The making of the EATCO App was a collaborative team effort using the design sprint methodology. The challenge was to use mobile technology to reduce food waste. Food waste is an issue that has serious implications for humanity.
Roughly one third of the food produced in the world for human consumption every year — approximately 1.3 billion tonnes — gets lost or wasted. Food losses and waste amounts to roughly US$ 680 billion in industrialized countries and US$ 310 billion in developing countries.
We decided to create a communal food sharing app as a proposed solution to our design challenge.
DESIGN SPRINT PROCESS
Developed at Google Ventures, the Design Sprint uses Design Thinking as a framework to efficiently answer business questions and build products better through a fast and condensed 5-day “sprint”. It is a rapid collaborative process that involves designing, prototyping, and testing the viability of an idea, product, or feature.
We started at the end by setting our goal, and conducting secondary and primary research.
Approximately 47% of food wasted in Canada is from residential sources. It costs Canada $31B / year. In Toronto, single family households discard 275 kilos of food waste each year. Toronto taxpayers spend $10M / year getting rid of food waste. Wastage of food has serious environmental repercussions such increasing levels of methane emissions, huge economic losses around the world, decreasing freshwater resources, and increasing hunger and starvation.
Get 20% of Canada’s population to contribute 50% less food waste by creating awareness and building local food sharing communities. This will lead to a reduction of 27.5 kilos per capita per year.
We identified the hidden assumptions in our goal and turned them into questions to address further problems.
On interviewing people about food waste habits, the following were our key insights:
People often neglect and forget the food that they have in the fridge.
People buy food based on the superficial aesthetic qualities.
People overestimate how much they will actually consume before the food spoils.
People were willing to trade goods with people in their local communities.
Based on our notes and problem statements, we brainstormed ideas to complete the open-ended design question, ‘How might we___for___by___so they can (in order to)___?” We then categorised and organised our HMW’s on the map.
How might we create a culture that fosters a self-moderating and self-growing community that organically encourages and incentivises the prevention of food waste?
We decided to focus our target user group on young professionals and millenials.
Tiana is a 27 year old working professional who is environmentally and socially conscious.
We visually mapped the current landscape and listed users moving through our problem space.
SKETCHING AND IDEATION
We used the Crazy 8’s method to brainstorm ideas through divergent thinking. We sketched out solution sketches in detail and then proceeded to heat map, speed critique, straw poll, and decide on our final sketch. We synthesised the best ideas and drafted a storyboard.
HIGH FIDELITY SCREENS
We created a prototype shown in the screens below of the core interaction of the product i.e. two users initiating and completing a successful trade. We user-tested our product and tried to incorporate our findings through various iterations of the app.
You can click on the INVISION LINK HERE
Some key takeaways were as follows:
The wasted button was discouraging. There was no indication of what item is being traded within the app. People questioned the relevance of the add friend feature. We may have tried to include too many features. The navigation process seemed confusing at certain points. It was hard to return to the messages screen.
Based on collective feedback, the future plans for our app would include offering more incentives such as partner programs with grocery stores. Other steps would be using a point based system to create positive reinforcement, expanding the ecosystem by including recipes and user sourced content. Exploring the potential of the app to be a social networking and community building interface.