A two-week design sprint for which we were challenged to design a mobile phone app that empowers a specific audience to help improve part of the chain of food collection and distribution.
Adobe Creative Jam: Design For Change with SoDA Agencies
According to Feeding America, one-third of people eligible for public food assistance are not enrolled in the program (SNAP). Especially for seniors, low participation correlates with an internalized shame saying that they do not want to be “one of those people with the card.” For others, externalized shame means lack of convenient access to healthy options.
“one of those people with the card”
– Feeding America
Online shopping can help overcome the stigma associated with public assistance, but participation in the SNAP Online Purchasing Pilot program is largely limited to corporate retailers such as Amazon or Walmart. These large retailers prioritize consumer convenience over nutrition.
We designed a grocery e-commerce app for SNAP recipients, so that they can shop with businesses in their surrounding neighborhood without facing the stigma of using an EBT card. Delivery and pickup options are in place for busy single mothers and elderly people at risk for COVID-19. The app uses rewards points to incentivize healthy choices and comes with a cart evaluation feature that allows users to compare their purchases against USDA guidelines for a balanced diet.
The entire project was highly collaborative and done remotely due to the pandemic. We divided up some of the sections as we built out the prototype; I worked on checkout and nutrition evaluation, while Chase created the main nav, user profile, store features and implemented animations in Adobe Xd; Ami handled the shopping experience at the store level and she refined many of the screen layouts and individual elements.
We met with our SoDA mentor, Gradwell Sears from MediaMonks, before we began prototyping. Gradwell pointed us to Drizly as a local-delivery app benchmark. I examined a number of nutrition, shopping, and SNAP benefit apps.
The following sections cover the checkout and nutrition evaluation, where my attention was focused.
HIGH FIDELITY PROTOTYPE: Checkout Experience
HIGH FIDELITY PROTOTYPE: Nutrition Evaluation
With regard to the design brief, I wonder how else we might have addressed the problems we uncovered. Our e-commerce solution for the underserved is but one way to combat shame while also encouraging healthy shopping habits. We didn’t tap into existing charitable organizations and volunteerism networks. Is the visual style of the app appropriate for our target audiences? Might we have explored or developed the business facing experience and what would that have revealed?