The UK is producing 18 million tonnes of waste every year, and 40% of food ends
up in a landfill site, sitting idle and unusable. During its stay in landfills,
it will decompose and produce methane, a greenhouse gas contributing to climate
change. Undoubtedly, there is a negative impact on the environment. One-third
of food waste comes from producers and supply chain, one third from retailers,
and a third of households together combined contribute to the tremendous amount
of waste just within the UK. The food industry sector alone wastes 1 million
tonnes of food every year at a cost over £2.5 billion. It contributes to 1.3
million meals or one in six meals served. In today’s economy, businesses and
homes are encouraged to participate in a more sustainable way of living and
reduce food waste.
The major project aims to design and develop a prototype for a food donation
platform, in the form of an app. The app will incorporate a method to connect
people who waste surplus food to those who need it, ultimately through
donation. It is a method to prevent edible food from ending up on landfill
sites. The food wasters may wish to give the food away at the end of the day at
considerably lower cost or even free of charge instead of disposing of it. The
other option for wasters is to send it to sustainable decomposition however a
better choice may be to distribute surplus to the needy to meet social
Smartphones are sold in double the number of personal computers in the current
market with an average smartphone user spending 30 hours monthly on more than
two dozen apps. The app market in the current market is enormous and
unstoppable with a prediction of being a $77 billion industry (Clifford, 2014).
Though the creation of a platform using, it should be accessible to a vast
range of users in the developed world.
1.3 Literature research plan
The literature search primarily aims to find the dilemma is food wastage and
the significant players who are trying to solve the situation. To understand
how my food donation app would be useful in saving the surplus food. I need to
be aware of what existing organisations are going and to what extent they are
saving meals from being wasted.
The studies start by considering the user-centred design and focuses on what
and how it is applied in interaction design. I will briefly look at the five
dimensions of interaction design. I will further consider existing Android apps
on the ‘Play Store’ and state how they are functioning to resolve hunger and
food wastage. The apps are categorised into two: for developed and developing
Before I can proceed to create an app: a platform for food donation, I need to
consider the food crisis and leading causes of food insecurity. A comparison
between global and local efforts to combat food wastage is given. This section
also discusses the commitments of the Leicester council in tackling food waste.
There is also information on who needs food and will be useful to understand
who to target the app.
Finally, in the last chapter, I will be considering the different stages of
developing an app prototype. Lastly, there will be a description of ‘Material
Design’ and how it will be useful in developing app prototype.
CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION TO USER-CENTERED DESIGN AND INTERACTIVE DESIGN
1.4 User Centred Design
User-centred design is a design philosophy and ultimately puts the user at the
centre of the design process. In UCD the designers understand user needs and
limitations. Designers make careful decisions when designing for an individual
or a group of individuals. Designers should have a deeper understanding of how
users engage and interact with products or applications, research and testing
are also required to achieve a sense of direction on user behaviour.
Cognitive psychology began in the 1960s. There was for the first-time emphasis
on ergonomic fit, which focused on a design fitting around a human body further
developed in cognitive fit which takes into consideration not only fit of the
body but also fit of the limitations of our senses, deductive ability and
memory. There was soon a new area of focus, computers, which lead to vast
interactions with design objects, the establishment of human-computer
interactions (HCI) lead to a whole new phase in design.