An app that aims to reduce food waste by enabling the sharing of surplus food within the community.

UX UI Design
Usability Testing
Dec 2023 - Jan 2024
(4 weeks)

Food waste is a widespread challenge we all face. According to the World Food Programme, nearly half of US food waste is generated by households. If wasted food were a country, it would be the third-largest producer of carbon dioxide in the world, after the USA and China. It highlights the significance of reducing waste at the domestic level. With a focus on these aspects, my objective is to develop an app addressing the domestic food waste problem.

ProblemThe observation reveals that people want to reduce food waste, but they struggle because they don't have enough resources or support in their area. People tend to adapt to their local waste management practices. Experiences in Taiwan and the UK highlight that waste separation practices vary by location, thereby influencing individual habits accordingly.

The data speaks: Understanding user perspectives on food waste

Our objective is to identify the present challenges and issues users encounter in relation to food waste. This initiative aims to gather ideas and insights on features addressing the societal problem of food waste and individual user concerns. The following is a summary of my findings:

  • 99% of interview users feel guilty when they have to throw away food.
  • 80% of interview users struggle to decide on meals ahead, often changing plans, leaving food in the fridge longer and risking spoilage.
  • 80% of interview users shared extra food or leftovers with others when they couldn’t finish it all.


From leftovers to loss:The impact of date labels and holiday food wasteResearchers at Gallup and the MITRE Corporation surveyed the food-waste habits of more than 9,000 US households for one week. The researchers identified widespread confusion about food date labels, with many people interpreting them as strict indicators of food safety instead of, at least sometimes, guidance on freshness. 

Another aspect is Thanksgiving, food is the main event. But despite all the effort that goes into buying and preparing a turkey, some 312 million pounds of food end up in the trash for the week. That’s roughly $600 million worth. While Thanksgiving is known for its excess, the holiday is a microcosm of a global problem.

Resource: Bloomberg

Research findingsTo identify the current pain points that users encounter, we particularly focus on challenges such as misconceptions regarding food packaging and the issue of overcooking for family meals during holidays. The following is what we discovered: 

  • 100% of interview users consider the food expiration data as a mere reference and rely on their senses to determine if the food is till in good condition.
  • 80% of interview users find preparing for group gatherings to be an unplanned and challenging process, making it difficult to manage leftovers.

Understanding the user perspective, 
we created the personas to help us move forward with our 

Considering the personas and research data, I aim to address the specific problem through a targeted question.

How might we make people share surplus food or leftovers easily within their personal network or even with someone they don’t know?

Brainstorming and the solution:

Considering the pain points of our personas, I generated several potential ideas and settled on the solution of creating a community-focused platform for sharing surplus food.

    Early sketches on the various possible appearances of the interface.

    Start shaping:
    The user experience revolves around the primary task flow of posting an item. I've created slight variations of the screens and I'm inviting users' feedback on them.

    Initial testing:

    Empathise with the users

    Recognise that users in various scenarios may have different preferences, with some willing to give away items for free and others preferring to charge. 

    Highlighting the earliest expiration date listings is a crucial feature. This enables users to promptly identify items that require attention sooner. When posting, users should be guided to input essential details such as food specifics, description, quantity, expiration date, and categories to ensure all necessary information is ready.

    Introducing Rightover

    Rightover is more than an app; it's a community that elevates the mundane, celebrates the extraordinary, and spreads the joy of doing things the right way. So, don’t do leftover, do the rightover. 

    User onboarding made easy:Meet Mr. Right and his friends: 
    Your guides to an extraordinary experience with Rightover

    Register and craft your bio
    Rightover is an app centered around community engagement. Express your food preferences and personalize your presence within the community.

    Explore community offerings:
    Personalize your experience
    Enhanced search filters for tailored discoveries:
    Based on feedback from our lo-fi user testing, we've taken a step further to enhance users’ search experience. Introducing new filters, including pricing options, to cater to the diverse preferences of our community. 

    Distance as your deciding factor:
    Recognising the importance of proximity in users’ search, we've incorporated distance as a crucial criterion. Now, not only can you find items that match your criteria, but you can also locate them conveniently based on their proximity to your location.

    Post your surplus food 
    Easily post your extra food items and include all the essential details, including availability. Join our community-driven platform to empower users like yourself to share surplus food with others, fostering a collaborative effort to minimize food waste. 

    Easily edit the listing details both in and out
    In our usability testing, we found that 40% of test users expect to have the option to view and edit their listings after they're published. We'll incorporate "going back" buttons to accommodate this expectation.

    Modify the reservation with just a single click.

    Pickup or delivery, as you wish.

    Testing the design
    Here are the data and insights gathered from user feedback:

    • 100% of test user thinks the signup process as easy and simple, giving it a rating of ease of use 4.7 out of 5.
    • When it comes to posting an item, users find the task particularly easy, earning it a rating of 4.6 out of 5.
    • 100% of test users provided a rating of 9 out of 10 of usability of the app.

      Onboarding experience:Addressing user confusion and navigation challenges
      During testing, 80% of test users mistakenly perceived the "search and filter page" as interactive. Additionally, 40% of users encountered difficulty in locating the skip and next buttons. In response, we implemented the following iterations:

      • Modified the content layout to provide more visual separation and reduce reliance on precise proportions.
      • Responded to user feedback by incorporating clear navigation options for returning to the previous page or step.
      • Responded to user feedback by incorporating clear navigation options for returning to the previous page or step.

      Heuristic oversight:Improving filtered results display
      The filtered results lack system status feedback, leaving users unaware of system responses after applying filters. To address the issues:

      • Implemented a system status display when applying additional filters to the results.
      • Positioned the result count prominently at the top of the screen to enhance user visibility.

      To be continued
      If I were to advance the project to the next step, here are the considerations I would like to explore:

      • Scaling the business model to involve more businesses like restaurants and improving interactions between businesses and users.
      • Evaluating the delivery payment system, including user payment methods and creating a calculation method for the delivery service.
      • Integrate animations to elevate user engagement.
      • Enhancing the community feature to encourage more user participation in bios, interactions, and reviews, noting that 40% of test users prefer skipping the bio step based on usability testing. 

      Key takeaway
      The project was a success and provided me with a deeper understanding of the design process. At first, I aimed to generate innovative ideas unprecedented in the industry. However, I soon realized that originality isn't the sole focus. While unique concepts are valuable, achieving similar outcomes is feasible through process adjustments. Enhancing user experience remains paramount, even within familiar app frameworks.

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