Can Brazilian waste pickers be part of app development?

We have been in contact with three students from Aalborg University, who via their bachelor project demonstrated that this is indeed possible.

Tina Øvad, CXO, Preely
17-02-2021
Can Brazilian waste pickers be part of app development?

As to contribute to the UNs SDG the goal of the project was to further develop a learning platform designed for the waste pickers working on recycling centers near Brasilia.

Engineering psychology students

Anja Bang Mejer, Emma Bredahl Mortensen and Ina Vedige Brøchner Rasmussen are three Engineering psychology students from Aalborg University.
As a student in Engineering psychology, one of the main objectives is on testing your prototypes on users and validating the design. Here there is a special focus on the psychological aspects of the users and usability.

The project

In spring 2020, we started our bachelor project which was a collaboration between us and four students from the University of Brasilia. As to contribute to the UNs SDG the goal of the project was to further develop a learning platform designed for the waste pickers working on recycling centers near Brasilia.

These waste pickers were not accustomed to handling their finances on a monthly basis and further many of the waste pickers were to some degree illiterate

Therefore, the learning platform should assist the waste pickers in learning how to handle their finances in an intuitive way, with a minimum of text. The prototype of the learning platform was designed as an app using Preely. Throughout the project, several iterations of the prototype were “sent” back and forth between Denmark and Brazil, before settling on the final version for testing.

How does Preely fit into our project?

In a time where COVID-19 had a large impact on our options for testing the app in person and the ability to visit Brazil. Preely gave us an option to do remote usability testing, both in Brazil and Denmark. In addition, Preely made it easy to get an overview of the collected data during the experiments, as well as the option to extract the raw data.

At which stage did we use Preely?

We used Preely to create the prototype of the app at the beginning of our project and made several iterations before testing the “finished” design. With the tools available in the Preely platform, we were able to create a full functioning app, where the participants were able to interact with all the functions created.

How we recruited testers with Preely?

We distribute a link to Preely through social media to our friends and family. In addition, we also got our partners in Brazil to distribute the link. Which resulted in participants from both Denmark and Brazil.

What did we test with Preely?

The focus of the testing was the functionality of the prototype in general. Therefore, the focus was to adjust the prototype, to clarify any problems with the design, and the functionality of the different aspects of the prototype.
The participants had to go through six tasks to examine different parts of the prototype. Afterward, they had to answer questions about the experience of using these features.
We used Preely to collect information about clicks, time, and their subjective answer to questions to investigate which parts of the app that worked and didn’t work properly.

What have we accomplished with the help of Preely?

With the help from Preely’s platform we were able to test our app and obtain feedback, even though COVID-19 put an end to our opportunity to test the prototype in person. Hence, we were able to review and validate the different functions in the app, which created the opportunity to further investigation and testing of the app in Brazil with the waste pickers.


Emma Bredahl Mortensen, Anja Bang Mejer, Ina Vedige Brøchner Rasmussen

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