UX case study, community planning tool:

Brooklyn Coastal Cleanup Network Website

I live between Brighton Beach and Manhattan Beach in Brooklyn, NY. I’m at the beach often, especially during summer. Lately, like most people due to lockdowns, I spend even more time in the neighbourhood. Besides a frisbey and a jump rope, in my drawstring bag I always keep a folding trash picker and some bags to collect plastic trash. So, one day I started looking for volunteer groups to join. Groups that do coastal cleanup raids somewhat regularly. I spent a few hours searching the web, and found a number of websites of environmental organizations, both governmental and grassroot.
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What I wasn’t able to find is a place where Brooklyn locals can coordinate their cleanup efforts. There is a major National Cleanup Day that happens annually in September. And Ocean Conservancy’s CleanSwell App that aims serving “global community”, but does not seem to be very practical on a hyperlocal level. So, I decided, with tools and skills I have at my disposal, I could build and run such a website.

Creating User Personas

JasmineWilson-student
Jasmine Wilson

College Student

Avid reader. On weekends likes to meet with friends in Prospect Park and go shopping at Farmers Market. A member of Food Coop, takes part in various community projects.

Goals: Help environment and have some fun in the process.

Concerns: When planning stewardships, her main concern is safety, as some parts of the waterfront are relatively isolated spaces. She usually tries to volunteer in the company of friends.

PhilipHoyles-retiredCopywriter
Philip Hoyles

Retired Copywriter

Brooklyn native, enjoys books and documentaries about his hometown. Lives alone. Member of the local chapter of The National Audubon Society.

Goals: He already does some occasional cleanup while spending time at the waterfront. But, while at it, could use some good company and meet new people.

Concerns: Would like to see the planning of stewardships as seamless and informal as possible. 

Ideating

To get the ball rolling, I took care of the easy tasks first. The name ‘Brooklyn Coastal Cleanup Network’ (BrooklynCCN) wasn’t taken, and it fits like a glove! I’ve registered BrooklynCCN.com domain, and designed a logo for it.

I see this website as a tool for visitors to create and find cleanup events. With minimum distraction and simplest user flow. To streamline user interaction with the site on return visits, people should be able to register. For (above mentioned) safety concerns I’d like all new members to be vetted. There are various ‘Verified by ID’ online services. But verification process might seem cumbersome to some visitors, and I suspect it would greatly increase bounce rate. Instead, I plan to create a closed Facebook group, and post BrooklynCCN events there. Most people have Facebook accounts, and there’s no learning curve involved. 

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User Flow

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Wireframe

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In 2014-2020 I was creating heroes and preparing editorial images for articles published weekly on ASME.org. Some of these also appeared in ME Magazine. Featured examples are demonstrating my color sense, composition, storytelling, and illustration skills.