WHY the NGO exists, i.e., its Mission
Zero Waste SG’s mission is to bring about a Circular Economy in Singapore through Waste Minimisation, whereby waste as a concept is removed through reducing, reusing, and recycling and in doing so, enable Singapore to be a leader in the region.
HOW it achieves that mission
It tries to achieve this by educating people and engaging them through initiatives like campaigns.
And through WHAT means
Besides Campaigns and Events, Zero Waste also writes papers to push public policies, forms partnerships with businesses, and researches on new technologies.
We dug deeper into our research to see how successful Zero Waste is in achieving its mission. A 2018 report by the Singapore Environment Council revealed that 7 in 10 Singaporeans do not know what plastics to recycle, and this results in the majority of plastic products being disposed of as general waste. Statistics by NEA last year also showed that Singapore’s recycling rate has stagnated over the past 2 years at 61% when our NGO’s target is to reach 100% by 2030.
We realized that Zero Waste SG is still far from reaching its goal of creating a Circular Economy.
Zero Waste SG first started a decade ago solely as a website for waste minimization tips and resources, while their number of initiatives grew steadily over 10 years and they were fully registered as an NGO in 2015. However, the design of their website has which remained largely the same, and it is not reflective of the NGO’s progress over the years. A dated design affects the usability and functionality of its digital platform, and we hypothesized that this is a big reason for Zero Waste falling way short of their goals.
We ran a Content Audit exercise to map out the different pages of the existing website. At a quick glance, we can see that every page on the Navigation Bar including the About page has a Comment Section. We found that unnecessary and it leads to cluttered features on each page. First-time users may also be overwhelmed by the amount of content on the landing page, and it is a sign of poor content hierarchy.
1. Mystery meat links
The current site contains mystery meat links. This one, for instance, leads users to the Zero Waste Facebook page. Also, can see that the 3 column grid caters for articles on Reduce and Reuse but not Recycle.
2. Poor content hierarchy
That content is found below the fold, and it showcases poor content hierarchy.
3. Search bar is located at the bottom of the landing page
The search bar is also found at the bottom of the landing page. This means that users who want an express lane for locating information will easily miss this feature.
4. Unconventional listing order
The comments section also uses an unconventional listing order, where the oldest comments are displayed first.
5. Same textfields used for replying to existing comments and adding new ones
Users have to use the same text fields for both replying to existing comments and adding new ones. This might be confusing for many users.
6. No placeholder hints provided
Forms on this website do not come with placeholder hints, which we felt is a good-to-have.
7. Misleading naming conventions
Headers on the Nav Bar are also misleading. Users may not know that the content found under Zero Waste SG is related to the Zero Waste concept and not the NGO themselves.
8. User Interface looks dated
Lastly, the User Interface looks dated, and this includes the images used.
To prove this hypothesis, we conducted a Usability Test with real users using the current website which leads to the bad user experience.
Usability Testing — Current site
“I thought the articles were Ads! Honestly, I would have just clicked away from this site.”
We interviewed individuals who practice Waste Minimisation at home. One told us he thought what he saw on the landing page was just. Advertisements, and he would have quickly left the site.
“The content feels too heavy and confusing to me.”
We interviewed people who volunteer at the grassroots level. One told us she felt the content was too heavy and confusing.
“I felt the differences between the headers in the Navigation Bar are not clear.”
We also interviewed people who manage businesses. One validated our claim that the Nav Bar uses unclear labeling.