Today was a productive day for my design team. Our healthy living design challenge moves forward in ID and my team has been working on our full scale prototype of our 2 in 1 recycling and trash bin for the last few days and we are almost completely done!!!
The entire structure itself is now finished and in testable condition, and this include our accompanying poster that helps describe in limited words why we should recycle and what we can recycle. All we have left now is to set up our Makey Makey device (I can’t even describe in words how awesome Makey Makey is!) so that we can count the number of people that use our recycling bin in the middle school once we put our prototype in the 8th grade locker bay for our first big experiment.
It’s important to actually build a full scale prototype to then experiment so that you can observe how users interact with your design. It’s amazing how much you can learn about improvements that could be made on your design simply by building and testing it. Part of why it has taken us so long to even finish the prototype was because as we built it we discovered design problems with pieces being too big or small or functionality problems like how our doors will open and how the bins will angle out as the door opens. And even from the few pieces of feedback we’ve found by users interacting with the design had to do with us needing to better label the door you use to recycle or throw something away, appose to the door custodians can use to get the bins out. We also have realized that we need to adjust the inside so that it is easier to take the bin out without getting tangled in the ropes for the doors. One idea that has come from this is to 3D print some of our own parts.
Next steps for this prototype experiment will be to move it into the 7th and 8th grade building. We have discovered from observation that the middle school building currently does not have recycling bins in the classrooms, which isn’t setting up the conditions for students to think about recycling. Furthermore, after talking to some 8th graders, we discovered that most of them only realized that the recycling bins were gone due to the one in their locker bay no longer being there. That recycling bin seemed to get more traffic, so we thought we would first put the bin in that room before trying out other locations.
I’m so excited to get our prototype into experiment mode!!! Tomorrow it WILL be done and set up for testing– we are determined!!!! (Cue pump up montage music!)