Wicked Problems

Go eco or go home! Our first case study at Ironhack

Photograph: Brook Lark, unsplash.com

On the first project of the Ironhack’s UX/UI Design course, I’ve worked together with Chiara Dapor and Enric Camarero exploring the world of organic food.

In general, people are becoming more aware of what they eat and the trend of organic/sustainable food is growing. Eating organic involves a certain commitment, also taking into consideration its higher price.

“How Might We help communities access the seasonal produce of their region, fueling fair and honest relationships between producers and customers while ensuring food safety for all?”

Starting from this key question, we based our research on food consumption models, focusing in particular on what triggers/restrains organic food consumption.

Research methods and results

First of all, as we needed qualitative data to start from, we interviewed 6 people based on the following guide:

Interview guide

The responses collected showed a good commitment with healthier and more sustainable food and some important pain points:

Interviews results

After a qualitative approach to the topic we needed to know if those results were a good reflection of the rest of the users. We needed quantitative data, that we collected from an online survey, with both open and closed questions.

Online survey

The results obtained from the survey, realized by around 150 people, were similar to the results of the interviews. The main triggers to buy organic food are:

  • Health care.
  • Environmental care.
  • Support for the local economy.

In the other hand, the main restrains are:

  • Higher prices.
  • Higher time shopping in organic stores as they are less convenient than regular ones.
Online survey results

[Fun fact: English speakers (in red) complain much less than Spanish speakers (in blue) given a similar population]

After collecting all this (juicy raw) data, we realized an affinity diagram to get to know our user personas.

Affinity diagram

Let’s introduce them.

First, we have Virginia, married and mother of two, busy but organized, private school teacher.

Worried about the health of her family, she finds hard to get time to shop better and more organic food.

She’s concerned about her family’s economy and tries to stay on budget but, overall, she wants to find a nice, fast and easy way to approach seasonal food to her daughters.

At school, she teaches about the importance of environmental care and sees how society is becoming, day by day, more involved in it.

She feels that a good education will help speed up this process and, eventually, make the children more comfortable about seasonal food.

User persona and empathy map

On the other hand, here comes Luis!

Barcelona based, mid-thirties and always joined by his two dogs, when he goes for a walk he makes use of this time to buy some food from the grocery stores in the neighborhood.

Although cooking is not his favorite thing to do, he finds it quite relaxing. Occasionally, despite the high prices, he buys some really fresh products as a treat.

He wants to have a healthier lifestyle, but he doesn’t find organic food really accessible.

Man, if only we could change that!

User persona and empathy map

The pain points of both user personas are paying and planning when and what to buy.

How do they feel when they go to the supermarket to buy some food?

In order to find out, we drawn their user journey.

User journey

For them, and anyone like them, we ended up with a question to guide our proposition:

HMW Statement

How might we help Virginia and Luis reduce the expend of money and time buying organic products?


In order to find the right solution, we explored tons of options. Some crazier than others: we even considered the fact that robots could grow vegetables on rooftops, and communism as a solution, too!

While doing some brainstorming and other idea generation techniques (round Robin, crazy 8’s, worst idea, etc.) we ended up narrowing our options to feasible solutions. Our Teacher Assistants helped us choose our definitive one.

Crazy ideation process

We ended up with a concept we find really adequate for Virginia. Read it out loud if you want a more dramatic effect ;)


For users like Virginia and Luis,

who don’t have time to go to buy organic food

and feel it is too expensive…

Ecc.Co is a service that helps save time

and approach customers

to organic food producers

by delivering food

from the garden to your door

skipping intermediaries in order

to reduce the cost of the product.

Woah! This is so exciting, isn’t it? Let us tell you how it works:


Virginia has been in the fail path for so long. Hurrying to the supermarket to go and get some food without really knowing where it comes from, with chemicals applied during their growth, packed with tons of plastics and… really expensive just because it holds an “Eco” or “Bio” label.

With Ecc.Co it’s much easier.

From the comfort of her couch, one tap connects her to the gardener who, without all the corporate system in between, will perceive a fair price for its products.

From the garden to her door, she will be able to enjoy great products without the hassle of finding time to go grocery shopping.

Price won’t be higher than it is at the supermarket and the groceries are from another level.


Simply, a win-win situation.


We presented this idea to people that share some traits with Virginia. These are some of the reactions:

“Great idea! But I don’t know if it’s feasible…”

“Please, make it happen!”

“It would be even better if I could schedule out deliveries like, I don’t know, once a fortnight?”

“Is it just for vegetables? Could you get other local products?”

Yay! I think we found a nice starting point and some insights to keep moving on and making it grow :)

Regarding the feasibility of the project… yes, it’ll take a lot of work and some money to pull it off but we are pretty sure that it would end up being tenable.

To schedule deliveries is something we already had in our backlog under the “Should” tag. We think is a great idea but deliveries on demand fitted better for our MVP.

Regarding the kind of products we could deliver, vegetables are our go-to products. Meat and fish are much harder no handle and keep those fresh. It’s a nice “Could” feature but business-wise it’s one of the hardest to deliver.

Summing up

After everything has been said and done, let’s recap.

First of all, we started with this huge question. As newbies in the UX Research world, it’s been quite a challenge to move on towards our solution.

We are happy with the answers Ecc.co provides to our personas’ motivations and needs. Eventually, we would like to dig deeper and offer some features to more secondary personas, like those that have shown up as testing feedback.

We have had to make a great effort to keep it as straightforward as possible and avoid adding anything we didn’t find during our research.

Thanks for reading! Clap your hands if you are happy and you know it and let me know what’s your favorite grocery down below!

UX/UI Designer