use icons for clarification

In the user test, I learned to not overlook details. For example, some users mistook the “review” button as reading reviews instead of writing a review. In the revised version, I added a pen icon to make it explicit that it is a button for writing reviews.

review btn1


arrow left to right review btn2


In the revised version, I added a pen icon to make it explicit that it is a button for writing reviews.


Launch animation

To show the user what the logo is based on, I created a launch animation:

launch animation


The colors I chose are primarily green and yellow as they are often associated with eco-friendliness and the environment. Following the Material Design guidelines, I named the colors as Unwrap Light Green 800, 900, Unwrap Yellow 700, and Unwrap Yellow 50 respectively.

brand colors


As for the brand type, I chose Josefin Slab because of its thin and minimalistic presentation. It is only used in the brand name. All other text are in Work Sans as it is highly legible across small and large print.

brand type

Interactive Prototype

1. Language localization

This app aims to serve people from around the world. Apart from English, this app is also available in some of the most popular languages.

language localisation

2. Search page

Users only need to enter key phrases to search. The suggested results include both store names and location names.

search results

3. Search results

The result is available in list-view and map-view. In the store-details page, users can see detailed information and reviews about the store.

list view map view store details

4. Information architecture

Designing the information architecture on the card was challenging. On the one hand, I should keep the card short so that it is optimized for mobile experience. On the other hand, all the key information need to be shown on the card.

In the end, I came up with the following design:

info arch still

Each card is composed of two sheets: the image and the info. I made the info sheet slightly transparent and overlapping one-third of the image. This allows users to see most of the image and grasp the name and overview of the store. The non-overlapping section shows the location and opening hours. These are crucial information and so I left the background plain.

info arch animation

(1)Store name & overview, (2) Location & opening hours

5. Data

Users will only see the exact amount of products they saved when they click on each bar. This can prevent the screen from getting too crowded.

data1 data2

6. Profile & Tree

Users can save stores they want to visit in their profile page. Regular customers can also see how many points (or in our case, seeds) they have saved and the gifts they can redeem.

profile gifts

To learn more, click on the button below:

view prototype


In face of climate change, one thing we should do is to create less waste. This can save resources and reduce the amount of chemicals used for disintegrating waste.

But in reality, even if customers want to explore/ promote zero waste shopping, the situation is not always easy (see: "User Research" Section). As a result, I created Unwrap to hopefully make zero waste shopping a habit.

If I had time to push the design further, I would add a function for users to send seeds and coupons to friends to strengthen the Unwrap community.