Giving a second chance to used items.

16 Weeks
Product, UX/UI, UX Research
Two phone screen mockups of the conceptual app "Stooped."

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), it is reported that each year, Americans throw away an estimated 12 million tons of furniture and furnishings.

This issue is largely due to the rise in "fast furniture"—mass-produced home goods that follow the latest trends; they're cheap but low quality, not made to last long. 80% of the waste end up in landfills, unable to be recycled or repurposed. In more urban areas, where people are constantly moving in and out, more of these home goods are being bought and tossed away just as quickly.

"How Might We" help people manage their home goods waste in a more sustainable manner?


I wanted to create an app that allows people to give used, thrown-away goods a second chance at life.

As the saying goes, one man's trash is another man's treasure. By providing the opportunity to find thrown-away goods (that are still in usable condition), people can give used items a second chance at life in a new home, rather than having them pile up in the landfills.


Understanding the target audience

Method: Secondary research, survey, personas

"Stooping" is a rising trend amongst Americans, particularly in big cities. It's the sourcing of free items left out on the street as trash, or sourcing of items that have been left out in the hopes that they will be stopped by a passerby. Stooping can help save a portion of that waste from the landfills.

As one person stated, "Whether you're getting rid of unwanted furniture or looking for new ones on a budget, stooping can help extend the life cycle of items great and small - and indirectly connect you with past and future owners, too."

I conducted a small survey of people living in New York City.


People are willing to use previously owned home furniture/furnishings over purchasing new ones.

Whether it's to refurnish and resell or to find a treasure for home, shopping for secondhand items from NYC's curbs has become a more thriving culture as of late.


To get a better image of who I am designing for, I created 2 personas.

Competitive Analysis

I explored platforms that allowed people to discover, buy, and sell general items (even foods).

While these options offered great services, users also faced many limitations when using them, either in features or simply due to its platform type.


Prioritizing features

The Instagram account @stoopingnyc is the closest solution to helping reduce furniture/furnishing waste and making an effort to promote a more sustainable way of living. However, due to the platform being on Instagram, it has its limitations. For the app, I had to prioritize which features I wanted to emphasize:

1. User Engagement

Gamifying the app would encourage users to explore these items, clicking "heart" to favorite an item and the "x" to dismiss it as if it were a dating app for finding secondhand items.

2. Interactive Map

A map accounts for easier visualization of the selection of items near the user; they could also move the map to explore a bit farther from where they are.

3. Listing and Reserve Pricing

Users can directly upload items they find on the street right then and there, without having to go through a third person. In order to incentivize listing items, users are given the option to set a reserve price (safekeeping the item if they can) so that the person who reserves it can come pick it up later at an agreed upon time and location.



I conducted user testing with 3 participants, where I received valuable feedback on what they liked and what they found confusing.

Onboarding That Informs

On the discover page, I had incorrectly assumed that people would intuitively understand which buttons meant what. After user testing, I decided to create a short onboarding screen that directs the user to the function of each button.

Navigation Bar

Based on feedback, I realized there was no clear direction to find messages exchanged between the user and listers and vice versa. I reconfigured the nav bar to include an "inbox" page as its own separate thing and combined the maps and discover page into one.

Profile Activity

I decided to get rid of "collections" and instead added "reserved items" and "my listings" as features. The user can now keep track of the items they reserved and who to contact in order to coordinate a pick-up time. They can also stay up to date on whether or not their listings has been taken or are still available.


Final Prototype

How could I further measure success?

  • User engagement: tracking the number of active users, frequency of app usage, and average session duration. Higher user engagement will indicate that the app is providing value for users.
  • Number of listings: monitoring the volume of secondhand home good listings posted on the app. An increasing number of listings indicates growing popularity and adoption among users.

What I learned:

  • Having a new set of eyes look over my work during user testing has proven to be very helpful and informational. Oftentimes, the participants are able to point out what I might've overlooked.

Moving forward: 

  • I would like to explore potential partnerships/collaborations with businesses that promote sustainability. This can go from either allowing eco-friendly brands to sponsor featured listings to having local businesses offer exclusive discounts or promotions to app users, creating a mutually beneficial relationship.