Indonesia wastes about 300 kilograms of food per person every year, making it among one of the largest food wasters in the world, Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) data revealed.
At first I was quite shocked about it, knowing that my dearest country is one of the largest food wasters in the world. It’s such a big problem that relatively been paid little attention to. How can we simply let so much food go waste when lots of people around us go hungry everyday? Not to mention the environmental impact of the food waste. Thus, after thinking about it for awhile, I thought this would be an interesting topic to explore, so why not give it a try?
What can be done to tackle this food waste problem in Indonesia?
At first i did some research of what causes this food waste in the first place, some of the articles said that it happens mainly at the production stage due to insufficient skills, natural calamities, lack of proper infrastructure and poor practices. While on the other side, food waste can also happen due to oversupply in markets. Retailers also tend to reject a lot of food because it doesn’t conform to their quality and aesthetic standards. According to FAO reports, nearly one-third of all food produced in the world for human consumption does not find its way to our tables. Can you imagine that?
Once this food gets to the landfill, it then generates methane, a greenhouse gas 23 times as potent as CO2 in trapping heat within our atmosphere. Which can cause global warming and climate change.
Back to the point, so how can we tackle this food waste problem?
To stop food waste, changes have to be brought in at every stage of the process — from farmers and food processors to supermarkets and individual customers. As a first step, priority should be given to balancing production with demand. This essentially translates to lesser use of natural resources to produce food, which is not needed.
Secondly, more effort should go into developing better food harvesting, storing, processing and distributing processes. If oversupply happens, steps should be taken to redistribute the food or to divert it to people who are in need.
Third, Large restaurants, supermarkets, retail outlets and individual consumers can also reduce their food footprint by identifying where waste occurs and taking steps to tackle that food waste.
Aha! moment: So why not we create an app that connect all of these food retailers who have oversupply products/ surplus food with customers who want to help reduce this food waste? So that’s how I came up with this idea as the core problem. After that, we (as a team) deep dived into the design thinking framework and discuss about our future plan.
Process and Timeline
Stage 1: Emphaty
During this stage, we try to emphatize deeply with the people we’re designing this for, so that we can understand their needs, thoughts, emotions and motivations. There are several ways to ‘put yourself in their shoes’. In this case, we chose in-depth interviews (IDI) with our users which we done 3 things in general, from choosing the Research Goals, Research Objectives and Research Questions.
Implementation of food rescue app in Indonesia.
Understanding Indonesian’s awareness and stereotypes about surplus food and their experience in buying foods online.
From the process above, we’ll get a deeper understanding of the people we’re designing this for. In hope that we’re solving the right problem. It’s also very helpful to adopt the mindset of a beginner. Which means we always left our own assumptions and experiences behind when making observations.
Before we started this projects, there’re some of the competitors solving similar problem in or outside Indonesia. So we take a look at those competitors:
Karma: an app that connects restaurants, cafes and grocery stores with users eager to purchase unsold food at a lower price. (Available in Sweden, UK and France)
DamaGO: an app that help reduce food waste by helping retailers and farms sell their unsold food and produce harvest at a discount before it gets thrown away. (Available in Korea and Indonesia)
Surplus: an app which can enable customers to buy meals from food-retailers who have surplus food/haven’t sold at the day with 50%. (Available in Indonesia)
All of these competitors have one common solution to food waste, which is to help retailers to reduce their surplus foods/products and let customer buy it in discount price. Quite an interesting business model that connects both users. Plus, there’s an environmental impact if this idea happens successfully. It’s a Win-Win solution!
But wait, if all of these scenario works seamlessly, why this apps (especially Damago & Surplus) not popular in Indonesia? below is the story of finding it out.
Stage 2: Define
From result of in-depth interviews, we compiled all points and classified accordingly to their similarity. Then we found some findings & insights. This helped us brainstorm, develop potential ideas, and gave a clear view of what was important to users and what was not, while keeping in mind the objectives.
Defining the Problem
- Customer mindset shifted because of food-delivery apps, People want to buy foods through apps because of the convenience (means they don’t have to go to the restaurant and pick it up by themselves). While most of the food rescue app only provide self pick-up service.
- They like the idea of discount/promo coupons to get cheaper foods in food delivery apps. But too much terms & conditions makes it complicated.
- They often not end up getting the food promos because of limited slots available. They want to stay up-to-date with the newest food promos.
- They want to help reduce the food waste, but sometimes they don’t necessarily need the food, or proximity to the food retail stores is too far away.
- People tend to think that surplus food is left-over food.
- Limited information of the restaurants where they buy foods in. They need to know if it’s halal or vegetarian.
- Low awareness of food loss and waste in Indonesia.
Designing the Solution
- Provide delivery services for food rescue app.
- Food rescue app with discount surplus food.
- Notification feature which will remind them every time their favourite restaurants have surplus foods with discount price.
- Food stock update in real time so that user can check how many foods are available.
- Donation feature, so they can help to buy the surplus food and donate it to people in needs.
- Review system in which they can check the quality of the foods they want to buy.
- Food Label for every restaurants, whether it’s halal or vegetarian.
- Digital Badge/Trophy to encourage and motivate the users in reducing food waste.
Stage 3: Ideate
This logo should feel environmental friendly and have something related to food, as the goal of this product is to tackle food waste problem in Indonesia. So I choose earth vector and plate with fork and spoon beside it. I also applied some table etiquette elements inside the logo to make it more meaningful.
Then for the name, I came up with something simple yet quirky. JagaBumi — “to take care of the earth.”
watch over something so as not to cause harm; prevent (danger, trouble, loss)
the planet where humans live; world; universe.
And finally i combined and simplified it into ‘JagaBumi’ which is an indonesian words of ‘to take care of the earth’.
By using the solutions from brainstorming session, then we proceeded to create a sitemap, where we arranged and organised all the features and overall navigation of this app.
Then, I started the wireframe process with some quick sketches to establish the overall layout and content flow.
The overall layout will be minimal and straightforward to provide users a seamless and easy experience while using the apps. Rescuing food shouldn’t be that hard.
Stage 4: Prototype
More detail explanation of the UI design
Try the prototype here:
Stage 5: Test
Usability Testing (UT)
I approached some of participants directly using Zoom meeting for the Usability Testing, this will help validate the design whether it’s useful, understandable and easy to use. According to the participants, the flow of this app is really straightforward. They didn’t find any real blocker or difficulty when doing the UT tasks, but they did give some inputs for future improvements.
So that’s all the process from defining a problem to creating a prototype. Personally I learned a lot during this process. Thanks to the WiroSableng team and Binar Academy for this opportunity! I would definitely say that I enjoy doing this so so much! Also thank you for reading this article. Hope that these case study can be useful. Below, i want to share with you some of my learnings during this project.
- Know your scope. There are many frameworks and tools that can be used to facilitate the brainstorming and design thinking process, but that does not mean you have to use every single tools. It’s all depends on scope of the project and team.
- Set the priority. We wish we can do all the fancy features we can ever think of! But sometimes the timeline doesn’t say so. So it’s really important to set the priority and expectation at the very first (especially if you’re working on a team).
- And the most important thing, emphatize! Try to understand what’s the concern of your users, dig deeper and find the root problems. Sometimes the opportunity lay behind the stones.
Any feedbacks or suggestions are very welcomed for the improvement of this product. You can leave comments below or reach me personally by email :)
— Thankyou for reading!