Give your FEEDBACK

A two week design sprint for Second Harvest

During our briefing for our third project at Red Academy we were introduced to our challenge and our first community partner. Our challenge was to find a way to reduce food waste in Toronto, and the new community partner was Second Harvest; a company that is already making such a huge impact on the reduction of food waste in Toronto.

To aim to reduce food waste felt like trying to stop an elephant in its tracks, but our team was an incredibly resilient group of 11 that didn’t get to the point of stopping the elephant, but did find a solution that better equipped Second Harvest in their fight. We called it Feedback.

Feedback Logo

Throughout this case study I would like to show you the process that our team went through to come to this solution through the various UX design sprint steps.

The Research

During our research phase we were broke off into three separate groups, and each group researched a different facet of the food waste problem. Producers, consumers, and organizations were the three research groups we were divided into, this allowed us to cover more ground and broaden our understanding of the problem. As we discovered more the wall continued to grow with our knowledge, it wasn’t safe to leave a writeable surface in the classroom unless you were okay with it being covered with ideas, revelations, or coffee stains.

Research wall of doom

As each of the groups began to accumulate their research we came to understand how we could make an impact on the problem. Second Harvest has an outlet for large donors to bring their food, but they do not have a place for small donors or individual consumers to donate their potentially wasted food. Second Harvest does not have the man power to facilitate so many small donations so aims the bulk of their work at facilitating larger companies contributions.

With this crucial information we now had a clear direction for where we could take our research and use it to create informed designs that would really create an impact for our users.


At this point in the project we split off again into different groups to tackle each element of the UX process. I took part in the design stage and this meant us taking lo-fidelity sketches and bringing them up to a high-fidelity prototype that we could proudly present to our partners at the end of the week. No big deal. One week, too many screens, and no sleep. Before we get to the planning I would like to speak to the work that the planning team put in to make sure we had a clear direction for our design!

The Planning

During the research many of the insights were able to inform the planning team on who our users were and what they goals were, from that they were able to come up with a list of user goals and a feature list that would be included in the app:

Donor: Reducing their contribution to food waste while making an investment in their community.

Non Profit: Acquiring nutrient-rich food donations and making it accessible to those experiencing hunger.

Diner: Being able to easily access healthy affordable food.

Second Harvest: Overseeing the operations of vetted agencies rescuing surplus food and feeding those experiencing hunger

Core Features

• Drivers, donors and nonprofit agencies will be synced using feedback and the information of their activities will be accessible in real-time.

• Donors will be able to donate their surplus food conveniently through the app.

• Drivers will be able to use the mapping system to see where the food is and where it needs to go. They will also be able to communicate with donors and agencies through the app.

• Nonprofit agencies will be able to track their inventory as well as the flow of incoming and outgoing food.

  • Diners will be able to locate and view food available at a nearby agency through the app.
Functions in respect to each user

With this list of core features and various user flows supplied also by the planning team the design team and I were able to bring together those low fidelity wireframes up to something really quite incredible.

The Design

The first steps in our design process were to look at other apps and what was really making them successful, and how could we take those elements and bring them to our app to create a seamless and enjoyable experience for our users? We found three apps in particular that were really changing the game in their field:

Wealthsimple: Takes a the complexity of banking and investing and brings it down to a point where it is simple and enjoyable for users to tackle the information- we wanted to apply this to the donors experience. Taking the complexity of donating and boiling it down to a few simple clicks of a button

UberEats: Uber has managed to incorporate the food delivery element to their company seamlessly. The drivers have a clear and concise understanding of where they need to go and the recipient can pay close attention to their delivery. We took the ideas driving Uber eats and applied it to the experience of the Second Harvest drivers.

Zomato: Gives diners the opportunity to experience new or familiar restaurants with a simple and beautiful interface. We took this concept and applied it to the diners view, hoping to create an environment where receiving food donations was empowering and enjoyable.

All this lead us to create designs that were easy to use and beautiful to look at. The colours chosen echoed the greens employed by Second Harvest, with a slightly more engaging feeling to them allowing Feedback to be unique from its parent and become something entirely its own.

Low fidelity wireframes to high fidelity prototype view.

With the use of the illustrative icons we hoped to create a feeling of joy and playfulness while using the app, allowing the users to feel connected and engaged while navigating through. Re-iterating the tools that WealthSimple utilized so well we simplified the users process by making something that had previously been believed to be tedious, more enjoyable and easy.

Donor screens from high fidelity prototype.

One of my key roles in the design phase was bringing the facilitators (Second Harvest, and their Charitable partners) web view up to high fidelity.

Home Screen for the Second Harvest view.

We wanted the web view to echo that which the users were experiencing in the app, keeping that same full green, and using the same illustrative icons to represent the stock available to Second Harvest.

The Prototype

The prototyping team was continually working on testing for all of the iterations we created of the app, and five iterations later we finally had something we were proud of. And then we made two more iterations. And then we were slightly more proud of it:

Prototype of the diner flow: https://invis.io/YH94GA7TD

Prototype of the donor flow: https://invis.io/XS98RK05F

The End

So we got there. We were ready to present to Second Harvest after two weeks of intensive work we got together as a team and had the pleasure to walk our partner through a solution to a real pain point in their operation. Thanks to our research we were able to create goals for Second Harvest to set out in regards to developing Feedback, and paired them up with MetaLabs, who took all of our research and design and are now working with Second Harvest to make this incredible sprint of our team at Red Academy into a real tangible product that could go on to make a massive impact on food waste not only in Toronto but expanding out across Canada.

Projections for Second Harvest and Feedback

As a team it was a really proud moment to see all of our work come together in such a impactful way to our user, and it was such a delight to see our work going on to be used by MetaLabs, The Walmart Foundation, and Second Harvest to make a difference on a much larger scale that could really change the lives of so many.

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