New generation, new hope

In this project, my team needs to design a smart phone- based digital experience about the afterstory of garbage recycling for stakeholders at the Boston Children's Museum. It is supposed to serve as both a digital souvenir and a marketing tool to attract visitors to the museum. At the same time, it can also enhance awareness and knowledge of recycling for the next generation, ushering in a bottom-up turnaround from children to parents for this long-standing issue.

Children in the USA remind their parents to recycle
Nation recycle rate vs. Children (6-18) recycle rate
Children and parents report that they feel discouraging as they do not know whether their recycling behavior actually helps
Get recycle knowledge through digital media

How might we use a smartphone-based digital experience to convey knowledge about what happens to garbage after it's recycled in a way that is accessible to both children (6-12) and parents?


Trash Task Sorting


We grew from them, but are not them

Research Strategies

Bringing together education and technology

Prototype and Testing

Get to young voices through challenges

The testing process was quite unique for this project. Initially, we planned to conduct a test after completing a low-fidelity prototype, but we found that children couldn't grasp the content of the low-fidelity prototype. Therefore, we attempted to simulate the interaction of the prototype using paper mockups for testing. Based on the feedback received, we then developed a high-fidelity prototype for the second round of user testing.

Key Functions

Children, parents, recycle

You can't tell? It can!

To enhance immersion, Sort&Toss not only offers the traditional interaction option of choosing different garbage's afterstory to explore, but also provides the functionality of choosing with AR by scanning the corresponding garbage using machine learning powered by Lens Studio.

Portal to kids' world

Because we discovered that children have a stronger understanding of three-dimensional objects compared to two-dimensional ones, we decided to tell the "trash-into-treasure" story with a series of interactive augmented reality scenes. Furthermore, to help children better understand and be engaged with the experience, each step has been anthropomorphized, for example, like depicting the fabric tailoring factory with a barber shop scene.

"Mommy, I want to play again."

Due to technical limitations, Snapchat cannot store user gameplay data, meaning the gameplay experience can only be one-way. To attract users to explore the stories behind different types of garbage and interact with scenes as much as possible, at the end of each experience, based on the percentage of interaction triggered in the scenes, users would be rewarded with exclusive Sort&Toss mascot filters. After finishing the experience, users can always restart it to explore different garbage's stories and try on different filters as rewards.




They said yes

We conducted tests with three groups of children and parents aged 7, 8, and 8 respectively. All groups of participants successfully completed the experience and expressed increased motivation towards recycling. After the experience, the parent of one group immediately began searching for more detailed information to share with her son.

Future Steps

But would like more

Interactions that fit children better

  • Incorporating more sound effects into the interaction to further increase children's engagement.
  • Integrating more facilities from the Boston Museum into the experience to better connect this experience with the museum's theme.