Food Angel Mobile App
This is a pro bono project where I volunteered my services to research and develop an app for Food Angel - a food and rescue assistant programme based in Hong Kong. Since it started in 2011, it has grown steadily over the years. And one of their biggest daily challenges is to rescue at least 4,000kg of surplus food every day and redistribute it to the underprivileged communities in Hong Kong. At the core of Food Angel’s daily operation are the food donors and the drivers. Picking up surplus food in time and dropping it off at any of the 3 kitchens located in the city to prepare for lunch and dinner are mission critical to their daily operation.
I wanted to create an Android app that automates this process and relieve the burden of the admin staff who have other tasks on hand.
Understanding the day-to-day operation of Food Angel and how they communicate internally as well as with their food donors. How do Food Angel encourage food donors to continually donate? Is the process they are currently using efficient enough? What steps are taken to fulfil their wishlist?
My role as the UX designer is to empathise with the Food Angel staff to see what issues they may come across in their daily operations.
Through a combination of secondary research (reading through their website, social media, press clippings etc), competitive analysis to find features from other apps which could be adapted for this unique app, immersion technique that involves volunteering to understand how they run their operation first hand and interviews with the staff and other volunteers at their centres.
Results of all the research showed that among Food Angel’s daily challenges of maintaining food safety and finding more food donations and distribution methods, they are still only managing to collect only 1% of food wastage a day. So it seems that an app would undoubtedly help to relieve their admin staff of organising the daily and weekly pick up runs for them.
For the first version of the app, I am mainly concentrating on the drivers and the food donors but for future versions, I will add more features which would incorporate more events and volunteers.
I created two personas. One to represent a Food Angel Driver and another to represent a food donor from an airline. I explored pain points and situational examples which would be used for the wireframe later on.
Based on the research findings, it’s important to make the UX as intuitive as possible for both parties. For the food donor, we don’t want the process to be cumbersome to encourage them to make repeat donations. For the driver, we don’t want the app to delay their existing pick up schedule.
There are many different aspects of the food donation and pick up operation but the main features are explained below:
To help the food donors, who would use the app to:
- announce a donation
- request a pick up time
- let driver know how much food is being donated
- send confirmation of pick up request to food donor
- set pick up location in the route for the driver
To help the drivers, who would use the app to:
- see their locations for their morning and afternoon routes
- deal with constant pick-up requests throughout the day
- pick up as many requests as they can
- be able to fully manage the requests
After testing I will work on improving the userflow for the driver's side to make the user experience much more streamline. For version 2 of the app, I will implement a feature where food donors can register on the app.