Save All Food

Fighting food waste by reducing food waste and shopping together as a family

The Problem

The topic of food wastage was chosen as it is a major social problem, The Government of the United Kingdom (UK) has examined methods to tackle the issue regarding food wastage but has not met the target set to reduce food waste according to the Waste and Resources Action Programme.

Why this problem

The supermarket and food industry have explored methods to reduce food waste, consumers need to examine how they can help reduce food waste. However, many consumers still throw food away if the food they have brought has expired.

food waste

Product Strategy

Product Strategy was created to understand the need of the user, business goals as well as the market the product will be in.

I created a statement for the business users need, I then created a value proposition canvas to make sure the solution I was providing would be suitable for the potential user would help cut down on food waste while increasing food donation at supermarket collection points.

Business statement

Our app will help reduce waste and increase food donation at supermarket food collection by alerting users to food that will soon be out of date and reminding users to take the food they want to donate when going shopping. These reminders help users to remember to consume the food before the expiry date and to take food to the food collection point when shopping

Canvas Save all food

The value proposition canvas showed me people would not prioritise which food to eat first as they were not aware of which food will expire first, therefore if the app highlights which food to eat first less food would be wasted and this, in turn, will reduce food waste. People also forget to bring food to the supermarket food donation points as they did not have it ready when going shopping, or they would forget to bring it with them.

The Problem Statement

“How can we reduce food waste in households?”

The Process

The double diamond framework was used to tackle this project, this process involves working through four phases to arrive at a successful solution while going through diverging and converging cycles.

  1. Discover: The first step is gathering all information and understanding the problem you are solving while gaining valuable insight.
  2. Define: Analyse the research and specify the specific problem you are solving.
  3. Develop: In this phase, you will look at several different solutions to the problem you are solving, from this stage you will assess which is the best solution to the problem.
  4. Deliver: You will build, test, and iterate to make sure the solution you have provided solves the problem.
Save All Food double diamond

Discover

The first step is gathering all information and understanding the problem you are solving while gaining valuable insight.

Secondary Research

Reduce food waste

While the supermarket and food industry have looked at ways on how to reduce food waste, consumers need to look at how they can help by reducing food waste. Households will throw food away if they have brought too much, therefore it is crucial to buy food that is needed and monitor what products consumers have at home. “Lisa Ruetgers, who is currently doing a Ph.D. in food waste and market solutions at Coventry University argued that “everybody is responsible for food waste reduction.” This can be done by checking ingredients at home, using ingredients and products that will go out of date first, only using the ingredients required, and planning a shopping list to buy food products needed.

Donate Food

Sainsbury has introduced shelf-edge labels alerting shoppers to food and drink items that are most useful to food banks which are to be introduced by a major supermarket for the first time after a trial led to a three-fold rise in donations. The eye-catching label came from a summer school project in Exeter who noticed customers only spotted a food donation drop off point after finishing shopping.

Market research

Several different categories of apps were researched, this included:

  • Check food use-by date
  • Food Banks
  • Shopping List

Food Staff was researched as it allows users to enter foods they have been purchase. Users can do this by entering use by date, purchase date, category, and name of food. Eat Me was researched as it provided simple user experience when using the app, Eat me allows user’s keep track of food have bought. Users can do this by entering use by date, and the name of food. Date Limite was researched as it lets users monitor food that will pass its use-by date as well as adding to the shopping list which is what Save All Food will do.

Foodbank was researched as the app allow you to view item foodbank need by your location, it has three categories which are colour coded

  1. Urgently needed – red
  2. Low on stock – orange
  3. Well stocked – green

Houston food bank was researched as it allows the user to find the closest food bank by using a map and allows the user to get involved in the food waste program. ShopShop and Shopping UK was researched because of its ease of use when creating a shopping li

market reaserch

User Research

Semi-Structured Interview

Semi-Structured Interviews were arranged with 4 different families to discuss what tools they use to help combat food wastage, and if they have a method to help plan shopping lists for the week. Interviews were conducted face to face with the family as I wanted to include households and not one person answering the questions.

Interviews

Interview Results

  • Families admitted to forgetting about the food they brought, and as a result, unfortunately, the use-by date expires and food had to be thrown away.
  • Some families felt gamification and competing against other households and families would be a good idea to see who saves the most food.
  • Some families thought it would be interesting to have a chat feature and be able to create groups like the community in MyFitnessPal to encourage people to save food.
  • One of the frustrations that arose when planning a shopping list was all members of the household had to be contacted before making the shopping list.
  • Most families interviewed said they would prefer a reminder to donate food at the supermarket, rather than the location of the food bank.

Define

Analyse the research and specify the specific problem you are solving

Personas

After interviewing families with a diverse background who could use the Save All Food app, there were multiple needs identified for the users. Personas were used because by inventing a lifelike personality who could use your product, designers will have a better understanding of the users’ needs and wants as well as the professional background of the user. Two personas were created to identify different needs for the different groups of users. I revisited these personas throughout the project to make sure the app would cater to the need of the target audience.

Desmond Cole Persona

Empathy Map

Empathy maps were created to gain a deeper insight into the customers who will be using the product, it shows the users’ behavior and attitudes towards the product whilst considering things from the user’s perspective along with his or her goals and challenges.

emphathy map Desmond Cole
emphathy map Ashley Barns

User journey

I scripted a typical user journey to see how users would use the app. The user journey shows how users would use the app and highlight how users felt before, during, and after using the app.

Journey Map Desmond Cole

How Might We

Once the theme and insight were identified, I reframed the information gathered into how might we questions. I use this method as this allowed me to explore different ideas.

Affinity Map

The affinity map was created to analyse and reflect all the information gathered through user interviews and research. All ideas were put on board using post-it notes and organise into different categories. (use the handle to see how ideas were moved into the affinity map)

Revised problem statement

“How can we reduce food waste in households?”

“How can families work together to reduce food waste and donate food to supermarket food collection points?”

Develop

In this phase, you will look at several different solutions to the problem you are solving, from this stage you will assess which is the best solution to the problem.

MoSCoW

As the app had a lot of different ideas, MoSCoW was used to decide which features the app needed and which were less important. When prioritising in a project, it is crucial to understand what is required and what is not. All the features were prioritised in the form of a list and then moved to different categories from Must Have to Won’t Have, this helped rank the importance of the features.

User Flow

User flow was created to see which step the user may follow, User flow allowed me to see which step the user may take to compete a certain step, for example adding food to the app, adding food to the shop list or choosing time, and who the users of the app go to the supermarket with.

Sketches

Sketches were drawn to visualise how the app could be used, this allowed me to change ideas quickly.

sketches of how app will work

Deliver

You will build, test, and iterate to make sure the solution you have provided solves the problem.

Build, test and iterate

I created a low fidelity prototype as I wanted the user to focus on the experience of using the app and not on UI. I used greyscale to highlight traffic light colours, I created a key to explain this when testing. I did three rounds of iterations, from each round I learned what the user was struggling with, I made changes to improve the user experience of the app

Iteration round 1 – what I learned

  • When showing food items close to the expiration date, it would be preferable to show food that expires in three days as opposed to seven days so the user can prioritise which food they consume first, This was the reason orange colour was added. (see figure 1,2)
  • The home section show where the food was stored and when you went to the food section you could see all the food stored in different storage (see figure 3), the user said they would not use the food section and only the home section. Following feedback, I change it so the user of the app can see where food is stored in the home section, this allowed me to get rid of the food section and add the account to bottom navigation, I updated the user flow to show how this would work. (see figure 4)
testing app 1

Iteration round 2 – what I learned

  • When users are selecting the date for the next shopping day, they would prefer an interface like the calendar app (see figure 5,6), as they would be shopping within that month or the next, when users were questioned about using the same interface for all dates, the feedback received was that they preferred the screen which was created for the use-by date.
  • Instead of using the icons provided by the app when adding a new category, the users could request a new icon for the new storage area, they could upload a photo, and Save All Food would create icons for them within two weeks. (see figure 7,8)
testing prototype 2

Iteration round 3 – what I learned

  • Instead of having a two-step process to delete or add food to the donate list (see figure 9), have a one-step process, from this the idea of using icons was introduced. (see figure 10)
  • When users were looking at going shopping screen, some users felt there should be a way to go back to the shopping list without using bottom navigation. (see figure 11,12)
testing prototype 3

Styleguide

The style guide was created to make sure styles were consistent, this would save time when it came to designing the different screens. The colour green was chosen as the main colour as this is associated with renewal, recycling, and the environment. Different shades of yellow, red, and orange were researched as traffic light colours would be used to warn users of food close to the use-by date. Open sans were chosen as the font is legible on small screens and is a sans serif font, after researching which font would complement open sans Roboto was chosen.

Style Guide Save All Food

The solution

High Fidelity prototype

The basic user flow is effortless, allowing the user to add food along with the use-by date and alerting the user when the food is close to the use-by date. The app also reminds the user when they are going shopping to take the food they want to donate to the supermarket food collection point. The research found most of the time people forgot to bring food to supermarket food collection points when going shopping

After making changes based on user feedback, prototypes were created using Adobe XD. Adobe XD allowed me to design and prototype using the same application, there are some things I could change, but overall, I am happy with the prototype and how it functions.

  • The Save All Food app is a hypothetical app. This will be created, to help reduce household food wastage.
  • This will help combat food poverty and wastage, by keeping track of use-by dates, creating shopping lists as a group, alerting users to where purchase food items may be stored.
  • Remind households to donate food when going to the supermarket

What I learned

The main goal of the app was to reduce food wastage. It was interesting to discover how users wanted to help reduce food waste. From the beginning, I knew the app will have multiple goals, one allowing users to keep track of current food items use by date and remind users to take food to supermarket food donation points.

The secondary goal would be to allow users to create shopping lists together as a household. I learned from the research that families purchase food items that they already possess at home as they are unaware of the food being at home.

Households want to donate food, but they do not know if someone else still wants the food, this is where the food donate feature will help as food can be placed on a donate list by any household members.

From research, I uncovered people wanted to help, by listing food required by local food banks people can be made aware of which type of food items are needed. A prime example is, Sainsbury’s place priority labels on required food items for the local food banks, as a result of this they received more donations.

Final Thought

Food waste has always been a problem for our society, I feel we need to use technology to see how we can reduce this, by creating apps like Save All Food we can help fight food waste. More research could be done in the future to see if gamifying the app would encourage more people to use the app. The research found if users were rewarded for points in exchange for vouchers then more people would use the app, this would mean the supermarket would have to provide vouchers. Supermarkets could be contacted to see if they would be interested in apps like Save All Food.

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