FoodConscious is a mobile app that aims to reduce food waste in small and medium-sized corporations. The app allows employees to preorder lunch which in turn helps the caterers to know the headcount in advance so the food is prepared with minimal waste. 
When I participated in my college hackathon the brief given to us was to design a solution to help families and businesses reduce waste and improve sustainability. As a team, we decided to focus on food waste happening in small and medium-sized companies. Due to the limited time of 48 hours, we didn't have time to conduct extensive research. Two members of our team ran quick desk research and together we decided to create an app for preordering lunch in corporate companies. In this project, I am focusing on understanding the pain points of the target users and redesigning the features of the app based on the research results.   
48 hours for coming up with an idea , creating MVP & presenting before the judges
3 months for further research and adding features
Project Type
Hackathon group project
InVision, XD, Illustrator, InDesign
​​​​​​​Roles & Responsibilities
During Hackathon my responsibilities included ideation and creating wireframes. 
Post Hackathon I got very much interested in the concept and wanted to enhance it further. With the consent of the other team members I took it upon myself and did extensive research, added new features and prototyped the app. 
Responsibilities during Hackathon ( Group )
Concept and Ideation
Creating Wireframe
Responsibilities post Hackathon ( Individual )​​​​​​​
User Research ( surveys & interviews) , developing
business model, visual design & onboard screen Illustrations
" Almost 300,000 pounds of food are wasted annually by Silicon Valley companies which
equals 235,000 meals."  
An article in 2016 by 

From the initial desk research I understood that there are two main reasons for food waste happening in Silicon valley companies.
1. Food is prepared for all the employees but only some of them eat in the cafeteria. This decreased participation leads to an enormous amount of unconsumed food that goes into the trash.

2. Because food is available on subsidy, generally
people tend to take more than what they need and throw away the leftovers.​​​​​​​
Target Audience
The target audience of FoodConscious is the Administrative Officers of the small and medium-sized companies having a cafeteria, the employees, and the cafeteria owners. These users have a strong preference for mobile-first, fast and simple, user experience.

Proposed Solution
Food waste prevention is ultimately about changing people's behavior. That is only valuable if it inspires action. Different workflows and experiences were designed and incorporated into the app to drive those behavioral changes.

An app that enables the employees to pre-order food will be beneficial for the small and medium sized companies to minimize their food wastage. This could save them a lot of money which could be used for the company’s CSR activities. FoodConscious also motivates people to change their behaviors and contribute to improve the sustainability.

FoodConscious key features

Research method 1: Understanding the pain points
The phone interviews were conducted with people working in small and medium-sized companies to understand their pain points . 
The questions included how often they use the cafeteria, problems they encounter, and what needed change.
Persona 1 - Employees

Primary Research - Employee

Persona 2 - Caterer

Primary Research - Caterer

Research method 2 - User Survey
To gain clarity on the type of features to include it was important for me to understand the employees' level of awareness and motivation towards food waste. I conducted an online survey using Survey monkey and collected over 40 responses. Below is the summary of the findings.
Based on the results of the research the app principles and features were identified and defined.
1. Having a Feedback System
To improve the participation rate of employees there should be a feedback system between caterers and employees. The caterers should get suggestions and reviews on the menu choices, taste and hygiene. 
2. Tracking the food waste 
To reduce the amount of food discarded from the plate, the employees have to be informed about the status of the food waste happening on a daily basis. This could be achieved by installing food waste trackers in the cafeteria and updating the data in the app. 
3. Preordering lunch
The employees must be able to browse menu, select choices and track their orders easily and quickly using the app.
Based on the above principles  the user task flows were mapped out. The cafeteria system of Intel Corporation, Santa Clara was used as a model to construct the employee task flow​​​​​​​.
Information Architecture
The information architecture was laid out such that the users can complete the task within three simple steps. Considering the employees will be using this app daily the main objective was to make the process of ordering lunch quick and simple. 

User task flow for employees

User task flow for Caterers

As both the personas have completely different task flows and options it was decided to create separate apps for caterers and employees.
Business Model
Onboarding Screens
Onboarding screens give the first introduction and quick insights into the function of the app.  A clear visual hierarchy was set and three clean and minimalist screens were designed with a short copy to retain the interest of the user.
FoodConscious Onboarding screens
Employee Task Flow

 The employees sign in with their office id. This ensures that only the companies that are registered with FoodConscious have access to scheduling meals. 

Schedule & Menu Selection
The app allows employees to preorder lunch for day or week. Based on the menu preferences different cuisines that the office cafeteria provides are listed. High-quality mouth-watering images that stimulate the appetite are used.

Donate a Meal 
By donating a meal to the homeless, the employees get a sense of giving back to the community. 

Food Waste Status
The real time data on the food waste educates the employees on the impact of food waste and motivates them to reduce post-consumer food waste.
Caterer Task Flow

The option to download and print the list of orders from the app makes it easy for the caterers to plan the ingredients.
Next Steps
Conduct usability testing 
Prototype the app
Participating in the hackathon gave me the opportunity to work in a real-time fast-paced environment as well partner and network with people from different expertise. I understood that open communication and collaboration are the mantras behind the success of every team which transforms into the overall success of the product. The research on food waste inspired me to be much more sensitive towards this issue.

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