INTRODUCTION1.1 BackgroundThe UK is producing 18 million tonnes of waste every year, and 40% of food endsup in a landfill site, sitting idle and unusable. During its stay in landfills,it will decompose and produce methane, a greenhouse gas contributing to climatechange. Undoubtedly, there is a negative impact on the environment. One-thirdof food waste comes from producers and supply chain, one third from retailers,and a third of households together combined contribute to the tremendous amountof waste just within the UK. The food industry sector alone wastes 1 milliontonnes of food every year at a cost over £2.
5 billion. It contributes to 1.3million meals or one in six meals served. In today’s economy, businesses andhomes are encouraged to participate in a more sustainable way of living andreduce food waste. 1.2 AimThe major project aims 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 throughdonation. It is a method to prevent edible food from ending up on landfillsites.
The food wasters may wish to give the food away at the end of the day atconsiderably lower cost or even free of charge instead of disposing of it. Theother option for wasters is to send it to sustainable decomposition however abetter choice may be to distribute surplus to the needy to meet socialresponsibilities. Smartphones are sold in double the number of personal computers in the currentmarket with an average smartphone user spending 30 hours monthly on more thantwo dozen apps. The app market in the current market is enormous 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 vastrange of users in the developed world.1.3 Literature research planThe literature search primarily aims to find the dilemma is food wastage andthe significant players who are trying to solve the situation. To understandhow my food donation app would be useful in saving the surplus food.
I need tobe aware of what existing organisations are going and to what extent they aresaving meals from being wasted.The studies start by considering the user-centred design and focuses on whatand how it is applied in interaction design. I will briefly look at the fivedimensions of interaction design.
I will further consider existing Android appson the ‘Play Store’ and state how they are functioning to resolve hunger andfood wastage. The apps are categorised into two: for developed and developingcountries.Before I can proceed to create an app: a platform for food donation, I need toconsider the food crisis and leading causes of food insecurity. A comparisonbetween global and local efforts to combat food wastage is given.
This sectionalso discusses the commitments of the Leicester council in tackling food waste.There is also information on who needs food and will be useful to understandwho to target the app. Finally, in the last chapter, I will be considering the different stages ofdeveloping an app prototype.
Lastly, there will be a description of ‘MaterialDesign’ and how it will be useful in developing app prototype.CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION TO USER-CENTERED DESIGN AND INTERACTIVE DESIGN 1.4 User Centred Design User-centred design is a design philosophy and ultimately puts the user at thecentre of 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 testingare also required to achieve a sense of direction on user behaviour. Cognitive psychology began in the 1960s. There was for the first-time emphasison ergonomic 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 Interaction DesignUser Centred Design is applied to Interaction Design (IxD): a process ofdesigning interactive digital products. The dimensions of interactive designrefers to the language we use to communicate with users, as opposed to how wetalk ideas within the design process (Gillian Crampton Smith, )5 Dimension of Interaction design1D- Words: represents the semantics of the interaction.
It uses a word toprompt a message to the users in that they will be able to process it quicklyand efficiently. A single word may contain an absolute meaning although theyare also opening to receive an interpretation from users. It is, therefore,necessary to be selective with the use of terminology and precisely representan action.2D- Visual Representations: we can process the images and extract its meaningin a split second. The visual content is elements that contribute to theoverall look such as diagrams, icons, typography. 3D- Physical Objects: This is the physical items in the real world. They may beinput and output devices such as keyboards, keypad and mouse. These tools canprovide users with the much-needed feedback and guidance in makinginteractions.
4D- Time: This dimension enables users to make use of the physical objects inthe three dimensions. 4D consists of sound, film and animation to conveyinformation; it will ultimately enhance the user experience. 5D- Behaviour: It encompasses a response to the user possibly an emotionalresponse or a feedback from the product. It is a reaction in response to theiractivities within the product. It is an indication of whether the user hadcompleted an action successfully.
1.6 The existing apps on fooddonationThe amount of surplus food available differs in every organisation and everycountry; therefore different approaches are provided by apps. They can becategorised into apps within developed countries and developingcountries.Apps for Developed countriesOLIO The free app connects people in the neighbourhood to local business.
The foodon offer 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 the donationof non-food household items too although it is not the primary objective.Food CloudFood Cloud app connects businesses that have surplus food to charities in thelocal community.
If a store has perfectly good food that they cannot sell,quickly and easily they can upload a description of the food items using anin-store scanner or use a smartphone app. The connected charity receivesnotifications of when the food is ready for collection. The charity can acceptthe food, and it will indicate a positive response through the app. The partnercharities include breakfast clubs to homeless hostels to family supportservices. This way they can relocate their funding towards other services andultimately supporting their mission to reduce food waste.Apps for Developing countriesCheetah (West Africa)The researchers at the University of Twente have developed an app with backingfrom the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs to find solutions to the problemsleading to halving of fruit and vegetable production and being spoiled beforeit gets to the market. The causes include obstacles such as transportationconditions and lack of refrigeration. The app shows the best route to themarket to avoid heavy traffic and road conditions as well as to preventsituations where drivers are set up to take bribes while carrying food.
The apphelps from food getting wasted due to it not reaching the markets on timecausing loss to both the farmers as well.No Food Waste (India)There is usually surplus food from parties, events, and get-togethers, thereare also contributions from large hotels, restaurants. The places with surplusfood can inform those in need using the app and call for collection. The app issaid to feed 200 people within seven cities including hubs like Delhi and Chennaiin India. Food collected is redistributed to the homeless, orphanages, slumsand senior citizens. The app is presented with a map to indicate the “hungerpoints” where there is an immediate need for food, and the food can bedelivered directly to those locations.
2 CHAPTER 2: MORE ON FOOD DONATION 2.1 Food crisisThe world is facing increasing demand for food. Conflict, the price of food andnatural disasters contribute being the main reasons for food deficit.
Accordingto the global report on the food crisis, there were reports of 108 millionpeople around the world with crisis-level food insecurity, and it is showing anincreasing trend with an increase of 80 million people from the previous year.Countries such as South Sudan, Somalia, Yemen, and northeast Nigeria are atrisk of famine. Conflict is a leading cause of food insecurity. Conflicts undermine foodsecurity in many ways; they create access problems for both government andhumanitarian agencies to get to the needy. There is also disruption the foodproduction cycle; farmers are not able to produce sufficient food crops andkeep up their livestock and will ultimately lead to loss of assets and income.There are other secondary implications of the shortage of such as malnutritionand can directly impact on vulnerable groups such as children, elderly andpregnant women. There are adverse effects of conflict on food production, andagriculture slows economic and market development.
About 3.3 million childrenand pregnant or breastfeeding women are incredibly malnourished of whichincluding 462,000 children under five in severe malnutrition.Natural disasters are also a significant cause of food insecurity; thevulnerable countries are those with limited facilities to deal with disaster witha large population and being less shockproof with infrastructure. One area ofnatural phenomenon is El Nino. It is the most significant fluctuation of theearth climatic system leading to consequences in all parts of the world. ElNino will occur every few years.
Ethiopia has faced the worst impact of El Ninowith 9.7 million people needing food assistance due to the droughts. There was an extreme pressure on available food in countries such as Angola,Namibia, Botswana and Zambia. The current conditions are the result of thecumulative impact of two consecutive years of drought, including ElNiño-induced dry conditions in 2015/16 that resulted in below-average cerealproduction and livestock losses.
Having high-cost food makes it merely hectic for the poor to survive. Althoughit is an excellent opportunity for farmers, it is the consumers who suffer. Forinstance, in southern Africa, the import costs have risen for low -income fooddeficit countries (LIFDC) in 2016 for the staple food of maize. The internationalprice of maize was however considerably lower.
The sharp increase in pricescaused difficulties for many countries relying on maize. A sharp drop in cerealoutput was triggered, and they related back to conflicts and climaticconditions.2.2 Current efforts There are various players in reducing food waste. They range from shots ofglobal organisations to individuals. Due to the enormity of the task, there isneed to act in partnership with other regional and international agencies. Theefforts are need from the food chain with the inclusion of the farmers,fishers, herders to the global companies.
The aim of these partnerships is notonly to reduce food waste but also to establish a sustainable food system. Thefood supply chains must be targeted to improve the efficiency andsustainability of future generation systematically. The system considers theproduction and consumption.From a business point of view, they are only willing to adopt measures for foodwaste reduction 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, an individual approach is required. There isthe need to tackle rapid urbanisation, the expanding supply chains and thechange in diets and lifestyle.Global approach: Save FoodSave Food is a worldwide initiative on food loss and waste reduction.
Theinitiative prioritises food loss and waste from occurring in the first place,followed by interventions that can lead to reduced loss and misuse. Theinitiative also supports cost-effective and environmentally friendly reuse(such as for animal feed) and recycling (as compost) of lost and wasted food.Save Food runs global conferences to discuss and find solutions on issues ofdevelopment; run workshops on food loss and nutrition security; introduce oftechnological solutions as well as social innovation.
Regional: WWF (World Wildlife Foundation)WWF is just one of the organisations trying to make a change. They take effortsto focus on transforming businesses, maximising farm resources and savingschool food. WWF is working with the market leaders of food products toencourage them to take on food wastage reduction programs; it will allow thoseretailers to transform several sectors within their business to create a moresignificant impact and change. The WWF aims to take back the lost value of foodin many countries from regional expanding globally.
Coming in partnership with the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA)and Rockefeller Foundation, there is the encouragement to conduct research onwaste prevention strategies and to understand the significant reasons for foodwaste. The study hopes to determine the sufficient staffs, leaders andcustomers to initiate industry best practice campaign.Local: Leicester council- The council is one of the many counties within the UK to sign up for zero wastelandfill commitment with the dedication to a full waste segregated collectionservice to reducing the environmental impact. The primary forms of wasteinclude food waste such as peelings, leftovers, expired food and others. Foodwaste collected from homes is turned into a product using in-vessel composting.Otherwise, there is an anaerobic digestion facility whereby organic material isbroken down by micro-organisms in the absence of oxygen, to produce renewableenergy. The collected elements are used to create soil improvers of PAS100standard.The Love Food Hate Waste website provides advice on minimising food waste; thereare tips on planning meals, portion sizes, food dates and their meaning andfood storage to obtain best results.
Food Waste Challenge allows people to discover how much money one could save ontheir weekly shopping of food; how to create tasty meals from leftovers andprovides online cooking classes to help reduce the food waste produced athome.There are encouragements to deal with food waste through composting. You canalso use a food waste digester for uncooked kitchen waste such as peelings andteabags as well as cooked waste including meat, fish and dairy.2.3 Ways to donate food How can business organisations donate?Examples of where businesses can donate to:Donate to FoodCycle. Members volunteer to produce meals from surplus foodmaterial to provide a community-based approach. The meals using excessingredients would hope to change attitudes towards wasting them. The needy aredistributed the meals.
Donate to FoodSave, and they focus on small food business around London to dealwith surplus food and help raise awareness of how to dispose of wasteresponsibly, concentrating on anaerobic digestion and composting.Donate to City Harvest, they collect surplus food from many sources around NewYork and delivers it free of cost to soup kitchens, food pantries and othercommunity food programs across the state. Where can individualsdonate?Donate directly to your local charity food bank – you can direct donate food toa food bank.
The food an individual wish to donate may be either packaged orcooked already. It is advised to find out whether a charity is willing toaccept surplus food from a party or an event. Trussell Trust is an excellentsource to donate.
Donate at collection points insupermarkets across the country. Major supermarkets such as Tesco are making adifference through creating food ‘collection point’ in partnership with foodcharities ‘The Trussell Trust’ and ‘FareShare’. There is acceptance of longlife food donated by customers who come to Tesco. Donate to collection hosted by localschools, churches and businesses. Donations by individuals will remind othersof their social responsibility, the act of contributing to the society canfulfil their civic duty as a human being. Leicester food banks2.
4 Who needs food?There are many reasons for referring to food banks; the top reasons are lowincome (26.45%), benefit delays (26.01%) and benefit changes (16.65%) (TrussellTrust, 2016).
There are still a lot of stereotypes on who visits food banks. Itis time to look beyond the stereotypes circulating who goes to food banks. TheUniversity of Oxford and Kings College London has researched those accessingfood banks. The findings indicate that the majority, 39% accessing food banksare single men, with single mums at 13%, single women 12% and couple withdependent children making 9%. (Trussell Trust: Financial insecurity, foodinsecurity and disability report).
Research indicates that lack of food is notthe only factor affecting them, missing meals days at a time and living withoutelectricity and heating also contribute to the problems some face. One in fivehad slept rough in recent months. (BBC).
The vulnerable are also those earningbelow £320 every month.3 CHAPTER 3: PRE-DEVELOPMENT3.1 App Design Cycle Designing an app prototype follows several stages inclusive of iterativeprocesses. With 77% of users never using an app after three days ofinstallation and 90% apps uninstalled after 30 days (Chen, 2017), it is crucialto prototype correctly with the user’s requirements in mind. The following arethe critical stages of app prototype development.The primary stage is to define the app which means that there should be a cleardescription of the problem to be solved through an app. The app also requires aunique selling point.
The next stage is to research the mobile market, understand the needs of usersand what sort of functions and information are expected from the app. The datacollected will consist of both primary and secondary research inclusive ofqualitative and quantitative data. It will assist in the decision-makingprocess.
From research, it is now possible to create user personas- this will allow appdesigner to understand where the app is likely to fit in the real world.Wireframing is essential to build the body for the app; it will enable thedesigner to visualise the critical element of the app and on-screen thearrangement of objects. Research into User psychology will help to enhance theuser experience. Wireframes are constructed either using freehand sketches orusing appropriate digital tools such as ‘Justinmind’. It is now possible tocreate an interface using prototyping software tools with wireframes to guidethe placement of elements.Testing is required to gain a second opinion of the app; usability testingevaluates how users interact with the functionality and how they perceiveinformation presented within the app.From the testing feedback, the app is refined to incorporate the changes. Thisstage requires iteration to produce a fully complete prototype.
3.2 Material DesignMaterial design is a unified system combining theory, resources and tools forenhancing users digital experience. The Material Design follows a set ofprinciples that are consistent with the style, branding elements andinteraction. Material components allow beautiful, modular and customisable UIcomponents.The material design follows several guidelines on the areas of motion, style,layout, usability, platforms and resources. Material design aims to create avisual language that emphasis on sound design, with room for innovation usingscience and technology. Principles offer device interoperability with devicesof different sizes.
Within the theory of material design, users experience anexcellent sense of space and system of motion transforms the entire design.Within material design, the elements such as the use of colour, images, scale,use of space and typography contribute to the meaning and hierarchy of thepresented content. Further, choices that designers make as on the use ofwhitespace and colour, for instance, will enhance the experience to the user inthe duration of usage and there will be an immediate impact on the way userperceives information.