INTRODUCTION1.1 BackgroundUK is producing 18 million tonnes of wasteevery year and 40% of food ends up in a landfill site, sitting idle andunusable.
During its stay in landfills, it will decompose and produce methane,a greenhouse gas contributing to climate change. Undoubtedly, there is anegative impact on the environment. One third of food waste comes from producers andsupply chain, one third from retailers, and a third from households, togethercombined contributes to huge amount of waste just within the UK. The food industry sector alone wastes 1million tonnes of food every year at a cost over £2.5 billion. It contributesto 1.3 million meals or one in six meals served. In today’s economy, businesses and homes areencouraged to contribute to a more sustainable way of living and reduce foodwaste.
1.2 Aim The aimof the major product is to design and develop a prototype for a food donationplatform, in the form of an app. The app will incorporate a method to connectpeople who waste surplus food to those who need it, ultimately through donation.It is a method to prevent edible food from ending up on landfill sites. Thefood wasters may wish to give the food away at the end of the day atconsiderably lower cost or even free of cost instead of disposing it. The other option forwasters is to send it to sustainable decomposition however a better option maybe to distribute surplus to the needy to meet social responsibilities. In the current market,almost double smartphones are being sold than personal computers with anaverage smartphone user spending 30 hour monthlyon more than two dozen apps.
The app market in the current market is huge andunstoppable with a prediction of being a $77 billion industry (Clifford, 2014).Though the creation of a platform using, it should be accessible to a hugerange of users in the developed world.1.
3 Literature research planThe literature search primarily aimsto find the dilemma is food wastage and the major players who are trying tosolve the situation. To understand how my food donation app would be useful insaving the surplus food. I need to be aware of what existing organisations aregoing and to what extent they are saving meals from being wasted.The studies start by considering usercentred design, explaining what it is and how it is applied in interactiondesign. I will briefly look at the 5 dimensions of interaction design.
I willfurther consider existing android apps on the ‘Play Store’ and state how theyare functioning to resolve hunger and food wastage. They are categorised intoapps for developed and developing countries.Before I can proceed to creating anapp: a platform for food donation, I need to consider the food crisis andleading causes of food insecurity.
A comparison between global and localefforts to combat food wastage are shown. This section also considers the commitmentsof the Leicester council in combating food waste. There I also some informationon who needs food. This will be useful to understand who to target the app on. Finally, in the last chapter, I willbe considering the different stages for developing an app prototype.
Lastly,there will be description on material design and how it will be useful indeveloping app prototype.CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION TO USER CENTEREDDESIGN AND INTERACTIVE DESIGN 1.4 User Centred Design Usercentred design is a design philosophy and ultimately puts the user at the centreof the design process. In UCD the designers understand user needs andlimitations. Designers make careful decisions when designing for an individualor a group of individuals. Designers should have a deeper understanding of howusers engage and interact with products or applications, research and testingis also required to achieve a sense of direction on user behaviour. Cognitivepsychology began in the 1960s. There was for the first-time emphasis onergonomic fit, which focused on a design fitting around a human body furtherdeveloped in cognitive fit which takes into consideration not only fit of thebody but also fit of the limitations of our senses, deductive ability andmemory.
There was soon a new area of focus, computers, which lead to vastinteractions with design objects, the establishment of human computerinteractions (HCI) lead to a whole new phase in design.1.5 InteractionDesignUserCentred Design is applied to Interaction Design (IxD), a process of designinginteractive digital products. The dimensions of interactive design refers tothe language we use to communicate with users, as opposed to how we communicateideas within the design process (Gillian Crampton Smith, )5Dimension of Interaction design1D- Words:represents semantics of the interaction. It uses word to prompt a message tothe users in that they will be able to process it quickly and effectively. Asingle word may contain a certain meaning although they are also opening toreceive interpretation from users. It is therefore necessary to be selectivewith the use of terminology and precisely represent an action.2D- VisualRepresentations: we can process the images and extract its meaning in a splitsecond.
The visual content are elements that contribute to the overall look suchas diagrams, icons, typography. 3D- PhysicalObjects: This are the physical items in the real world. They may be input andoutput devices such as keyboards, keypad and mouse. These tools can provideusers with the much-needed feedback and guidance in making interactions.4D- Time:This dimension enables users to make use of the physical objects in the 3 dimensions.
4D consists of sound, film and animation to convey information, it willultimately enhance the user experience. 5D- Behaviour:It encompasses a response to the user possibly an emotional response or afeedback from the product. It is a reaction in response to their action withinthe product. It is an indication of whether the user had completed an actionsuccessfully.1.
6 The existing apps on food donationThe amountof surplus food available differs in every organisation and in every country,therefore different approaches are provided by apps. Generally, they can becategorised in apps within developed countries and developing countries.Apps for Developed countriesOLIO The freeapp connects people within the neighbourhood to local business. The food onoffer is food nearing to its expiry dates in local shops, spare home-grownvegetables, bread from a local bakery or even the groceries in the fridge thatyou want to give away while on holiday. OLIO is also being used for thedonation of non-food household items too although it is not the primary objective.FoodCloudFoodCloud app connects businesses that have surplus food to charities in the localcommunity. If a store has perfectly good food that they cannot sell, quicklyand easily they can upload a description of the food items using an in-store scanneror use a smartphone app. The connected charity receives notifications of whenthe food is ready for collection.
The charity can accept the food and it willindicate a positive response through the app. The partner charities includebreakfast clubs to homeless hostels to family support services. This way theycan relocate their funding towards other services and ultimately supportingtheir mission to reduce food waste.
Apps for Developing countriesCheetah(West Africa)Theresearchers at the University of Twente have developed an app with backing fromthe Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs to find solutions to the problems leadingto halving of fruit and vegetable production and being spoiled before it getsto the market. The causes include obstacles such as transportation conditionsand lack of refrigeration. The app shows the best route to the market to avoidheavy traffic and road conditions as well as to prevent situations where driversare set up to take bribes while carrying food. The app helps from food gettingwasted due to it not reaching the markets on time causing loss to both thefarmers as well.No FoodWaste (India)There isusually surplus food from parties, events, and get-togethers, there are alsocontributions from large hotels, restaurants. The places with surplus food caninform those in need using the app and call for collection. The app is said tofeed 200 people within seven cities including hubs like Delhi and Chennai in India.The food is collected are redistributed to the homeless, orphanages, slums andsenior citizen.
The app is presented with a map to indicate the “hunger points”where there is an immediate need for food and the food can be delivereddirectly to those locations.2 CHAPTER 2: MORE ON FOOD DONATION 2.1 Food crisisTheworld is facing increasing demand on food. Conflict, price of food and naturaldisasters contribute being the main reasons for food deficit. According to theglobal report on food crisis, there were reports of 108 million people aroundthe world with crisis level food insecurity, it is showing an increasing trendwith an increase of 80 million people from the previous year. Countries such asSouth Sudan, Somalia, Yemen, and northeast Nigeria are in risk of famine.
Conflictis a leading cause of food insecurity. Conflicts undermine food security inmany ways, they create access problems for both government and humanitarianagencies to get to the needy. There is also disruption the food productioncycle, farmers are not able to produce sufficient food crops and keep up their livestock.
This will ultimately lead to loss of assets and income. There are othersecondary implications to the shortage of such as malnutrition. This can directlyimpact on vulnerable groups such as children, elderly and pregnant women. Thereare inimical effects of conflict on food production and agriculture slowseconomic and market development. About 3.3 million children and pregnant orbreastfeeding women are extremely malnourished of which including 462,000children under five in severe malnutrition.Naturaldisasters are also major cause for food insecurity, the vulnerable countriesare those with limited facilities to deal with disaster with large populationand being less shock proof with infrastructure.
One area of natural phenomenonis El Nino. It is the biggest fluctuation of the earths climatic system leadingto consequences in all parts of the world. El Nino will occur every few years.Ethiopia has faced the worst impact of El Nino with 9.7 million people needingfood assistance due the droughts.
There wasa drastic pressure on available food in countries such as Angola, Namibia,Botswana and Zambia. The current conditions are the result of the cumulativeimpact of two consecutive years of drought, including El Niño-induced dryconditions in 2015/16 that resulted in below-average cereal production andlivestock losses.Havinghigh-cost food simply makes it hectic for the poor to survive. Although it isa great opportunity for farmers, it is the consumers whosuffer. For instance, in southern Africa, the import costs haverisen for low -income food deficit countries (LIFDC) in2016 for the staple food of maize. The international price ofmaize was however considerably lower. The acute increase in prices causeddifficulties for many countries relying on maize.
They were triggered by sharpdrop in cereal output and they related back to conflicts and climaticconditions.2.2 Current efforts Thereare various players in reducing food waste.
They range from efforts of global organisationsto individuals. Due to the enormity of the task, there is need to act inpartnership with other regional and international organisations. The effortsare need from the food chain with the inclusion of the farmers, fishers,herders to the global companies. The aim of these partnerships is not only toreduce food waste but also to establish a sustainable food system. The foodsupply chain’s must be targeted to systematically improve the efficiency andsustainability for future generation. The system considers the production and consumption.From abusiness point of view, they are only willing to adopt measures for food wastereduction if there is either a form of profit or if there is less costinvolved. Food waste is on the political agenda in developed countries.
However, in developing countries, individual approach is required. There is theneed to tackle rapid urbanisation, the expanding supply chains and the changein diets and lifestyle.Global approach: Save FoodSaveFood is a global initiative on food loss and waste reduction. The initiativeprioritises food loss and waste from occurring in the first place, followed byinterventions that can lead to reduced loss and waste.
The initiative alsosupports cost-effective and environmentally friendly reuse (such as for animalfeed) and recycling (as compost) of lost and wasted food. Save Food runs globalconferences to discuss and find solutions on issues of development; run workshopson food loss and nutrition security; introduce of technological solutions aswell as social innovation.Regional:WWF (World Wildlife Foundation)WWF isjust one of the organisations trying to make a change. They take efforts tofocus on transforming businesses, maximising farm resources and saving schoolfood. WWF is working with the market leaders of food products to encourage themto take on food wastage reduction programs, it will allow those retailers to transformseveral sectors within their business to create a greater impact and change.The WWF aims to take back the lost value of food in many countries from regionalexpanding globally.
Coming in partnership with the American Hoteland Lodging Association (AHLA) and Rockefeller Foundation, there areencouragement to conduct research on waste prevention strategies and tounderstand the major reasons for food waste. The research hopes to determinethe most sufficient staff, leaders and customers to initiate industry bestpractice campaign.Local: Leicester council- The council is one of the many counties within UK to sign upfor zero waste landfill commitment.
It is dedicated to reducing theenvironmental impact with a full waste segregated collection service. The main forms of waste include foodwaste such as peelings, leftovers, expired food and others. The collected food waste from homes is turned to aproduct though in-vessel composting. Otherwise there is an anaerobic digestionfacility whereby organic material are broken down by micro-organisms inthe absence of oxygen, to produce renewable energy.
The collected material is usedto produce soil improvers of PAS100 standard.The Love Food Hate Waste website providesadvice on minimising food waste, there are tips on planning meals, portionsizes, food dates and their meaning and food storage to obtain best results.Food Waste Challenge allows people to discover howmuch money one could saveon their weekly shopping of food; how to create tasty meals from leftovers andprovides online cooking classes to help reduce the food waste created at home.Thereare encouragements to deal with food waste through composting You canalso use a food waste digesterfor uncooked kitchen waste such as peelings and teabags as well as cooked wasteincluding meat, fish and dairy.2.3 Ways to donate food How can business organisationsdonate?Examples of where businessescan donate to:Donateto FoodCycle. A community based approach is provided whereby members volunteer toproduce meals from surplus food material.
The meals using excess ingredientswould hope to change attitudes towards wasting them. The meals are distributedto those in need.Donateto FoodSave, they focus on small food business around London to deal with surplusfood and help raise awareness of how to dispose waste in a responsible manner,concentrating on anaerobic digestion and composting.Donateto CityHarvest, they collect surplus food from many sourcesaround New York and delivers it free of cost to soup kitchens, food pantriesand other community food programs across the state.
Where can individualsdonate to?Donate directly to your local charityfoodbank – you can directly donate food to a food bank. The food an individualwish to donate may be either packaged or cooked already. It is advised to findout whether a charity is willing to accept surplus food from a party or anevent.
Trussell Trust is a good source to donate to. Donate at collection points insupermarkets across the country. Major supermarkets such as Tesco are making adifference though creating food ‘collection point’ in partnership with foodcharities ‘The Trussell Trust’ and ‘FareShare’.
There is acceptance for longlife food donated by customers who come to Tesco. Donate to collection hosted at local schools,churches and businesses. Donations by individuals will remind others of theirsocial responsibility, the act of contributing to the society and to fulfiltheir civic duty as a human being.Leicesterfood banks2.4 Who needs food?There are many reasons for referringto food banks, the top reasons are low income (26.45%), benefit delays (26.01%)and benefit changes (16.65%) (Trussell Trust, 2016).
There are still a lot of stereotypeson who visits food banks. It is time to look beyond the stereotypescirculating who goes to food banks. The university of Oxford and Kings collegeLondon has conducted research on those accessing food banks. The findingsindicate that the majority, 39% accessing food banks are single men, withsingle mums at 13%, single women 12% and couple with dependent children making 9%.(Trussell Trust: Financial insecurity, food insecurity and disability report).
Research indicates that lack of food is not the only factor affecting them,missing meals days at a time and living without electricity and heating alsocontribute to the problems some face. One in five had slept rough in recent months. (BBC).The vulnerable are also those earning below £320 every month.
3 CHAPTER 3: PRE-DEVELOPMENT3.1 AppDesign Cycle Designing an app prototype follows several stages inclusive of iterativeprocesses. With 77% of users never using an app after 3 days of installationand 90% apps uninstalled after 30 days (Chen, 2017), it is crucial to prototype correctly with the user’s requirements inmind. The following are the key stages of app prototype development.The primary stage is to define the app. This means that there should be aclear description of the problem that is being solved through an app. The app alsorequires a unique selling point.
The next stage is to research the mobile market, understand the needs ofusers and what sort of functions and information is expected from the app. Theinformation collected will consist of both primary and secondary researchinclusive of qualitative and quantitative information. It will assist in the decision-makingprocess. From research, it is now possible to create user personas- this willallow app designer to understand where the app is likely to fit in the realworld.Wireframing is essential to build the body for the app, it will enablethe designer to visualise the key element of the app and how the objects wouldbe arranged on screen.
Research into User psychology will help to enhance the userexperience. Wireframes are construction either using free hand sketches orusing appropriate digital tools such as ‘Justinmind’. It is now possible to createan interface using prototyping software tools with wireframes to guide the placementof elements.
Testing is required to gain a second opinion of the app; usabilitytesting evaluates how users interact with the functionality and how theyperceive information presented within the app.From the testing feedback, the app is refined to incorporate the changes.This stage requires iteration to produce a fully complete prototype.
3.2 Material DesignMaterial design is a unified system combining theory, resources and toolsfor enhancing users digital experience. Material design follows a set of principlesthat are consistent in style, branding elements and interaction. Material componentsallows beautiful, modular and customisable UI components.Material design follows several guidelines on the areas of motion, style,layout, usability, platforms and resources. The aim of material design is tocreate a visual language that emphasis on good design, with room for innovationusing science and technology.
Principles offer device interoperability with devicesof different sizes. Within the theory of material design, users experience agood sense of space and system of motion transforms the entire design. Withinmaterial design the elements such as use of colour, images, scale, use of spaceand typography contribute to the meaning and hierarchy of the presentedcontent. Further, choices that designers make as on the use of whitespace andcolour for instance will enhance the experience to the user in the duration ofusage and there will be immediate impact on the way user perceives information.