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. The app also lets the employees track the food waste in their cafeteria everyday which further encourages them to reduce food waste.
UX DESIGN PROCESS
1. PROJECT INTRODUCTION
Brief
Design a solution/tool to help families and small business reduce waste and improve sustainability
Duration
48 hours for coming up with an idea , creating MVP & presenting before the judges
3 months for further research, adding features and prototyping
Project Type
Hackathon group project
Tools
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 Project )
1. Concept and Ideation
2. Creating Wireframe
Responsibilities post Hackathon ( Individual )​​​​​​​
Research
Concept Building
User Task Flows
Business Model
Prototype
Visual Design
Onboard screen Illustrations
2. THE PROBLEM
Overview
The problem was narrowed down to focus on food waste in small and medium-sized corporations. The two types of food waste happening in the Silicon Valley companies were identified.
01   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.
02 Because food is available on subsidy, generally people tend to take more than what they need and throw away the                leftovers.
Proposed Solution
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.
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 environmental enthusiasts. These users have a strong preference for mobile-first, fast and simple, user experience.
Main Features
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.

FoodConscious key features

3. RESEARCH
​​​​​​​Primary Research 
The phone interviews were conducted with people working in small and medium-sized companies to understand the pain points of the personas. 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

Secondary Research
 The following information was gathered after reading through various food-management blogs and websites.
01 Decreased participation of the employees in the cafeteria requires companies to raise the prices which further
         lowers participation.
02 An article in 2016 by mercurynews.com reveals that almost 300,000 pounds of food are wasted annually by
         Silicon Valley companies.
03 Some companies like Google and Uber partner with food runners and distribute leftover food to homeless people.
          The biggest  challenges in this process include transportation constraints, liability concerns, and insufficient  storage at food banks. Almost all companies deal with the food waste only after it has happened.
4. ANALYSIS
Insights
Ideation
The long term goal of this app is to make people conscious of food waste thereby aiming to create a sustainable environment.

Ideation Sketches

Chosen Concept
After analyzing the pros and cons of various concepts the decision was made to create an app that would partner with corporate companies and help in reducing food waste. ​​​​​​​
5. UX DESIGN
 The key specs that had to be included in the app were brainstormed and based on these specifications 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
6. PROTOTYPING
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




Registration
 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.
Clickable Prototype
Employee Task Flow
Caterer Task Flow
7. VISUAL DESIGN
8. CONCLUSION
Challenges
Since the topic of sustainability is broad the decision to narrow it down to a specific problem and the audience was initially challenging. The 48 hour time limit enabled us to make quick decisions and choose only the most practical solution out of all the ideas.
Learning
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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