"Throwing away food is like stealing from the table of those who are poor and hungry."
~ Pope Francis
Expiry, An Innovation to tackle
Project Context - Expiry is a new food delivery service that only delivers food from grocery stores and restaurants that are just meeting the end of their shelf life. Expiry has been operating under a “mystery box” subscription that lets users set their preferences (e.g. number of people, vegan, only produce) and allows them to place an order before noon for evening delivery. Recently, Expiry has been losing customers. After doing user research, it turned out the customers want more control over their orders.
Challenge - Design an experience that allows customers to easily place same-day orders from a dynamic, limited supply of food.
Project Duration: 5 Days
Because of the nature of this challenge and the limited time assigned to it, the concept and the final design proposal is solely based on quick secondary research and personal intuition wherever needed.
Developing and writing down a set of questions in this case, before jumping into ideation helps to focus on different aspects of the problem and identifying all the stakeholders in a project. It also helps to investigate different perspectives and broaden the scope of designing unique solutions, by allowing us to think from multiple directions and different perspective about the same problem.
What does the 'mystery box' experience provide? What does it lack in terms of experience?
How can we provide people with more control over the orders?
Who are the stakeholders and what are the motivational values that drive them?
What are their needs and pain points?
What are the future trends like?
What can we learn from other delivery services operating in the same domain or other fields? What are their pros and cons?
Secondary Research and Benchmarking
Building context around the topic at hand and backing it up with data is very important to explore every available perspective of the problem in order to come up with unique solutions. I referred the following links and online resources in order to extract data, and benchmark different mobile apps and other solutions currently working to cease food wastage around the globe.
Why is food wastage a major problem?
Food Waste represents 1.3% of the entire GDP of America.
America has more than enough food to feed everyone. But our abundance is accompanied by tremendous waste. By some estimates, nearly half of the food grown, processed and transported in the U.S. goes to waste. In the USA food waste represents 1.3% of the total GDP. Food waste is a massive market inefficiency, the kind of which does not persist in other industries. Meanwhile 800 million people go to bed hungry every night. That is 1 in 9 people on the planet who are starving or malnourished. Each and every one of them could be sufficiently fed on less than a quarter of the food that is wasted in the USA, UK and Europe each year. Sadly, it is not an exaggeration to say that food waste is one of the biggest problems facing mankind today.
What are it's consequences?
Environmental Hazard, Deforestation, and destruction of Nature, Poverty
Because we have a globalized food supply system, demand for food in the West can drive up the price of food grown for export in developing countries, as well as displace the growth of crops to feed native populations and drive accelerated degradation of natural habitats. Food waste is really, really bad for the environment. It takes a land mass larger than China to grow the food each year that is ultimately never eaten – land that has been deforested, species that have been driven to extinction, indigenous populations that have been moved, soil that has been degraded – all to produce food that we then just throw away. In a way, it’s a testament to the incredible progress we’ve achieved as a species by producing an overabundance of food to ensure survival. And while we continue to make progress through technology to increase efficiencies in our food system, we’re moving in an unsustainable direction, with more and more food being produced while nearly a billion people still don’t have enough to eat.
What are the ways of fighting it?
Identify, Buy what you need and Use what you buy, Awareness
t is important to cut down on food waste for both the economy and the environment. When shopping, buy "ugly" produce, or produce that most likely won't be bought by anyone else. Also check food for bad smells or signs of mold before throwing it away instead of looking at the expiration date, which doesn't indicate food safety but just an estimate of when the food quality starts going down. But also make sure to compost food scraps instead of throwing it away. Composting can be used to enhance the soil for your lawn and gardens, and it will reduce the amount of methane gas emitted from food waste.
Food waste is a huge problem, but it is possible to cut it down for the economy and the environment.
S.T.E.E.P Trend Analysis
Being aware of different trends pertaining to the Social, Technological, Economic, Environmental, and Political domain goes a long way while ideating unique solution to any problem. Future analysis and mapping is important to understand the ecosystem in the years to come.
Social Media is going mobile
We are becoming glued to our smartphones. More and more people are also using social media on their smartphones.
Social Messaging would greatly benefit businesses
They found that messaging is helping businesses connect with their customers more than ever. Consumers use messaging to ask businesses questions, make appointments and purchases, and provide feedback.
Organic Reach and Referral Traffic are plummeting
Referral traffic from social media has also been falling as a result of lower organic reach. When fewer people see your social media posts, even fewer will click on your links and visit your website.
Increased preference by customers for brands that share their value
Customers seek meaningful connections with the brands as a form of self expression. Corporate cultures and values need to be genuine and inviting.
Privacy - A priced commodity
Cities are getting more crowded day by day. The sharing-economy and the social media culture takes a toll on individual privacy.
Mapping out all the stakeholders identified for this project through secondary research was the next step. It was important to consider every perspective, all their pain points, and motivations before analyzing the data for insights and developing opportunity spaces.
Identifying Pain Points and Motivational Values
After all the stakeholders were identified and mapped out, it was necessary to identify their motivations, and needs behind their specific behaviors and actions. This provided better insight and context to the research conducted. Finally, all the pain points and difficulties of each stakeholder was studied in detail.
Persona 1: The Customer
Status: Married with 2 kids
Occupation: Green Architect and Urban Designer
Location: Los Angeles, California
Sally is a socially aware citizen, always concerned about her living habits and trying to reduce her carbon footprint at all times. She works 10 hours a day and hardly finds time to go shopping for groceries and other daily necessities, and therefore ends up ordering them online. Recently she became aware of the food wastage situation in America, while working on a 'Green Project' and decided to try out a new way of ordering food with Expiry, thus contribute to the prevention of food wastage.
Being a humanitarian and a green architect, Sally is emotionally driven to bring about social changes wherever she can. She also needs to save money and maintain a study budget every month.
CORE VALUES & PET PEEVES
Sally is an altruistic person, always trying to do her part of good deed on a daily basis. She hates to see people abusing resources and cares deeply about bringing positive changes.
Image used for representational purposes only
What if Expiry employed the poor and homeless?
What if about to expire food items gets automatically displayed on eXpiry app?
What if customers could upload shopping lists and get push notifications?
What if Expiry delivers the unordered food to the homeless and poor?
What if customers could earn points from buying eXpiry food items?
What if Expiry allowed customers to see store ratings and comments?
What if Expiry could partner up with businesses and services?
What if Expiry allowed customers to rate services and vice-versa?
What if Expiry gave real time feedback and multiple curated food choices?
THE INTERACTION FLOW-DIAGRAM
The 'eXpiry' app has four main tabs, the home screen, the shopping list, the account page, and the Cart. The Home screen provides the customer with means and ways to navigate Expiry's database of food from tons of different sources and locations. The Shopping list allows customers to upload a list of item they need and get notifications when its available on the expiry market. The Account screen maintains the customer's personal and vital details. The app also has a filter tab which allows the customers to add further depth into their preferences before searching with expiry.
Slide through the Story below
Image used for representational purposes only
THE HOME SCREEN
This Home Screen allows the customers to explore what's new on the app or explore through expiry's unique category of restaurants which is easily navigable. It also allows customers to search expiry's database for any specific food item and compare offers from various sources.
Together, both the tabs provide the customer with a easily navigable interface to find what they need as quick as possible.