Food Fighters

Quick Description

Food Fighters is a mobile application built to connect restaurants and grocery stores with organizations and volunteers that support people who are food insecure.

Goal

To help bridge the gap and decrease food waste in the Austin area.

Timeline

3 Weeks

# of Designers

5

 Our Mission 

Our original intent was split between helping people who are hungry and addressing food waste. We found that we could address both problems at the same time and thus Food Fighters was born.

 Our Mission is to help fight hunger by reducing food insecurity while helping restaurants improve sustainability. 

We found that this a real problem and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends we look at solving food waste in the ordered displayed by the diagram. 

We decided to develop an app that focused on source reduction, feeding the hungry, and composting. Then, we began conducting research.

 What I Did Do?  

My Roles and Responsibilities
  • Initial research and collaboration:
    • Central Texas Food Bank
    • Grocery stores
    • Restaurants
  • 1-1 interviews:
    • Two Food bank employees
    • One Trader Joe's employee.
  • Competitor Analysis (Replate and Grub Tubs)
  • Completed Trends section of prototype.
  • Usability Testing for Mid-Fi prototype.
  • Created the storyboard.

Team Collaboration:

  • User interviews

  • Interview analysis

  • User Persona

  • Affinity Diagram

  • User Testing Plan 

  • Proto-Personas 

  • Presentation Slide Deck

  • Feature Prioritization

  • User Flow

 The Problem & Our Solution  

The Problem

 >

Surplus food is going to waste instead of to those who are in need.

Our Solution

 >

Building a mobile app to educate restaurant owners about managing food waste by reducing surplus or by providing connections to donate it.

We Believe

Our app could increase restaurant sustainability and help people in need.  

Increase restaurant sustainability 

The Goal

Connect restaurants owners and managers with the resources they need to decrease their food waste and in return feed those in need.

Decrease food waste

Our Process

Topic

As a group of designers we were given the topic of social change.

Initial Discussion

Throughout our group discussion, we noticed a common passion for both wanting to help those food insecure and preserving the environment in someway.

Group Decision

After researching and much thought, as a group we decided that a lot of surplus food is thrown away by restaurant owners and grocery stores employees.   

Research

Objective

As User Researchers, we wanted to assess the current system of managing food waste. To discover what pain points may be occurring while donating surplus food to volunteers and organizations that help people who are food insecure.

Collected Data

  • Survey

  • 1-1 Interviews

  • Food Banks

  • Restaurants

  • Grocery Stores

  • Local info by phone:

  • Food Pantries

  • Local Restaurants

  • Grocery Stores

Methodology

Plan and conduct semi-structured interviews with:

  • Volunteers

  • Restaurant owners

  • Grocery store managers

  • Anyone involved in managing surplus food and waste

Google Forms survey put out on Facebook group pages.

Survey Results

  • Often times throws away food

  • The liability and means to transport on a consistent bases

  • We generally throw it [food] away when it expires past the quality hold time.

  • We have a waste bucket and it is counted after every shift.

End Result 

After we researched the pain points for donors, volunteers, and organizations in the process of donating surplus food we were able to generate user insights.

Definition

Restaurant Stores/ Current Process

Restaurants and grocery stores struggle to connect with volunteers and donor organizations in a timely manner, generating unwanted food waste. Reversely, volunteers and organizations have difficulty meeting the time-sensitive needs of restaurants and grocery stores leading to a loss of opportunities for people who are food insecure to receive needed nourishment.

Donor Stores/ Current Process

Empathy Map (Restaurant Owner)

Ideation

As a group we struggled to decide on what specific user we wanted to focus on for our project. We were deciding between three possible users: restaurant owner, donor organization, and a volunteer.

Volunteer

Organization Donor

Restaurant Owner

During the ideation phase, is when we discovered that we were able to capture our purpose and all aspects of the app by using a restaurant owner as our main user. This was a big break for our design process.

As a group, we had a lot of ideas so decided to do some card sorting activities, matrix prioritization, I like, what if, and I want, storyboard and then created a user flow from the highlighted features that led into sketching our prototype.

Prototyping & Designing

Logo

To begin our design process we started with the logo. Each designer in the group individually sketched out a logo and together we combined a few of our elements and came up with this.

Features of Focus

Log food waste, view educational resources, schedule ASAP pickup, view scheduled pickup details, view daily and yearly food waste trends

Trends

I was the head designer for the trends section of the app. I used graphs, charts, and check box lists. These were used to make it simple to locate the users food trends. Making it easy to see trends daily, monthly, or yearly.

Features

  • You can log your surplus food

  • Keeps track of where you have donated and the number of times

  • Converts the amount of surplus food into dollars

  • Food surplus and Donation logs are broken down into daily, weekly, and yearly results

  • It calculates and keeps track of how much food that is going to waste making it easier to order the right amount of food 

Color and Brand

  • Hierarchy:  both in color, font, and elevation

  • Brand Expression: Through consistent and intentional colors (green - sustainability and food)

  • Unify: Utilize elements that are recognized across different platforms to unify the user experience

Testing

  • As a group with the data we collected from the testing we created an miro board.

  • Usability testing was conducted virtually over Zoom or other virtual meeting.

Task Flow

  1. Log Surplus food for analytics tracker

  2. Learn more about food waste

  3. Schedule a last minute pick up for donating food surplus

  4. View details on June 28 pick-up

  5. View your daily and yearly food waste trends

Conclusion

Overall

The first major struggle we had in creating this case study involved narrowing down our ideas to one user persona. At first, the scope of the app that we had in mind was huge, and therefore, we ended up with three possible directions to go with our user persona. However, after one team member expressed made a case for how a restaurant owner or manager might use the app in ways that resonated with our original intent, we were able to rally behind that idea to come up with our final user persona. Additionally, pulling our separate ideas and viewpoints into one cohesive prototype was trickier than expected. While the collaboration process went very well, finding a way to make our wireframes not look as if five separate people made them was difficult.

Can't Change the Past

We would have liked to have had more user interviews within our intended user group. However, we had difficulties finding restaurant owners and managers who were able to take the time to work with us.

Future Goals

  • Expand to grocery stores

  • Expand to donating scrap to animal shelters

  • Create a back end for food shelters to access & coordinate pickup schedules

End on a High Note

Ultimately, we impressed ourselves with our ability to delegate and complete our work on a tight timeline.

 

© 2021 RILEY PORTER | UX DESIGNER