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composting in



Current indoor composting solutions can be very expensive and lack versatility in where they can be placed in the kitchen. Users have a difficult time finding counter-top space for their composters leading to bad habits and minimal composting.


An all-in-one, budget friendly, composting solution to help simplify the process and maximize results. The digital and physical products designs optimize the user's composting experience, utilize all of their kitchen space, and encourage them to continue composting through tracking their progress and showing the positive impact their compost has on the environment. 

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Research Summaries 

This was a research heavy project working to better understand different research methods. Throughout this project, I completed secondary research, user interviews, and field visits, to help determine my design criteria and potential solutions.



User Research

Through my secondary research, I was able to join different Facebook groups to get a better understanding of who was composting, why were they composting, and how were they composting. These groups are a great resource for people to comfortably ask wuestions, recieve credible feedback, and improve their composting knowledge and skills. This data helped me differentiate the importance of different composting stakeholders, as well as split users into different user types.




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The Advocate

always composting and pushing for environmental rights. teaches others the importance of composting

The Rookie

not super knowledgeable about composting but interested in trying it out

The Parent

consistently busy and trying to keep their house and family in order. wants to compost but doesn’t have much time

Empty Nester

lots of time to organize and maintain composting and food waste issues in the kitchen




User Interviews

I conducted two in-person interviews with women who are familiar with composting, but don’t do it as consistently as they would like. throughout these interviews, I wanted to better understand their pain points through their process to find actionable solutions that may motivate them to compost more and help develop healthier habits in the kitchen. both of these women live in a suburb of Minneapolis, where they purchase an organic waste bin through their cities recycling programs for composting. Both interviews are summarized below calling out key insights and opportunities.

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Ann L.

46 years-old 

South Minneapolis, MN

Family of 4

Liz K.

54 years-old 

Suburb of Minneapolis

Family of 5







“I like composting in the kitchen, but I don’t have enough counter-top space”

"I'd like to use the compost towards my garden"​

"I'm never consistent with my composting"

“Sometimes I get lazy and forget to compost.. a reminder would be beneficial”

 - User want a kitchen compost solution, but not necessarily a counter top solution because of space limitations

 - User needs motivation to compost to stay consistent in their routine and develop habit

 - User wants to see the benefits of their composting

“I have my compost bin in the kitchen for easy access while I’m cooking”

It would be cool to see the impact of my contributions"

"I don't really use any specific methods..just what I think"

“My bin can get pretty gross, especially if it sits in there awhile ...gets harder to clean”

 - Users want to visibly see the positive effects of their actions

 - Users need an effective way to clean their bin or a reminder to clean it

- Users need more guidance to successfully compost, lot of guess and check

- Kitchen location is preferred

There is a need for an electrical solution either built into the machine or a separate tool to keep users on track with their composting through providing gentle reminders and helpful hints on how to manage their compost and food waste. 

Incorporating a way for users to see their impact on the environment could motivate users and improve their composting habits. users can be intimidated by the composting process, so this could help them ease into it and learn while they com


I did a field study observing how one user typically goes through her composting process. I observed a 54-year old female who lives alone, but temporarily, has her recent college-graduate daughter living with her. They go through a lot of fresh produce and try to compost as much as they can while taking advantage of their city provided organic waste bins. during my observation, I used the AEIOU framework to help guide and organize my data. I then created a storyboard to help visualize my users’ current status, highlight emerging themes, and uncover problems and needs.

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User beings compost process by cleaning out compost container from previous use and putting in a new disposable + compostable bag 

User adds food scraps, leftovers, and other organic waste into compost container throughout the week or until filled up

Once the bin is full, or if it has been sitting awhile, the user ties up the bag and removes it from the container to take outside

User bring out compost bag and disposes it into the organic waste bin provided by the city in their recycling plan. process repeats!


Market Research

For my market research, I looked into different composting solutions currently on the market. I created a product benchmarking chart for easy comparison and visual interpretation. I researched these products based on certain criteria, such as size, method, price, and reviews, to get a better understanding of what is on the market and what users' specifically like about certain composters

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Design Criteria

Three design implications with design concepts based on my research and design analysis results


Mobile app connecting to electric kitchen compost machine

- Reminds user when to clean out the compost machine

- Reminds user when to switch out bags

- Actively see the difference you are making from composting

- Clean interface and easy user experience 


More affordable automatic compost machine

- Transform food into nutrient-rich food at a lower cost compared

- Use a blend of different materials to maintain a lower cost 

- Connect to the mobile app to make the experience more efficient and rewarding

- Simple and modern design to connect with the simple technology and system


Non-tabletop compost solution

- Machine that is accessible in the kitchen for quick composting but doesn’t take up counter top space (could be a floor or drawer solution)

- Minimal design that doesn’t stand out in the kitchen


Final Interfaces

For my final interface design, I wanted to focus on creating an easy and clean flow for users to follow to view their composter’s status and see the positive impact their habits are having on the environment. The app tells users when their compost cycle is done, gives tips and tricks on how to successfully compost, and allows users to connect with others in their surrounding area to share their progress and carbon foot reduction to create a composting community.

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Storyboard to show how the app and machine work together to optimize the users composting experience

*Images explain app interface and features rather than the physical machine*

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User downloads the app Breeze and is brought to the landing page where they are prompted to create an account or sign in to their existing account

Once signed in, the user must connect the mobile app to the breeze compost machine via Bluetooth. select your compost machine and continue 

User turns on machine and loads food and other organic waste into machine until full. start machine and watch your waste transform

While waste is transforming, easily track the current status of the compost cycle in the app &  browse recommended  tips and tutorials for you

At the end of each week, see the positive impact your compost had on the environment and share with friends + community members within the app

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