A sustainable solution for reducing shoe waste

Project Overview

The goal of  SHOOETY is to combine physical and digital products striving to enhance the shoe cleaning experience for Gen Zs. SHOOETY provides users with valuable information about how to clean and maintain specific materials on their shoes, keeping them in good condition for recycling.

The emergence of SHOOETY solves the problem of daily shoe cleaning and shoe recycling, providing young people with an efficient and sustainable way of cleaning and raising awareness of shoe waste.


User Research, User interview, Affinity Map, Persona, Ideation, User Flow, Journey Map, Sketching, Prototype, CAD Modeling, Rendering, User testing


10 Weeks (Spring 2021)


Figma, Miro, Procreate, Fusion 360, Octane Render


2 teammates (Interactive Design, Design Management)

Problem Statement

Clothing waste caused by fast fashion has had a profound impact on the environment; 2700 liters of water are required to manufacture only one T-shirt, and 11.1 m tons of textiles in US landfills annually.

Our in-depth interviews and survey indicate some respondents know that fast fashion is a waste of resources and adding to environmental pollution. However, compared to clothes, people are less knowledgeable of the connection between shoes and the environment. 54.9% of the respondents reflected difficulty in maintaining and cleaning their shoes.  

Our Solution

SHOOETY provides effective, convenient, and reliable ways to clean and maintain shoes for the Z generation.

Shooety Brushes

Easier to use and more efficient solution for cleaning shoes.

Shoe Tree

For daily maintenance with functions of drying, disinfection and shape support.

Shooety APP

Internet of Things (IoT) management and exploration related support services.

Design Approach

Our project is developed using the design thinking process methodology, which is divided into five stages: Empathize, Define, Ideate, Prototype, and Test.


The relationship between shoes and the environment

User Interview Insights

We interviewed ten Gen Zers to gain a better understanding of the needs of users,
specifically the difficulties in cleaning and maintaining shoes.


To determine the priorities, we did card sorting and organized user findings on an affinity map. I facilitated data
analysis and came up with six key categories.

Improve awareness of sustainability

Awareness of sustainability will affects the choiceof buying shoes, washing shoes, and dropping shoes. Increased awareness of sustainable development encourages people to wear shoes longer.

Easy to learn, easy to use

User friendly cleaning and maintenance methods are available with lower costs

Keep up with regular maintenance

Avoiding spend much time and effort on deep cleaning. If the user has daily or just regular maintenance, the cleaning solution will not be hard to practice and will not be too deep.

Create driving force to maintain

User-friendly reselling or recycling solutions would enable users to create a desire to maintain and clean before reselling.

Improve awareness of sustainability

The cleaning solution needs to be protective for the shoes

Handy ways to deal with old shoes

If users had a helpful solution to handle their shoes, they would not have to leave them at home and not get old and worn out.


Based on the target user groups and all of the information collected through the research, we developed one fictional character representing the product's target user group. It was a solid foundation for moving forward with feature ideation and prototyping.

Design Requirements

Improving shoe cleaning experience

Being well-informed about how to clean particular material on the shoes

Keeping shoes in a good condition for recycling and donation

Having a sustainable way of life and doing something against waste

Idea exploration

In the ideation brainstorming, each team member comes up with 30 ideas and then combines those ideas and develops them into nine concepts, using the six thinking hats method to evaluate and analyze each concept. We finally arrive at the most satisfactory solution by visualizing the concepts and testing them with users.

User flow (App)

We created User Flow to understand how the users behave and what APP pages need to be built. But this is just the first version. As we continue prototyping, the user experience would be refined and more possibilities would be explored.

User flow (Devices+App)

We created the User Flow for our final solution, which combines devices and apps. Through IoT technology, devices and apps would be connected, enabling a better experience for customers when using our products.

Solution for Physical Products

Through the development and exploration of product forms, as well as user feedback, it was determined that the overall style is primarily simple and contemporary. We made 6 different shapes to give the user a feeling to determine the final solution.

Solution for Digital Product


Request Bluetooth connection and automatically connect to the shooety hand-hold device.

The slogan motivates users to use our product by telling them the goal is less waste and save the environment.

Home Page

The home screen reveals the close connection to the hand-held device. In the app, users check on the status of their devices, including battery, usage of cleaner, and condition of brushes. When the devices require a new part or charging, a notification will be sent.

Shoe Cabinet

The shoe cabinet is where users can manage their shoes virtually. They can locate their shoes quickly by choosing the type of shoes and getting all the information on shoe material and recommended brushes.


Shooety is a sustainable ecosystem. Not only do we encourage users to maintain their shoes more frequently, but also we hope users could give attention to the shoes they no longer wear.

Journey Map and storyboard


During this experience, I learned how to enhance the usability and functionality of products from the user experience viewpoint. This course helped me discover that I am interested in user experience and digital products, and I am eager to learn how to combine these two aspects effectively.

Think out off the box

Learn from teammates


Research is important

Don't be afraid to experiment and explore new possibilities, as staying confined to one idea or function will limit your growth potential.

Our team collaborated successfully. For me, peer review is extremely important because students from different majors will bring different perspectives to the evaluation of this project, and every design walkthrough serves as a constant encouragement to make our project better.

User experience is a critical ability for industrial design students.When generating new ideas, do not focus on whether the project is supposed to be a physical product; Instead, focus use design thinking, research methods, and human-centered design to explore possible design directions.

To better design products suited for the target market, research has laid a solid theoretical foundation for the design development, providing a reliable and robust theoretical basis for the later design direction, understanding the market, and understanding the users.

01 Project Overview02 Design & Research03 Ideation 04 Reflection