CarePack — UX Case Study

Challenge

During the first week of Immersion Studio, we were given the challenge to explore one of the key facets of HCI: computer-supported cooperative work (CSCW), to find ways of using technology to help people cooperate in acts of civic engagement.

Discover

Formative Research

Secondary research

In order to define our problem space, we needed to explore CSCW issues and practices to gain a better understanding of its values, purposes, and goals.
We read more than thirty published papers and articles related to the impact of food waste on communities, countries, economy, and health. Moreover, we studied donation behaviors to better understand our target user.

Competitive analysis

We also conducted market research to define the most impactful competitors.
We narrowed down our competitors to the Buy Nothing Project and Foodsharing and we investigated their strengths, weaknesses, and the opportunities and threats that have been derived from them.

Insights

From our formative research, we gathered the following insights:

  • People often donate out of convenience, not necessarily to do good.
  • Household food waste isn’t subject to social pressure.
  • Most household food waste is avoidable.
  • People will donate more if there is a visible outcome.

Define

Problem Setting

According to a 2012 report from the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC), the average American household throws away $2,200 of food each year, which means Americans throw away $165 billion of food each year. Therefore, we decided to address the critical problem of food waste by exploring ways to encourage individuals in a community to regularly donate food to food banks.

How might we encourage regular donation to food banks among individuals in a community?

Ideate and prototype

Ideation

We used braiding as our ideation method.

  • we spend two minutes on sketching individually
  • then we discuss each concept with the team for one minute

Design concepts

  • Truck pickup app
  • Restaurant leftover finder
  • Food map
  • Food locker

Critique session

Down-selection criteria

The critique session enabled us to look at our challenge from different perspectives to better understand how others perceive each of these concept.

  • Focus on making the donation process easy
  • Take advantage of existing workflows
  • Avoid legislative issues
  • Temporarily overlook the viability of individual home pick-ups

Prototyping

First, to answer the question of whether the donation action is easy to complete or not, we created our first prototype using Sketch and InVision.

“I want to see more heart in the app…It’s a donation, I don’t need a reward.”

This feedback led us to change the tone and some features of the app. To test these changes, we created our last paper prototype using Sketch.

Deliver — Final response

CarePack

A mobile app that lowers the barrier to food donation by making it possible from the convenience of the home.

Functionality

Benefits

For individual donors

  • Convenient donations from home
  • Flexible pick-up schedule
  • Reduce amount of food waste
  • Track incoming donations
  • Increase the number of people regularly donating food

How it works

Carepack provides you with the information needed to make a food donation. It gives you donation tips, enables you to follow donations in your community, and allows you to find the food banks by distance.

Takeaways and next steps

Through this short intense experience, we understood that

  • Language and context are crucial in prototype testing
    We used three different prototypes to answer each of our questions. That enabled us to realize the importance of language and context in prototype testing. We were able to see how participants were confused when the context was not sufficient or when we provided them with more context than needed.
  • Choose prototyping tools wisely and be open to changing them
    As a team, we learned that it is essential for a designer to be open to change not only tools, but also his/her perspective. Our effective collaboration was due to the fact that we could change our approach very fast and we were willing to try and test new ideas.

Citations

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