a study of app users
Local mayor and highly snatched swaggy dilettante Eric Adams recently announced that the city government has placed compost bins in small areas of each borough. This was intended to be a pilot for a citywide rollout of containerized compost pickup. As consultants at McKinsey, we’ve been hired to study the impact of the program, and we’re happy to report that we’ve put together a typical user story that details the life of a participant for a week. This report is based on a composite of over 500 user interviews conducted over the course of many months.
Let’s paint a picture of our composite user.
Let’s take a peek at the life of “Lauren”. Again, this is based on the average user experience that we’ve collected through months of study.
Dear Diary, I feel crazy today! T has not written me back (typical) and J and I are going to see a movie tonight (Lego Lumière Bros - his choice). Work is hell as always—not sure why She-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named (Anjali, of course) is making such a big deal out of losing Paas as a client. They make EGG COLORING KITS!! Who even cares like at all!! I hate my stupid email job :( I wish I lived on a farm in Italy—would be much more sustainable. Even if I did I bet T wouldn’t write me back. I tried to use the compost bin app today but all of them were colored red to say that they’re full. Fucking bullshit. Fuck this city, fuck the mayor.
Dear Diary, I love you ♡♡♡♡ You are the only one I feel really comfortable with. Last night when I was with J watching Lego Lumière I couldn’t help but just think of T instead. I wish he would write me back. I know his job is really intense but I think it’s been too long for that to be a good excuse. When he writes me back I’m going to get really upset at him and maybe not respond for a while. I loved Lego Lumière—I felt like a model train was actually going to come out of the screen and hit me! I tried using the compost bin app today but all of the compost bins are still full. My freezer is overflowing with compost, feels like a metaphor for my fucking life. Sigh. I hate you, Eric Adams.
Something really fucked up happened yesterday. I was walking home from the C train when I looked back and saw a mushroom cloud on the horizon. This intense wave of prickly heat rushed over me and I felt as if my eyebrows were crawling on my face. I’ve been throwing up for hours now. It’s funny—when I saw the cloud I realized there was no one else on the street with me, and I haven’t seen a living soul since. That’s weird, right? Like, for New York, I think it’s pretty weird. I’ve been thinking a lot about the nature of time today, and how I’ll never know what happens after I die. The power stopped working in my apartment but my phone still has 78% battery. The app is showing that the compost bins are full, but there’s a green one 6 blocks away, so I’m gonna empty my freezer and go drop it off now.
I just got back home. Things are really bad out there. I walked my compost over to the bin but it was full by the time I got there (typical). I didn’t see any humans out, but there were these strange translucent blob like chunks of slime slowly rolling all over the sidewalks and streets. They seemed to be moving of their own volition, animated by some hellish spirit. Their movements were random at first, but as I watched them I began to glean their patterns. I realized that they were pulsing in order to reflect sunlight upwards. As I watched, the realization dawned on me—they were meant to be seen from above. A shudder, a wave of nausea. I collapsed and awoke in the middle of the night. I can’t do this anymore. T, where are you? I need you.
There is nothing. There is no one. The compost app taunts me, its array of red bubbles like twisted, evil suns, burning my eyes and my skin. It all burns. I have begun eating the compost, starting with coffee grounds and eggshells. These taste good to me now, better than the carrot scraps and celery leaves. I find myself transforming, changing. I don’t think my senses work the way they used to. I sense electricity now, a million bursts of lightning between me and the ground. I sense fire. The compost pilot program was a resounding success. Hats off to the team and all involved.
Back in my day (less than a year ago), when I lived in this great, swirling metropolis of New York City (less than a year ago), we had store our compost in the freezer and it was disgusting and leaked and then we would drop it off on the weekends and snip the bags with scissors and then go to town on them with a shovel because the compost was frozen and the people were like, “Can you break the mass up a little?” and then I’d do it…but go on with your “Apps”…