Design for Good: Can Creatives Save the Planet?

by The Adobe Blog team

posted on 08-20-2018

Recycling is a great way to reduce waste and slow down the negative effects of global warming, one of the most pressing issues of our generation. Everyone can contribute by minimizing their personal impact on the natural environment. However, many of us are not sure where to start.

This made recycling a timely and pressing issue to tackle at the very first Adobe Creative Jam in Singapore, jointly organized with General Assembly and Zero Waste Singapore, on July 28, 2018.

Adobe Creative Jams are a community-based event series where teams of designers come together to be inspired and put their creative skills to the test using Adobe Creative Cloud apps. By “jamming” with each other, creatives bounce ideas off one another, working off the collective energy of the group to build on a project.

User experience (UX) and user interface (UI) designers, many of them students or recent graduates from General Assembly, were invited to submit proposals for a mobile application based on the brief titled, “Recycling as a lifestyle: Improve the experience of minimizing waste in our daily life.”

Five teams were shortlisted from the submitted briefs and invited to attend a workshop conducted by Adobe Solutions consultant Albert Goh, who shared the basics of using Adobe XD, the all-in-one UX/UI solution to prototype and design the look and structure of apps and websites. On the day of the Creative Jam, the five teams were each assigned a mentor who was an established UI/UX designer, and were given four hours to create their app prototypes on Adobe XD. The teams then took turns presenting their prototype to a panel of judges, where the apps were assessed on how intuitive they were, the research that went into the design, the overall visual aesthetics, and the originality of their concept.

The judges.

On the judging panel were Janie Lim, senior marketing director of Adobe Asia Pacific; Pek Hailin, manager at Zero Waste Singapore; Alvin Loh, a general assembly instructor and the head of design innovation at the Defence Science and Technology Agency; Ken Chua, founder of (these)abilities; and Alan Leon, creative director at J. Walter Thompson.

After a round of deliberation, the Best Design Experience prize was awarded to Jasmine Lee, Tommy Lee, and Calvin Tan for their app, ZeroHero, which shares simple tips and challenges on the basics of everyday recycling on an online social platform, packaged in a beautiful user interface.

“It dawned on us that just educating and providing small incentives and rewards would not be enough to make the recycling habit stick,” said Jasmine about conceptualizing ZeroHero. “Many advanced recyclers we spoke to in our research mentioned that they were inspired by someone who was a big proponent of the Zero Waste movement. We also thought a lot about the ‘Pokemon GO’ phenomenon and came to the conclusion that community and social networks play an important role in habit creation. We decided that our app had to do three things: educate, incentivize, and build a sense of community around recycling.”

YoRipe Pals, designed by Xinyan Fang and Nathan Lim, won the judges choice for Most Popular. The app combines the concept of food waste with a social platform that brings people together to share food in real life. After meals, users can rate the individuals who provided the meals the same way one might rate an eBay seller for quality control purposes. The app also links up with supermarkets to share deals on food that is about to expire but is still safe to eat.

The Most Interesting Concept award went to Raymond Aditya Pradhana, Aurelia Jessica, Vianney Renata, and Gautama Wicaksono for their app, EcoFolks which aggregates information on existing local recycling initiatives, ranking them with a built-in points system. It also suggests to individual users similar recycling campaigns based on the ones they have already ‘liked’ on the app.

Members of the winning teams were rewarded with attractive prizes including Adobe Creative Cloud subscriptions, General Assembly course discounts, and shopping vouchers.

Winning teams with their mentors and the judges.

The first Adobe Creative Jam in Singapore gave budding UI/UX designers a chance to put their skills to the test for a real-life client with a real brief, resulting in an exciting showcase of innovative design thinking coming out of Singapore.

It also created awareness of an issue that is beginning to draw global attention. For these young creatives, it was an opportunity to witness how effective design can be a force for social good, something that can be consciously incorporated into elements of everyday design.

“The judges were blown away by the quality of the prototypes and the research that went into designing them. It was gratifying to see how our new generation of designers embrace the concept of design as a gateway for change. It’s something that Adobe puts great emphasis on in the design of our products, and it’s wonderful to see that Adobe Creative Cloud apps such as XD can be easily learned and used by designers to create in ways that are meaningful and have a wider social impact,” said Janie Lim, senior marketing director for Digital Media, Adobe Asia Pacific.

“The challenge around recycling and the environmental consequences of the waste we produce are much bigger than we thought. Our deep dive during the research phase opened our eyes to the complexity of the problem. Recycling is a collective effort and we should all do our part and have the courage to promote the Zero Waste lifestyle,” said Vianney of team EcoFolks.

Best Design Experience: ZeroHero.

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Topics: News, Creativity