MUMO: Sustainable Lip Balm

An experiment in user experience and eco-friendly product systems

KEY WORDS:      Physical products, user research, closed-loop economy, sustainability, innovation strategy

ROLE:                     User experience designer for MUMO team

TEAM:                    Virginia Drummond, Alli Armstrong, Leni Peterson

TIMELINE:            5 months

TOOLS:                  Figma, Google Analytics, Adobe Suites, metal manufacturing processes

 

USER EXPERIENCE AND REDUCING PLASTIC IN THE BEAUTY INDUSTRY 

Overview

 

The MUMO Lip Balm is a DIY kit that allows parties to easily create their own lip balm and models how a reusable container model might reduce plastic usage in the beauty industry.

 

In 2017 the beauty industry produces 65.6 billion unit of plastic waste, creating an enormous and preventable burden on our environment. MUMO aims to reduce plastic waste by modeling alternative product cycles for beauty items.

​Set a standard for plastic reduction in beauty products. No greenwashing, just plain old green.​

Create a fun, simple user experience for a DIY lip balm kit. Making makeup? No problem!

MUMO Goals:

Transparent ingredients. You know exactly what you're putting on your body.

In January of 2019 myself and two other Stanford Product Design seniors investigated ways we might reduce plastic waste in the beauty industry by designing, testing, and implementing reusable aluminum product containers.

 

In the next months we created an eco-friendly makeup kit and taught dozens of students how to create their own lip balm.

MUMO and User Experience Challenges

In order to get this eco-friendly system off the ground, we needed to create a user experience that was fun and intuitive. 

DIY products live and die on the ease of their instructions and their ability to garner social steam. How can we insure that MUMO would go in the right direction? 

How might we model methods for creating engaging, high quality beauty products while prioritizing reducing plastic use?

Qualitative Research

In this case study, I will​ focus primarily on how we created an intuitive user experience for MUMO. We interviewed 40+ lay people and industry experts in order to create MUMO.

"Build Your Own Balm (BYOB)"

In this case study, I will​ focus primarily on how we created an intuitive user experience for MUMO. We interviewed 40+ lay people and industry experts in order to create MUMO.

Participants at one of MUMO's "Build Your Own Balm" events

Insights

 

  • People always find ways of interpreting instructions in new ways

  • Customers chose for quality first and sustainability second.

  • People feel guilt about not purchasing eco-friendly products. However, price and quality must be equivalent or more favorable than standard products for customers to purchase sustainable versions.

  • Technology and messy stoves shouldn't mix, paper instructions rather than digital work best in the kitchen.

  • Many products "green-wash" rather than actually work sustainably-- doing the right thing takes mojo.

  • Neutral logos and advertisement appeal to a wider audience. In other words, men use lip balms too if presented in the right way.

  • People feel more ownership over their make-up if they have a hand in it's creation. Yet if it's too hard, the product is abandoned. 

  • Some people really do not like stoves-- "can we make it in a microwave?"

  • Younger audiences expect more than simple products. They want social experiences.

  • Social aspect of making the make up was key. Make=up parties were the way to go 

Reflections and Next Steps

 

In this case study, I will​ focus primarily on how we created an intuitive user experience for MUMO. We interviewed 40+ lay people and industry experts in order to create MUMO.