Food For Thought App (Concept)

Food Not Bombs takes excess food donations from local grocers to cook and distribute meals. We a system that connects volunteers with food donors to easily integrate into their lifestyles.

  • For Food Not Bombs DC | American University Design Program
  • Type Mapping, Paper Prototyping
  • Exhibition 2017 American University Design Show
  • Time 3 months

The Problem

The United States wastes 1/3 of the food it produces. In grocery stores, a large quantity of its food products gets thrown out. We initially thought the solution was in the hands of just the grocers.

The Team

Myself, Milvia Herrera, and Julienne DeVita tackled this project in our Experience Design course at American University.

My Role

  • Conducted 1-on-1 user interviews
  • Created user scenarios and storyboards
  • Developed journey maps
  • Collaborated on app flows and wireframed prototypes


Field Interviews

Our original hypotheses: Oh, it must be the grocers' responsibility.

We interviewed DC Food Not Bombs volunteers and grocery store/restaurant employees to understand how the donation process worked.

We asked employees why their food donated.
We asked volunteers how food donations work.


We realized it is a two-sided problem and found alignments in failed donation processes.

Touchpoint Problems

  • 🔎❌Searching: don't know how to find each other or show/specify what is being donated
  • 📳❌Communication: cannot verify nor follow up that the donation will go to the volunteer
  • ⏰❌Time : difficult aligning on pickup times that works for both parties

The Concept

The app Food for Thought connects volunteers with food donors. It
allows volunteers to find food pick-ups that work with their availability, schedule
food pick-ups through the app, and and get directly in contact with donors.

Journeys and Flows

To-Be Journey Maps

It’s a two-person process

STEP 1: Donors – Post your food donations.
STEP 2: Volunteers – Find a donor that fits your needs. Send a pick-up request.
STEP 3: Donors: Accept their request and await the date.
STEP 4: Volunteers: When the time comes, head on over there

Granular app flows with exit paths

Testing & Iterating

User testing with paper prototypes showed us:

User Testing

  1. How can donors best see they have a pick-up request?

  2. When filling out request or post information, is all info needed?

  3. Users weren’t sure what to do next after making a post. Then what?

  4. Do donors having one-time posting vs weekly ones create confusion?