While at RED Academy, I had the opportunity to help develop a multi-platform solution — FeedBack — in partnership with Second Harvest and with the goal of helping to reduce food waste in Toronto.
While Second Harvest is doing amazing things, it isn’t cost-effective for them to pick up small-scale donations regularly. So, the proposed idea was to eliminate the need for Second Harvest as a middle-man by finding a way to connect small-scale donors directly with the organizations who rely on their donations. We carried out a two-week design sprint to come up with a solution to the problem-at-hand — read a little bit about the process below.
Based on Second Harvest’s proposal and it’s alignment with our research, we began planning out what we would build. We decided on a multi-platform solution that could connect those with small-scale donations (donors) directly to organizations that could distribute food to those who rely on donations (diners). We included a component that would allow diners to browse the stock of food at nearby charitable organizations, making the experience of receiving donations feel closer to a ‘normal’ shopping experience.
We created user flows for two of our users— donors and diners — who would be using the FeedBack app. Our other primary users — charitable organizations and Second Harvest — would be using a desktop dashboard to access the platform.
As a member of the design team and lead visual designer, my key role during this project was designing the app interface. We started by taking a look at the wireframes passed on to us from the planning team and were able to make improvements to the user flow in some instances by combining screens. Working with Sketch, we created our own wireframes to reflect the altered flow — these were followed by several more iterations. As our wireframes were being tested by the prototyping team, I began to bring them to a mid-fidelity level.
Our first colour palette included the bright green used in Second Harvest’s branding — but we ended up going with a warmer green more suited to FeedBack’s unique, inclusive feel. We also found that some of our chosen iconography, while appealing to us as designers, was confusing to our users. This led us to move from line-style iconography to more realistic illustrations so that users would feel connected to the food displayed. Our final design is warm while still uncluttered and intuitive. Playful copy makes the app enjoyable to use while informing users.
It was a great experience to get to work toward solving a problem for such an impactful partner. The fact that Second Harvest already has a non-digital infrastructure in place helped us come up with a system that would be truly functional for them going forward — it also provided us with the challenge of designing a platform that would successfully bring together several different users with varying goals and stake, and make it usable for all.
Second Harvest had also partnered with the Wal-Mart Foundation for this project. Together they brought our design to MetaLab, a Vancouver-based agency, to be built over the next couple of years. For more insight, see the full case study on Medium.