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Photo credit: Markus Spiske

FeedBack by Second Harvest

Two-week design sprint, teamwork and food waste

Shanti Hadioetomo
Jan 12, 2017 · 6 min read

In Canada, 31 billion dollars worth of food is wasted every year. How can digital technology help?


This is my story of designing ‘FeedBack’—a multi-platform tool that helps reduce food waste and address hunger in Toronto. Second Harvest was our community partner for the FeedBack project.


MY ROLE

I was responsible for designing FeedBack’s web-based platform interface, helping set a direction for the visual design, and leading all planning work, which included identifying and visualizing salient research findings for the team to use.

Throughout the project, I supported the team by filling in the gaps, shifting in and out of roles as needed, which include being a part of the pitch team, editing report copy as well as producing information graphics for the report and the client’s presentation.

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Kanban board (far left) and evolving wall of research notes for FeedBack

THE CHALLENGE

Tackling food waste

THE APPROACH

Food waste immersion

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THE DISCOVERY

Defining ‘food waste’

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Waste management hierarchy + Waste recovery hierarchy

For our design sprint, we defined ‘food waste’ as any food produced for human consumption that does not get eaten as a result of mismanagement or human decision making. We focused on redistributing food and diverting food waste.

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The goal of the project was to come up with a technology-based solution to reduce food waste in Toronto.

The consumer is the culprit

  • Excess purchases;
  • Infrequent purchases;
  • Date codes;
  • Attitudes towards food; and
  • Over-preparation.

The highest share of waste was due to fruits and vegetables (fresh and processed), followed by meat and seafood. The key factor found to influence the volume of food waste due to consumers was “high expectations” — demand for high-quality, aesthetically-pleasing food.

Identifying other players

Shortly after, we learned that Second Harvest happened to recently received funding from Walmart Foundation to work towards developing a platform to facilitate small-scale donations.


THE VISION

Connecting key players to reduce food waste

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Our vision was to create an easy, localized and responsive solution, accessible through multiple platforms for redistributing surplus food with a focus on Second Harvest’s food rescue program.


THE REQUIREMENTS

Thinking big, starting small

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Roadmap to the future

Core features

  • Donors will be able to donate their surplus food conveniently through the app.
  • Drivers will be able to use a location mapping system to see where food is available for pick up and where it needs to go. They will also be able to communicate with food donors and the agencies through the app.
  • Nonprofit agencies will be able to keep track of their inventory as well as of the flow of incoming and outgoing food.
  • Diners will be able to see what food is available to them in their feed and locate a nearby agency in order to pick up food.

THE FRAMEWORK

Simplifying a complicated process

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First, we simplified the donation form by implementing a workflow similar to Wealth Simple’s simplified investment process.

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Donor’s interface on iOS: https://invis.io/XS98RK05F

Next, we had to create a food inventory and donation management workflow for the community agencies for Second Harvest to oversee the flow of donations. We took the inspiration from Stripe’s dashboard to create a visual and simple dashboard.

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First and second version of the web dashboard for Second Harvest, and the hi-fidelity prototype

We then had to create a system for matching driver and donations. We did so by applying a workflow similar to the one used by UberEATS.

Finally, we hoped to create an environment where receiving food donations can be empowering and enjoyable. To that end, we adopted the filters and the feel of Zomato’s.

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Diner’s interface on Android: https://invis.io/YH94GA7TD

THE PITCH

When we pitched our proposed multi-platform solution to Second Harvest, not only our vision was consistent with their goals, but we also proposed solutions in ways they had not yet imagined.

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RED Academy Toronto UX Design Professional Fall 2016 cohort and instructors

RED Academy

RED is a leading design and technology school in Toronto…

Shanti Hadioetomo

Written by

Always in pursuit of the better question. Design, frmrly @thescore, @RBC & @IntuitAccts // #tech, #privacy, #sustainability. Posts are my own.

RED Academy

RED is a leading design and technology school in Toronto and Vancouver. Our programs are designed by an experienced team of seasoned industry professionals, providing our students with the right skills, tools and personal support to get ahead in today’s fast-paced tech industry.

Shanti Hadioetomo

Written by

Always in pursuit of the better question. Design, frmrly @thescore, @RBC & @IntuitAccts // #tech, #privacy, #sustainability. Posts are my own.

RED Academy

RED is a leading design and technology school in Toronto and Vancouver. Our programs are designed by an experienced team of seasoned industry professionals, providing our students with the right skills, tools and personal support to get ahead in today’s fast-paced tech industry.

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