Kelly Mccomas

Feeding America

Interaction Design for a Seamless Donation Experience

Project Overview
For an interaction design course, my team developed a food delivery app donation experience. Our goal was to increase awareness and contributions to our sponsor, Feeding America, and help them support those who face food insecurity.

Team - Zicheng Gu, Kelly McComas, Diana Jeong Ro
Dates - January - March 2020
My Contributions
Researcher - I conducted research interviews with a stakeholder at Feeding America and 4 potential users; led concept evaluation sessions.

UX Designer - I developed sketches and Figma prototypes of our concepts as we increased the fidelity of our ideas.

The Problem

Bringing Meaning to Donation

According to the USDA, more than 37 million people in the United States struggle with hunger.
Feeding America is a network of 200 food banks and 60,000 food pantries in America. The opportunity to work with an organization that works to end hunger in America was thrilling to me.

Due to the economies of scale in their supply chain, a donation of 10 cents to Feeding America is equivalent to a meal. This information would become a critical part of the solution we designed.

Problem Statement
How might we design a solution that educates the public about food insecurity and inspires advocacy?

The Solution

Mindful Eats Donation Impact

The solution we designed is a donation experience seamlessly integrated into the app-based food delivery process. With delightful interactive animations and summary pages, users can understand the impact of their donations in their community.

The Research

Understanding our Users & Stakeholders

Our team chose to focus on the rapidly-expanding market of app-based food delivery orders - services like UberEats, Grubhub, and DoorDash. We interviewed stakeholders at Feeding America and users of these apps throughout our design process to evaluate the desirability and feasibility of our solution.

Our User: Julia
The persona we designed for is a busy Millennial professional who cares about community impact and enjoys convenient new cuisine experiences.
Download of user research

The Process

Sprint, Evaluate, Adapt, Repeat

Our project was divided into a trio of three-week sprints, each building upon the learnings of the previous. We moved from low-fidelity paper prototypes of our solution to digital Figma prototypes, adapting our solution as we learned from users.

Preparing prototypes at the end of a sprint

The Features

Reimagining Incentives, Checkout, and Impact

Early on, our team struggled with visualizing the impact of donations for users; insights showed that this was a powerful metric, but we weren’t sure how to tell users the story. By testing a variety of low-fidelity ideas, we were able to find out what resonated with users.

We tested low-fidelity prototypes to understand the types of interactions and impact users cared about. We learned that users were motivated by a connection to their community and local food bank.

Applying our learnings to features

Our user research led to the three key features of our final solution, shown below. We used animation to add delight without confusion. We focused on empowering advocacy by connecting users to their local food bank.

1. Donation Incentivized for Users

In our research, we found that users often use promotional categories in delivery apps to narrow their choices and make their options feel less overwhelming. We chose to position Mindful Eats as a similar promotional category, offering users free delivery if they donate with a participating restaurant.

I pick a promotion section when all the restaurant options are just too much."
- L, delivery app user

2. Meals Visualized at Checkout

Using a simple animated meal icon for each 10 cent donation added to the order at checkout, we drew attention to the cause without confusing users about what is being donated. Users found this to be a fun and engaging way to see their impact.

"With the animation, I can really see the meals piling up."
- Z, delivery app user

3. Donation Tied to Local Impact

Building on the insight that users are more likely to donate when they can see their impact locally, we added a tab allowing users to learn about the campaign, their local food bank, and the donations made by their community.

"I'm more motivated to donate when I feel a connection to the cause."
- T, delivery app user

Future Work & Outcomes

From Individual Orders to Top-Down Corporate Participation

1. Go Corporate

Build out the corporate lunch order experience to amplify Mindful Eats with larger office meal purchases.

Prototype of the corporate order experience
2. Map Our Stakeholders

Understand the needs of partner restaurants and food banks to ensure the feasibility of the solution for these stakeholders.

Hypothesized stakeholder map

Since the completion of this project in March 2020, Feeding America and UberEats partnered to roll out a donation campaign beginning in June 2020.

The new Feeding America/UberEats campaign

Key Takeaways

Using Agility to Reach Viability

1. Consider Viability

Working with Feeding America forced us to consider the viability of our solution as we encountered questions about how our campaign would affect stakeholders, which made our concept stronger and more realistic.

2. Get Used to Agile Workflows

This was my first experience with agile methodology; I learned to make creative decisions on a tight timeline. Iterating in short design sprints resulted in a more thoughtful final product that had undergone multiple iterations.

3. Know Your Audience

Presenting to corporate stakeholders helped us hone our idea and its story into something that was concise and compelling. We always began with our user, but adapted the details to connect with our audience.

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