DeviceRadio: Waiea Waste Management

My first project with DeviceRadio was to design the web app for a “waste management” system they were developing for a 39 floor residential tower in Honolulu. The building, named Waiea, uses trash rooms on almost every floor instead of a trash chute. Our system was meant to monitor the usage of the trash rooms using sensors on the doors, and help make the trash collection more efficient.

This was a bit of a strange project for me since I did not have the opportunity to do any proper user research. We had about 3 weeks to finish the project and a set of requirements from the client with little information about the staff that will be using the system and their workflow and procedures. The timezone difference also made it difficult to get more information. Thus I had to design with the goals of keeping things clear and simple and providing the users with the information they need to do their job without clutter and confusion.

The overview panel shows an overview of the entire building with floors in need of attention being highlighted. This is only meant to give the staff a quick look at the situation and perhaps inform the way they decide to prioritize and sort the work. The other panel shows a more detailed list of the floors in need of attention with the possibility to change the sorting options.

One of the decisions I pushed for was no to indicate the amount of trash in any way. Since our sensors only monitor the number of times a room is used, we have no accurate way of knowing how much trash is discarded with every entry. Guessing the amount based on that number would inevitably lead to inaccuracy and decrease trust in the system. The color coding we use is only there to highlight errors our malfunctions in the system. On any normal day all list items should be green.