locavored

Locavored is a personal project based on an idea I had to make cooking locally and supporting local farmers markets more accessible to busy urban professionals.

Problem

Food quality and sustainability is an ever-increasing priority for environmentally-conscious urban professionals. While the desire exists to cook dinner with sustainable ingredients from farmers markets, many busy young professionals find themselves eating out and struggle to eat as healthy or locally as they would like.

Solution

The app concept is that farmers partner with Locavored and package 'bundles' of seasonal ingredients for specific recipes, which the user orders through the app and picks up at his local farmers market.  The UX solution enhances and modernizes consumers' connection to local farmers and their produce, and simplifies the process of selecting, buying, and consuming in-season ingredients. It makes cooking locally an environmentally conscious, low-effort, high-reward experience.

A sampling:

My role

All aspects, including initial concept, research, information architecture, interaction, and visual design

Process

Understand the customer

One-on-one user interviews help me understand my target customers' lifestyles and priorities. I conducted 7 user interviews with young working professionals in Seattle. Some key takeaways were that these customers often don't cook because of 1) the planning required for ingredients, and 2) the time commitment of shopping locally and cooking a full meal.

Articulate the problem

With these insights, I articulated the problem statement I was trying to solve.

"Though the desire exists, cooking with local and sustainable ingredients is a time-consuming, disjointed process for urban, working professionals." 

Identify UX goals

From the results of my user studies, I articulated my UX goals:

  1. Provide a convenient, lightweight way for users to browse and buy seasonal ingredients

  2. Enhance users’ personal connection to local farmers and farms

  3. Provide instant feedback that makes the user feel rewarded for using the app to cook locally

Card sorting & Information architecture

To make sense of my content, I conducted an open card sort. This helped me create and validate logical groupings in my information architecture.

Wireframes and Prototyping

Below are some early wireframes that incorporated my UX goals.​ Wireframes helped me play with concepts without getting distracted by visual elements.

When I'd decided a structure and overall model through wireframe iterations, I began prototyping with slightly higher fidelity visuals. Below is an early prototype.

(Video)

Watching customers use the prototype on device, I could see how they navigate and discover actions, and hear their reactions to the app. This led to additional modifications like:

  • Visual updates: Customer feedback was that the circle theme made the app too visually monotonous

  • Pricing visibility: I had overlooked this. Though price was a smaller factor than prep time, it still needed to be visible on the Bundles home page

  • Recipe details: Previously, the Recipe page had its own segment in the nav bar. While browsing, users often intentionally skipped it, so I made it instead a drill-in at the bottom of the Ingredients page.

Interaction details

Here are details and rationale behind the final visuals and interactions.

Home screen (Bundles)
  • Neutral app chrome brings attention to colorful and engaging meal photos

  • Circles highlight the most crucial information for this target audience: time investment

  • Local regions are sufaced in recipe titles to bring a sense of familiarity and connection to nearby farms

Bundle page 1: Overview
  • Overview provides an engaging description and image of meal, and key details in a scannable list

Bundle page 2: Ingredients
  • Key information like origin and distance of ingredients are visible at a glance

  • Recipe entrypoint is de-emphasized while browsing, since it's not a top factor in purchasing the bundle

Bundle page 2: Ingredients overlay
  • Tapping on an ingredient invokes a modal overlay with a photo of the farmer, quote, and additional description. This increases transparency and establishes a more personal connection to the farm 

Bundle page 3: Buy
  • A map provides context to the user's farmers market selection

  • Though the user provides his default farmers market location in Settings, all partnering farms are displayed to make switching or exploring a new farmers market easy

Statistics
  • The Statistics page originated from the UX goal to make the user feel rewarded for using the app. Visualizations and comparisons remind the user of his positive environmental impact

Settings
  • "Add to Calendar" and "Send Reminder Alert" options complement my user's on-the-go lifestyles

Outcome

My final prototype tested well with customers. The next step would be to think further about the farmer experience and corresponding UX. 

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© 2020 by Ashwini Purohit