User Research, UX Design

TT_HeaderTrash Talk is an app developed to educate users on how to classify garbage through a fun & engaging game.

Trash Talk was built as a part of Microsoft Imagine Cup UX challenge. The challenge was to come up with a fun and interactive game while utilizing the user experience guidelines for Windows Phone 8. We have built the app in a school format where users have to pass in all subjects to pass a grade. As they keep moving up in grades the difficulty level increases and new games get added. We have strived to achieve a good blend of fun, engagement and education.

Tools Used: Axure, Photoshop, StoryBoardthat, Visio

Team Size: 4

Market Research and User Interviews


Our Market Research revealed that there was no fun way available to teach people about the importance of recycling and reducing landfill.

We also conducted user interviews to understand the popular games and motivation of users to play them constantly. Key things which we found were:

  • They love competing against their friends.
  • They like positive reinforcement in form of unlocked achievements.
  • They get bored playing the same game over and over again.
  • Enjoy the game more if winning leads to more than just points.




Next, we sketched out the flow of the story in pictures and diagrams to showcase how the game will progress from the perspective of a player. We wanted to get the flow of the game down to where a player could flip through the storyboards like a comic book, and get the basic idea of the game without even playing it.

Information Architecture





We built the wireframe to show the main game play mode as described in the Information Architecture diagram. In our wireframe, we saw to it that all user interactions were appropriate and explicit.


Visual Target


We built the Visual Target aiming to represent our main wireframe in production quality. We wanted to establish an appealing, inviting and easy to understand game play.

Visual Target


Honorable Mention


(1) Your project has honorable scope, raises awareness about correlation between waste and environment. The game is well structured and the user will be excited to complete all levels.

(2) Information architecture diagrams are good with connections between elements of the user interface shown and they are complete and reasonable.

(3) Your overall wireframes, screen design, and thoughts related to the game make the game attractive to younger users.

(4) Storyboards are comprehensive enough to provide game play experience.

(5) The visual target is clearly attractive and appealing.



(1) Overall, you have a great start.  If you build more features and options, I think the game will be much more successful.

(2) It could be interesting if you can add more reality on the game, using real garbage examples that are not easy to know or that waste disposal can be different depending on the city.


Life is too short for a crappy UX  #idean 

The submission process for Imagine Cup (2015) was against everything UX stands for. It was confusing, time consuming, required excessive cognitive load, had unclear flow and much more. I interviewed 8 of my peers who had submitted their proposals for the same and all the participants felt uncertain as to whether their papers have been successfully submitted for the Microsoft Imagine Cup 2015 competition and all of them resubmitted again (some did it thrice) because they felt that the system has not been able to upload their files or there are more steps which they are unable to see. This was cue enough that organizers needed to put some effort into the design. The submission confirmation e-mail came an hour after the submission which added to the uncertainty.

My Objective: To resolve the uncertainty of the participants by making minimum possible modifications in the process.

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