Veolia Waste Portal


Veolia’s web portal for Camden allows residents to order items for recycling and rubbish (waste items). It is also a place where customers can find out their waste collection schedule and if a collection was missed.
The portal has a high bounce and low returning user rate, while the phone lines in the contact centre have seen a significant drop in calls since the service was first introduced online. Assumptions are users are finding it difficult to order items naming errors and use of internal terminology for items. This process is further complicated as not all orderable items displayed to user are suitable for every property.

The portal is also where customers can find their waste collection schedule. This is a downloadable PDF, which may or may not be out of date at the time of download. Miss collections are shown within the portal, but to find out why a scheduled collection as not completed the customer has to call or email the contact centre. Often leaving them with a feeling of frustration.

Stakeholder interviews   |   User interviews   |   Personas   |   Prototyping   |   Journey mapping   |   Guerilla testing

Designer (me)   |   Business analyst   |   Subject matter expert X 4   |   Product owner   |   External dev team

Veolia waste collection team
hard at work
Identify and ideate oppurtunites that improve the web for customers to...
  • ...See thier collection schedule easily
  • ...Understand why a collection was missed
  • ...Order the correct waste items within the portal
Screens from Veolia's waste portal for camden before redesign.

Analysis of the current portal highlighted quite a few opportunities for improvement. One of the main issues found was a lack of everyday language and a lack of images to accompany items to be ordered. It was hard to differentiate between ‘Standard size black container and Standard pack of rubbish containers’ the former being an outdoor bin, the latter a roll of black bags.

A standard black container vs standard back of rubbish containers
The customer

A Typeform questionnaire was used to test customers understanding of orderable products. This was a quick and easy way to validate that changing the names of items and adding pictures could greatly improve the overall experience.

Looking at contact centre data highlighted calls about waste services were significantly higher early morning, or post 6pm. Digging deeper and interviewing Contact centre staff highlighted that these peak periods were mostly due to missed collection queries, which they had to escalate to Veolia. If the collection was missed the due to the customer; contaminated recycling, bins in the wrong place Veolia would need the customer to correct the issue before recollection. If missed due to Veolia circumstances; Van broken down, after 5pm, the waste would be collected the next day.

Quick and easy questionnaire
The business

I interviewed staff who work in Veolia offices and those who work on vehicles. This made it easy to see some of challenges they faced. Veolia would have to invest time and resources in to every escalation from Camden. This was time consuming, For front line staff, seemingly minor things like bins not put out in the right place, or food in dry recycling means they would have to leave part or a whole collection to keep on schedule. Internally Veolia had this information as soon as a van left a property via GPS tracking and on vehicle reporting system. However this information was not feedback in to the Customers waste portal. All agreed that feeding this information back could be an educational piece where it is user error and possibly help reduce repeat a portion of bags not collected.

Main pain points
  • Language used to describe items makes it difficult for customers to know what they are ordering
  • Customers do not know that some items are not suitable for thier property before placing an order
  • Customers have to call to find out why a collection has been missed
  • Customers are not being educated on how to avoid a missed collection
Limiting choice

Personas were primarily based on what type of property a customer lived in. This ultimately determined the selection of suitable items. The ideal solution was to use premises and planning data held by Camden databases to automatically select a customer persona by postcode and property name/number. However technical and time contraints made this an impossibility for now. The next best solution was a set of questions to determine what persona the customer was.

Persona of Anni (lives in a converted house) and the customer jounery through to order selection.
Understanding your options

The custoemr feedback from questionnaire validated the need to reworked item names to more familiar terms. Pictures were added, when available, as well as descriptions detailing relevant information such as dimensions, capacity and pack amount, further helping an informed choice.

Everyday language, backed up with pictures and descriptions

Awesome from the developers meant that data was able to travel from van to Veolia’s system through to the customer portal. Not only were users shown their collection schedule but they could see when what time and date their last collection happened almost in real time.

Missed collections

Terminology ‘missed’ places the responsibility, regardless of reason, with Veolia. Subtle changing of wording helped to shift this. Pulling the reason for an incomplete collection, the user is now signposted to how they can rectify the issue if they are at fault, or what Veolia will do in the responsibility lies with them.

incomplete collection status clearly sign-posted and reason given

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