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1st place winner in

Designathon 2022

*Disclaimer :Amazon was not affiliated with this project*

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This case study won first place in the Design competition conducted by Hexagon Houston, a non-profit that has a community of over 7,500+ womxn and non-binary folx worldwide

Timeline

My Role

One-week  Sprint (60 hours)

August, 2022

Team leader, UX & UI Design, UX Research

Team

5 UX Designers

Pragya Srivastava, Ariana Zhu,

Somi Sheikhi, Anna Enriquez

THE PROBLEM

We want all our items delivered to us but at what cost? 

Plastic packaging is extremely wasteful and impacts the earth’s ecosystems. The majority of plastic waste is sent to landfills or disposed of in the environment. According to the Supply chains solution center, 9.2 billion tons of plastic have been produced, of which only 9 percent have been recycled properly. 

“How might we reimagine a system that can help reduce single-use packaging from e-commerce?”

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OVERVIEW

My team chose Amazon as the e-commerce retailer for the challenge as it caters to 310 million active users each day.  As the company holds a large market of online customers, they are faced with the responsibility to implement better environmental practices to offset its carbon footprint. In recent years, Amazon has voiced an increasing commitment to sustainability.  

BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES

Improve PR of Amazon by taking further measures for sustainability

Increase customer retention by catering to sustainability-conscious customers.

SECONDARY RESEARCH

So, just how bad is the packaging waste epedemic? Let's take a look!

Packaging materials represent about 65% of household waste.

 

30% of total U.S. waste annually is estimated to be packaging waste.

91% of all plastic has never been recycled.

A poll commissioned by Oceana to survey Amazon customers in the US and UK revealed that 87% of customers think major online retailers should do something about plastic packaging.

87% of Amazon customers surveyed have concerns about plastic packaging in e-commerce

  • Respondants aged 25 to 44 tend to have more concerns about sustainability than members of other generations.

  •  Millennials and Gen-Z were ready to pay around 25% premium if they had an opportunity to buy sustainable products rather than buying products that are detrimental to our environment. 

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Amazon Prime members
are the most concerned
about plastic pollution.

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are upset and angry that only 9% of plastic ever produced has been recycled.

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customers with the highest reported income were concerned
about plastic pollution.

COMPETITOR ANALYSIS

 
 
 
 

Studying 3 e-commerce websites helped us understand what some existing sustainability measures in place are.

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While doing Competitive Analysis, an online grocery retailer, Thrive Market stood out to me.

They claim they are carbon neutral since day one. They charge a monthly subscription fee of 5$ per month. At present they have more than one million subscribers and their membership count has only been increasing since 2017.

REFRAMING THE PROBLEM

 
 
 

"How might we bring awareness about sustainability / the environment?"

"How might we promote the use of sustainable packaging materials??"

USER INTERVIEWS

We interviewed six current Amazon Prime members...

participants said they are very likely to pay for a
premium for sustainable packaging
, if given an option.

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participants did not have an access to recycle bin in the vicinity and they had to trash the packaging.

participants mentioned that they have received small items in a really large box.

THE HYPOTHESIS

Amazon prime members would pay a premium for sustainable products and packaging as long as they still get fast deliveries.

DEFINING PERSONA

Larry, the family man hopes to find a compromise between the convenience of online shopping and sustainability to be a role model for his kids and protect the environment...

JOURNEY MAPPING

Journey Mapping revealed opportunities in the Product listing and checkout flows.

IDEATION FEATURE PRIORITIZATION

To quickly collect ideas based on our research, we did a crazy 8 brainstorming session.
After getting all the ideas together, the challenge was to identify which features needed to be prioritized. So the team voted on which features made the most sense based on impact and time on hand.

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The 4 main features selected were:

 
  • Provide a new membership option for those interested in sustainability

 
  • Incentivize the purchase of sustainable products and packaging.

 
  • Incentivize the purchase of sustainable products and packaging.

 
  • Design a point-sharing system (as the next step)

USER FLOW

 

As a user, I want to buy wine glasses through Amazon Green Prime.

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THE SOLUTION

 

Design an upgraded subscription plan called, “Green Prime,” that promotes eco-friendly, sustainable products and packaging.

From the crazy 8s exercise, we voted upon the best ideas that would support our hypothesis and came up with the solution of: Amazon green prime.

 

Green prime is an upgrade from the standard prime membership that allows users to have their orders sustainably packaged all while still reaping the benefits of prime’s quick delivery service. While enjoying the green prime benefits, users will also receive greenpoints as incentivisation and motivate people to go green.

GIVING IT A NEW FACE

Utilizing Amazon's branding and original logo, I came up with a new logo for the Green Prime membership. 

The addition of green color and word emphasizes "sustainability" and the arrows suggest that members can get a-z products related to sustainability. The addition of another arrow on top denotes the concept of 3R's in sustainability ie Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.

Amazon Green Prime Benefits

Redesigning Amazon's screens to fit with Green Prime needs and userbase, we focused on 4 important screens for the flow.

 

This screen shows the Green prime benefits so prime users can see what is included with the membership upgrade and an explanation of the green points system

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Amazon Green Prime Homepage

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The homepage is designated for green prime members with a call to action to learn more about sustainability and what actions are being taken to make the business and process more eco-friendly.

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Amazon Green Prime Product

 
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On the product page,  below the basic product information, there will be key information that will show users sustainability information so they are aware of the impact they are making.

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Amazon Green Prime Checkout

 
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Lastly, the checkout page will reinforce the information from the previous product page by summarizing the sustainability statistics and providing rewards information.

USABILITY TESTING

We conducted moderated usability testing on high-fidelity screens on zoom with 4 participants.

We gave our participants a scenario:

Imagine you are Larry and you are going to host a big party in 2 days and need to buy wine glasses. But you are too busy to drive to stores, so you shop on Amazon. 
 

We wanted to test the following:

1. Will the users find the option to upgrade to Green Prime Membership easily?

2. Are the benefits enticing enough to try Green Prime and how useful do they find the upgrade?

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Users assumed the call-to-action would take them to sign-up page rather than benefits information.

Users wanted to see clearer data points on the type of impact they are making on the checkout page.

Users were interested and wanted more information on Green Points.

USER FEEDBACK & INSIGHTS

One participant used to be a power user. She had prime at one point and used it very often, but then she went all the way to delete the account because she is not satisfied with the company’s existing sustainability measures. Amazon is already losing its customers for not being sustainable enough. And When this participant went through our testing, she mentioned: 

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This would be the only way I use Amazon. I would 100% use this.

 There was another participant who uses Amazon on a frequent basis but feels guilty about being so dependent on Amazon. She mentioned:

I don’t know how to quit Amazon. This will help ease the green mindset and reduce impulse buying regret.

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Prototype

FUTURE ROADMAP

Green Points & Gamification

Users were very intrigued about the green points and reward systems. We hope to provide more information about Green Points and improve the gamification of the point system.

Social accountability & awareness

 

Implement and test the function of Social Sharing to allow users to check in with their friends about their carbon footprint, so that they could have more accountability from friends. We also hope to add the function where the system automatically recommends to users about sustainable products that are similar to what they are looking for on the product details page and shopping cart page.

In-depth market research & feasibility study

 

As for how Green Prime can be implemented, we believe that incremental steps are the best, and we need to do more market research to specify them. Green Prime could be a beta version only available to Prime members who decide to join, but our ultimate goal can be making all Prime Green, which would significantly reduce Amazon’s packaging  

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