Software JUSTINMIND, Axure RP 8
Team Abhishek John Masih, Ashish Jain, Priyanka Arora, Umang Luhadia
Feed the needy is a digital solution which can map people who have excess food with those who can collect and distribute food to the needy. The idea behind the project was to solve a social problem through a digital intervention. The project was done under the course digital product design were worked through the entire product life cycle.
» User research
» Data flow design
» Wireframes and prototype designs
» NGOs – They are NGOs who are in need of excess food,
as they can save the money they are currently spending in preparing food. The strength of the NGOs varies from 100 – 200. Shishumandir, Sai Mandir Trust and Sumanahalli were the two NGOs located in Bangalore which was the primary beneficiaries of the project.
» Food Collectors – They are individuals who are into social services and are willing to collect food and distribute it in nearby slums or roadsides.
» Organisations / Caterers / Restaurants – They are large organisations who have food left with in good quality but since they have no options are paying the municipalities and dumping the food.
The Problematic Situation
The unserved food left in organisations and after occasions and functions is wasted and dumped. At the other end, there are thousands of people who are struggling with hunger and are in need. There are NGOs and individuals who collect and distribute food in such cases. Due to mismatch of various factors like timings, lack of infrastructural resources and lack of food item and its quantity information and limited connect of the NGOs, individuals to organisations and caterers the unserved food is left wasted.
While the project wasn’t a linear process, for the sake of presenting this case study in logical parts, I’ve broken down our product life cycle into the following phases:
1. The idea – The birth of the idea to develop this digital solution happened through a video that was posted in our college Facebook group. It showed a man who has been working on the initiative of feeding the people in need by collecting food leftover in good condition from various caterers.
2. User Research – To validate the idea, it was important to know who are users would be and to know them and their requirements. As a team, we went on the field to know more about the problematic situation and to identify the key stakeholders and their needs and pain points.
We interviewed the NGOs who are in need of food and the people who collect and distribute food to the people in need. We even interacted and interviewed caterers and organisation who would be interested in donating excess food they have.
3. Synthesis – The brainstorming was based on the interviews conducted, existing research and assumptions, the technical and time limitations. We treated the problem as a wicked problem and hence adopted systems thinking the approach to solve the issue. The first thing we did was to create a rich picture of the existing scenario. After a rich picture was created of the same, we went ahead to collect the requirements for the project and created a PRD with specifications of functional and notfunctional requirements.
4. Information Architecture – The analysis and synthesis of the information were used for idea correlation and clustering. The patterns were identified with the help of information architecture and data flow diagrams. A mind mapping exercise helped to move the process along and provided a framework for the visualization of the system and its high-level approach.
5. Prototyping – In the next step, we developed a high-level draft outlining the situations and actions the system would need to support and consecutively began rapid prototyping. We came out with the basic layout of the application after various discussions and brainstorming sessions. Our focus at this step was to ensure that we design according to our user personas and the UX principles. High fidelity prototypes were created in JustInMind software to get a clearer idea of the flows and to see how the final app interactions would look like.
6. Usability Testing – The prototypes finally created were tested with the stakeholders to understand their use of the system. A usability testing document was created and based on the usability patterns of the stakeholder’s important pointers were noted for further enhancements.
The project idea was to introduce an ICT intervention to solve a social issue. Through the project we understood various practical issues and challenges, as there was a limitation of resources in terms, where and how can food be stored. The food collected had to be delivered in the stipulated time to the needy, before it gets spoilt.
The food quality was a point of concern for us, as we being an aggregator service were only assuring that the two ends meet. The other point of concern shown by the NGOs and was the regularity at which they would receive food. So, to cover up some of the concerns we even ran a social awareness campaign to the facebook page of Feed The Needy.
I see the project to be an innovative way of solving the most complicated problem of food limitation not only within Bangalore but across the world. It was a great learning experience on how the projects are run from their conception to final design along with resource and time limitations. This project enhanced my understanding of a project lifecycle and management. It also deepened my understanding of user-centric design.