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Master | Teamwork | Spring, 2022 | Malmö University

U-Med (Unused Medications) is a circular model to reduce medication waste in Turkey. It is structured around dialogue-based interactions with a mobile application and reverse vending machines (RVMs). The system has several stakeholders that contribute to the system and gain rewards from their actions along with humanistic incentives such as altruism.


Reusing, recycling, circular model, medication waste


A Health Center in Istanbul, Turkey

My Role

Design research, concept development, prototyping, usability testing, UX/UI design

U-Med Cover_edited_edited.jpg


Understanding medicine usage behaviours and encouraging individuals in Turkish society to share their unused and unexpired medicines, and health professionals to prescribe these medicines to people in need to decrease medication waste.


throw their meds away in the bins


wonders how to properly dispose unused meds

Questionnarie in Turkey | 2022


would use unused and donated meds if they have chronic disease


who wouldn't prefer using unused and donated meds would prefer taking the donated unused meds from their doctors

Design Process

In this project the medication usage behaviours of patients and the notions of health professionals and patients towards sharing and disposing of medications were explored with a user-centred design and participatory design approaches, to prevent increasing medication waste and suggest a more sustainable system which has positive impacts on both the environment and the society in Turkey.

Design Process.png



To understand the medication usage both in Turkey and around the globe several design research methods were conducted.

  • Desk research
    Literature research and benchmark

  • Observation
    Health centre in Sarıyer, Istanbul

  • Face-to-face & semi-structured interviews
    5 patients, 3 doctors, 3 nurses and
    5 pharmacists, health director in the municipality of Sarıyer, Istanbul.

  • Remote interviews
    A non-profit organisation in Greece called GIVMED that has similar concerns about medication waste.

  • Questionnaire
    Among 88 Turkish citizens



To make sense of the gathered information throughout the exploration phase the affinity diagramming method had been applied. The insights were summarised into 10 main insights:

  • Altruism

  • Trust

  • Alternative Use

  • Applied Practice

  • Storage

  • Sense of Community

  • Incentives

  • Monitoring

  • Quick Disposal

  • Legislation




During the ideation and concept phase in order to generate ideas and discuss the possible obstacles several ideation methods were used:


  • Informal brainstorming workshops

  • Flow diagrams

  • Circular Designs Ideation Pack from the Use2Use design toolkit

Final Design

U-Med is a non-profit platform where Turkish citizens can give their leftover medications which are either expired, unexpired, opened or unopened. After the examinations, the people in need access the safe medications. The other medications are either sent to dispose of or to be used in other industries. Users are encouraged to take part in the system with the points assigned to them after each contribution. This concept includes:

  • A mobile application

  • Reverse vending machines (RVMs)

Prototype & test

Prototyping & Test

In order to test the concept, the following prototyping and testing methods were used:

  • UX/UI design
    Interfaces of both the mobile application and the RVM on Figma

  • Physical prototype
    RVM's body was built with mock-up cardboard, paper plate and paper

  • Usability test & Wizard of Oz
    Digital prototypes along with the physical prototype of RVM were tested by 5 users who are coming from different cultural backgrounds

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