Passion Project

My fourth project at GA was called the passion project. We had to choose project for ourselves. The idea was to develop something new but we had to choose a brand to go with it.

We decided to work on City Harvest since they did not have a mobile app. We thought that we could make their existing system easier and more efficient.

When researching for the problem statement we realized that they had a very good and smooth system running already.

Interviewing the manager at Pret a manger

We had come to a dead end. We went over the interviews and saw something else that caught our eye.


Every restaurant has compost which is thrown into the garbage. One restaurant owner said “ I feel really bad throwing this in the garbage.”

We saw an opportunity here. We decided to go back to the restaurant owners to dig deeper and see what we could find.

We then started doing market research to see who deals with composting in the city. We found that Action Composting picks up compost from commercial business but they charge money. The other company that picks up compost is the Department of Sanitation NYC but mostly from residential areas.

After conducting all the interviews and looking at the market we had our AHA moment.

We thought that we would build a separate app that would stand under City Harvest for picking up compost from restaurants. Reason being they already have trucks routes planned and picking up extra food from restaurants.

Taken from composting report 2014

Just to point only 7% is collected from restaurants and 16% from coffee shops.

28% is collect from the business site to dropped off to the composting site. As a team we saw potential opportunity here.

We did a competitive analysis to see what kind of companies are there in this field and what services do they offer.

We realized that none of these companies have a mobile app. The next step was to find out who would be our users.

We gathered all the information and synthesized it. We found that:

  1. People threw out compost everyday
  2. Some cared enough about the cause but did not know what to do. they did not have time to go to compost sites themselves
  3. Some managers did not even know what compost was.


Our two main persona were the following

We did a quick design studio and wrote out all the features that we thought should exist for this app.

Then we did a feature prioritization which ended up looking like this.

We started making an app map to see what and how a user would move through it.

Rough sketches of app map

We first made a paper prototype and tested it on users different users.

Paper prototype being tested

Iterations to be made:

  1. A sign in account.
  2. E mail confirmation page
  3. Welcome screen needed.
  4. Needed to add options for changing dates.

Low Fidelity wireframes

Iteration No 1

  1. Needed a welcome screen.
  2. Did not need proceed to check out on each page
  3. Needed a registration page.
  4. The floating bar was distracting.
  5. The done button on the calendar should be continue.

6. Users did not like being thrown right into the map.

Iteration no 2

  1. We added more modal to the screens.
  2. The calendar was a bit confusing for people. they could not tell which were the available dates.
  3. We still had not added the registration process in.
  4. We changed one icons tile, from volunteer it became awareness and the symbol did not match the tile.
  5. Another reason for changing the volunteer tile was because there was going to be an option to volunteer for the food drive. We had to move that to next steps because of accountability.

In the above prototype we had moved away from the brand, City Harvest. Since this app was going to exist under the City Harvest umbrella it need to have some similarities with the existing website so we used the City Harvest colors.

Final prototype .

Next Steps

  1. Find out how many users like to register in the beginning and how many like to do it in the end.
  2. Would like to build out the events page.
  3. We would like to focus on the awareness page. The event and awareness would be linked some how.
  4. Add trucker tracker.
  5. Figure out how to show the timings of the truck.
  6. Create a prototype for an Ipad because most restaurants are using Ipads for reservations.
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