A mobile app concept that helps make the grassroots movement of “Community Fridges” more reliable to its constituents. Adobe Creative Jam Fall 2020 Top 10 Finalist.
Adobe Creative Jam
October 15, 2020
Aaron Guhin, Armel Patanian, Andrew Hemnes (Resigned)
Develop and coordinate Project Timeline, Secondary Research, Ideation, Journey Mapping. Create branding assets, wireframes, and Hi-Fi prototype.
Secondary and Primary Research including site visit. Branding, Rapid Prototyping, and some User Testing.
How can we empower parties involved with tackling food insecurity improve the system and better the nutritional value of stocked and served meals?
In 2 weeks, design a mobile phone app that empowers a specific audience to help improve part of the chain of food collection and distribution.
The app must provide mode of measurement or service to a single or multiple systems.
The audience may be a party involved in some way in the supply chain, or a messenger of public service (much like a watchdog monitoring and promoting awareness) around the severity of the insecurity issue of your choosing.
Through brainstorming, secondary research and competitive analysis, we found there were many food insecurity apps that connect organizations to different parts of the supply chain. We needed something very unique.
None of us had known about community fridges until I saw a post from a friend about community fridges here in Los Angeles. We were immediately intrigued and wanted to investigate further, which included a site visit.
Team member Armel had gone to one of the fridges around the L.A. area, in North Hills, and brought some food to it to see how the community fridge system works.
After dropping off food, he was actually able to have an informal conversation with one of the volunteers that 'services' the fridges. This revealed to us another key user to the community fridge system, aside from donors and donees, volunteers.
- We found that communities had set up an unregulated system of placing second hand refrigerators outside for people to leave and take food, free of charge.
- These fridges are subject to health and fire codes, inconsistent inventory information, and insufficient maintenance.
- Cities are requiring fridge donors to place locks on the fridges which defeats the purpose of them by reducing ease of access.
- We wanted to create an app that makes these fridges more reliable for all members of this grassroots community system by organizing the functions of donees, donors, and volunteers into one place.
It was important to us that this type of app appeared welcoming, friendly, and even fun. Although food insecurity is not a fun situation to be in, we hoped that our concept could be that beacon of hope and a way for community members to not be reminded of that.
We took cues from the fridges themselves, using bright colors and friendly rounded type to convey our message visually.
There were 3 main audiences we found to be apart of this community system which were Donors, Donees, and Volunteers.
After building the flows for each of them, we felt that we should require the least amount of information from people trying to access the fridge, as ease of access was a main driver for success of these fridges and not deterring the food insecure or donors from utilizing this resource.
For the purpose of this challenge and brief, we focused on the journey of Volunteers, as their experience on the app is the the most comprehensive and crucial to the success of our problem statement of how to make community fridges more reliable. Volunteers make sure these resources are maintained and available for the community to use.
Since this was an Adobe Creative Jam, we used Adobe XD to create the prototype below:
The project was an overall success, with research and hi-fi prototype done within the 2 week timeframe, placing our team as one of the 10 finalists. Visually, we didn’t hit our mark of how we wanted the app to look but we found that we were more focused on the flow of the app over aesthetics.
The judges’ feedback expressed just that. They felt the concept was brilliant, as none of them had even heard of community fridges, and that it was much easier implementing a solution like ours for an existing system at the community level, rather than at a large company or organization level.
They expressed that they would’ve liked more details for some steps, such as what cleaning a fridge would entail, and that the overall look could be improved to be more ‘fun.’
Branding was a success as we wanted a name and logo that was easy to remember and relevant to our concept. Even after naming the winners, judges and attendees reiterated how ‘super cool’ our concept was.
"The Fridge app was so cool!"
Tom Beck - Executive Director at SoDA