Design for social impact
Hunger can affect people from all walks of life. Many Americans are one job loss or medical crisis away from food insecurity and hunger. Now in the United States, there are still more than 1.4 million households who suffer from hunger and food insecurity. Through corporate partnerships for Feeding America, my group worked on the problem that how we could increase donations through a digital interaction design.
Do you know how to donate?
When you think of donation, you might take a long time to think of the last time you donated. It is true that we do not know many ways to donate. Donation is just not a thing that happens very often in our life. However the impact of donation is huge even when you donate only 1 dollar, you could help one household get 10 meals. So how could we help people realize the impact they could have thru donation and make a donation more accessible?
We created a digital interaction, DoanteNow, on delivery apps to educate people about food insecurity and increase donations. Through DonateNow, delivery apps' users are able to easily and seamlessly donate points they've collected to Feeding America, which will be converted into money value by the delivery app platforms, and see the impact brought to the community.
Lucy Hu, Yoonjie Park
Client Project, 01.2020-03.2020
User Researcher: conducted in-depth interviews with different stakeholders, tested prototypes with users.
Lead UX Designer: responsible for concept mock-ups, wireframes, visual design and interactive prototype.
Donation is a single-time event and an obscure concept.
The initial design question that Feeding America offered was “ how to increase donation in restaurants and grocery stores? ” So we interviewed managers from these two places and wanted to know more about how people donate currently.
Donation is mostly a single-time event:
Because supermarkets or restaurants only have donation events during certain times of the year, such as Thanksgiving or Christmas, most people don’t donate or get access to any donation information most of the time in a year.
Donation is "complicated"
People think that donation is a very complicated thing that needs effort and time becuase of not knowing the process. Moreover, most of the time, they can’t confirm whether their donation or donated items really go to the people who are in need.
People are not willing to download apps for donation:
We have also found that people are reluctant to download any additional apps just for donation. They prefer some features in apps they already have.
From interview, we found out that customers of grocery stores and restaurants usually have limited chances to donate directly. Donations are mostly done by grocery stores and restaurants themselves. So we summarized these three main problems:
Therefore our goal was to make donation more accessible and happened more often in our daily lifes, and at the same time to make doantion simple and straightforward.
FINDING THE RIGHT STAGE
Delivery apps are the bridges
Thru user research, we also found that the touchpoint for digital interaction was limited in the spaces of restaurants and grocery stores. So we took a step back and searched for related activities around these two places. We found that delivery apps were good platforms that involved payment and the idea of food and hunger that could make people emphasize with what Feeding America’s mission.
We believe the concept will work as it will be leveraging partnerships that Feeding America already has, such as with Uber and Doordash. Feeding America has also worked with Grubhub in the past for a campaign where Grubhub rounded up the change on all orders placed on its 8th birthday and donated it to Feeding America.
All stakeholders involved will be benefiting positively from this concept. Feeding America will gain both donations and awareness about the organization, restaurants and delivery apps will gain business and a positive brand image, and users will gain a sense of goodwill and the notion that they are making an impact.
Looking forward, our concept has been designed in a way that is app-agnostic, so there is the potential for it to be rolled out across numerous food delivery apps. In addition, we see the potential for it to be implemented beyond delivery apps and into various on-demand applications, as it is a point-based system, and point values can be assigned to any type of goods and services.
Therefore, to be more specific our design problem is:
How might we motivate delivery app users to donate more often in a way that is convenient, fast, and rewarding?
Where does donation opportunity live in the process of ordering delivery
We decided to use a point system for donation, delivery app users donate points and thru delivery app company these points will be converted to monetary donations. Out concept was to have a point dashboard where users could see the points they collected and donate from there. Also, the idea of donation and collecting will be introduced on the homepage and thru the ordering process.
How We Could Maximize Empathy
We've decided that users donate points instead of direct monetary donations. Previously, we decided that users could use points to choose a meal which Feeding America would send that to the people who need help. We believed that a real meal could make users better empathize with people who are in hunger. However, from client's feedback, we did not consider the business complexity behind.
I like the idea, really makes the impact real and tangible. However, from our point of view, the first thing we consider is who is going to provide the meal and how to distribute food to each community in a reasonable time period.
So combined with our additional interview insights that Feeding America preferred monetary donation and every one dollar users donate, Feeding America could donate 10 meals to people who need help. So we have users to donate points directly and at the same time showing an equation that 100 points are equivalent to 1 dollar which equals 10 meals.
In order to make the donation process faster, we have also designed a set of buttons for users to choose from.
How to make donation happen more often
In order to solve the problem of donation as a single-time event, we have this auto-donation feature that once turned on the app will automatically donate the points for users. Once users have a certain amount of points, for example, we set it to 200 here, The app will automatically donate 200 points which equals 2 dollars and 20 meals to be donated to Feeding America.
Since this is a like subscription-like service, it is important to put everything in front and show users that this auto-donation function is on and you can turn it off at any time. Also the feedback from Feeding America, it was important to show the brand of Feeding America at first.
A: List View
SHOW THE IMPACT
From interviewing both users and Feeding America, we found that people love to see the impact they made. So we have these two ways of showing the real impact of donation points. One just shows the conversion between points and the number of real meals. The other way is a community impact page where show users in a month how the city you located in is impacted by Feeding America.
Homepage with donation promotion
Order summary with points
Account Page with Donatenow page access
Check the interactive prototype from Figma!
White Labelling Design
Design for Scalability
The design I showed in this project is based on UberEats. However, since our client is Feeding America, I hope our solution could scale that Feeding America could use for any other partnership, for example, Doordash and Postermates.
So the design principle I implemented here is about simplicity and flexibility so that we could easily change the style to fit the brand of another company that Feeding America wants to partner with.
01: Opportunity area might be a step away.
At the beginning of this project, we focused on finding opportunity areas around grocery stores and restaurants. But the touchpoint for digital interaction was limited. Then we took a step back and saw from a bigger picture to find out more activities around these two places which we found delivery apps could be one. So take a step back and think out of the box.
02: Business consideration makes a good design better.
As a designer who worked on a project for a certain client, you have to consider things in real-world situations. How your design is related to the business and how is the business influence your design. Since you have to talk to the manager and the boss who put more attention to the business value, take this in mind or your design would not be as practical or valuable as you think.