an end-to-end mobile app to eliminate food waste + eliminate hunger
Information Architecture
Branding and Identity
Visual Design


This is a UX case study for an end-to-end mobile app developed for a food waste reduction non-profit organization - Kai. This was conducted as a project for my coursework in Designlab UX Academy.  

Kai’s mission is to eliminate food waste and hunger. They aim to serve businesses in the food industry (restaurants, hotels, grocery stores, churches, for private functions, and more) with an app that allows them to easily connect and distribute their excess food to those who need it, in a timely, safe, and easy way. 

Kai currently has a local (small) scale system of drivers and trucks, in Chicago, but the organization wants to scale up and automate their process.
Additionally, the app will be branded and tailored for ease of use and repeat use.

My role

I conducted research into the problem space and developed an understanding of the pain points of potential users of Kai, focusing in this first iteration on the needs of food surplus donors. I designed the mobile app, branding and UI elements in line with the client’s mission and identity.


80 hours, 4 weeks


Research Goals

  1. Who are the key  stakeholders/clients in the food industry? (Who will be donating food? Who will be distributing food?)
  1. What are the unique needs of respective clients (food industry clients and food distributors)
  1. Understand the laws and regulations that govern food donation

Research Methodologies*

Secondary/Market Research and Competitor Analysis re/food waste, existing competitors, needs and practices of potential clients, pains + gains around current food donation practices

*Since this case study is hypothetical, I did not have direct access to stakeholders in the food industry (donors) or in food banks (recipients). In a more extensive, real-world case, I would have conducted interviews with a range of stakeholders from each of these categories, as well as members of Kai, including its drivers 

Define the problem space.

The following are conclusions drawn about the problem space, based upon my initial research:

  • Competitors: Meal Connect (Feeding America), Transfernation, Food Donation Connection (for profit)

  • Barriers to food donation adoption: Misunderstanding/ignorance about the legal protections that cover safe food donations made in earnest (The Emerson Good Samaritan Act), concern about negative brand impact, unawareness of tax rebate benefits available to donors.

  • Kai’s value proposition: The strongest and most similar competitor- Meal Connect, is a leader in terms of UI and IA design, but lacks Kai’s pick-up/drop-off service. This is a key value proposition that Kai can offer participating donors/recipients.

User Personas

Following my research, I developed two initial user personas to distill my research into potential users/use cases:

Feature Roadmap

Next, I developed the project goals, considering developer and business needs alongside design. I also prioritized feature development in the form of a feature roadmap.