Duration: 3 weeks
My Role: Lead UI Designer
Wireframes, hi-fi comps, user research, personas, sitemaps, branding guide
Brief: There are populations where folks have to drive 40 minutes just to buy a tomato. These areas are called food deserts. Citizens living in food deserts are susceptible to alcoholism, diabetes, and other health concerns caused by an inadequate diet. The Urban Precision Agriculture Project at UCB seeks to address this social problem.
Problem: How might we reduce the impact of food deserts? How might we do this through screens?
Solution: Agora, a mobile platform that allows food distributing agencies to either give away there produce, or receive incoming produce.
We needed a problem to solve, and as much as we would have loved to solve this social issue in one app, we knew we couldn’t. We needed to find a singular problem to address, but where do we start?
Applied Community Psychology
This is Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Model; I learned about it in my Community Psychology class during undergrad. If one wants to effect change, one must choose which layer to interject themselves. The outermost layer if the most difficult.
After evaluating our restrictions (time, finances, and accessibility), we ended up in the microsystem, where the food distributing agencies are, like churches and non-profit organizations.
Food Distribution Process
I needed to understand how fresh produce got to folks who live in these food deserts. The chart below depicts the process.
We picked a target user group and started talking to everyone. We started with hydroponics & aquaponics, but saw that they couldn’t help solve our problem of food deserts, so we moved on. The same thing happened over and over again until we reached distribution agencies. Finally, there was a problem to be solved.
Agencies are either getting too much food or not enough food. Retailers are sending agencies close-to-expired food for tax benefits, making it difficult to give away fresh produce. Also, agencies aren’t getting culturally fitting foods. “What’s kale? Am I supposed to eat it?”
Alleviate food waste by balancing distribution.
Create a mobile platform that allows food distributing agencies to either give away there produce, or receive incoming produce.
User Market Segmentation
Before even starting to recruit interviewees, my team and I made an affinity diagram of who our potential users would be based on our assumptions. Following research, we removed false assumptions and created our user persona.
Persona Development: Agency Agatha
Agatha is a non-profit manager.
She is educated and strong advocate of nutrition programs for people of all socioeconomic levels.
Say & Do
Wears mainly sustainable clothing
Works in food distribution
Offended by capitalism
Loves Netflix documentaries on sustainable agriculture
Love's hearing she's a good person
People dying of diabetes
Lots of food waste
Think & Feel
Loves helping people
In order to discover our MVP and value prop, we brainstormed features we could include in our app.
We used the prioritization matrix.
The goal was to integrate the breadth and feel of organic produce with the collegiate feel of UC Berkeley. The look and feel is intended to be professional, but modern at the same time.
Testing & Feedback
“I think this looks great. That would awesome to have an app that could connect more organizations to ensure less food waste. I’ve brought my colleague Jessie into this conversation. I think the design is clean and easy...”
- Kim May | L.A. Kitchen Logistics Manager