UP2U: A Redesigned Community System for Cleaner Marine Environments
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Marine litter has been a problem in the South Texas Coastal area. A non-profit known as the Nueces River Authority has created a campaign, known as Up To You (Up2U), whose mission is to involve more participation in cleanups, distribute their yellow mesh reusable trash bags, and educate the community and visitors about marine environments on littering. The purpose of this research is to reevaluate their current outreach system to communicate not only to residents but visitors as well, in order to increase involvement in the current program.
Using human-centered design techniques, this research produced a new system of distribution for these bags by evaluating areas of interaction that all beachgoers and fishers come across by creating a map of events that showed a visitor’s typical journey. By identifying this commonality, planning and designing the new look of the campaign led to a prototype that resulted in increased potential for education and involvement. To test the effectiveness of this new distribution system and campaign, a pre-evaluation survey was collected among people that have visited or live in the Corpus Christi area. The questions were structured around the Transtheoretical Model of Change in order to measure their current level of involvement in keeping the marine environments clean during their visit. After collecting this initial survey, four respondents were randomly selected for user acceptance testing; the new solution was presented to them and then a post-evaluation survey was collected. The participants’ post-evaluation survey answers and verbal comments during user acceptance testing were compared to their responses in their pre-evaluation survey. Results suggested that the new Up2U campaign system, designed for this thesis, showed potential success in improving distribution of the litter bags and increasing awareness about marine littering.