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Undergrad Capstone Project: Soulfull

Designed in alignment with the Harvesting Health design brief from the Royal Society of Arts awards.

Problem Statement: 

Design a product, system or service which uses sustainable food and farming to help improve people’s health or wellbeing.

My Role:

  • Key participant in ideation and brainstorming sessions
  • Spoke with stakeholders to conduct research and test ideas
  • Designed mockups, wireframes and several iterations of a prototype
  • Conducted usability testing with the prototype and made changes based on user feedback and observations of user interactions

Click here to view the live app prototype (best viewed on a mobile device) or continue scrolling to see my process.

Understanding The Problem

Why Harvesting Health?

My team and I choose the Harvesting Health brief because we wanted to challenge ourselves with something that was outside of our comfort zones. We also wished to develop a solution that could potentially make an impact on a large scale. Most importantly we are all very passionate about sustainability and the well being of others.

Initial Topic: A solution that evokes sustainability through education and community, to improve the wellbeing of minority groups (specifically, refugees).

Problem refugees are facing: Lack of livelihood and access to fresh produce.

How do we know there is a problem? Canada recently welcomed refugees from Syria so its a topic that has been talked about in the news a lot. This is a current problem that is occurring everywhere in the world and we have witnessed it through online research and first-hand experiences, for example when volunteering at a food bank.

Initial research question: How can we improve the wellbeing of minority groups through sustainable food?

Initial research plan: Conduct in-person interviews, Online research, Visit food banks, farms, refugees, stay-in homes

Research Goal: Place ourselves into the shoes of our target market to completely understand them

Defining The Problem

Research question Pivot #1: How can we diminish food insecurity in low-income families by reducing barriers to healthy and sustainable food?

Initial findings from interviews and online research: 

  • More than 850, 000 Canadians rely on food banks monthly (according to food banks Canada).
  • Some four million Canadians (about 12.7 % of households) experience some level of food insecurity.
  • 1 in 10 people in Halton region are food insecure

“We are in survival mode right now. We do what we can to keep the food banks open. We don’t have time to dream… So thank you for doing that for us.”
– Ken, Burlington Food Bank


Initial solution:

How Does This Solve The Challenge?

  • Targets four pillars that many low-income families need
    • Affordability
    • Convenience (nutritious recipes based on time)
    • Education(educating them on nutrition → sustainable)
    • Community (connecting other low-income families together, prevent the social stigma)

Why Does This Solve The Challenge?

  • It prevents low-income families to do the “hard part” of eating nutritiously on a limited budget
  • The solution is doing the “hard part” for them
  • By adding gamification and the loyalty aspect, the solution is changing the behaviour of low-income families and their views on nutritious food being affordable  

Problems: Distribution!

Design Journey:

Decide and Prototyping

After continuing with secondary research and conducting some more interviews, we pivoted on our idea slightly and created Soulfull.

Our solution eases distribution pains for small to medium farmers through a sales platform and centralized hub where farmers can drop off in-season produce. This fresh produces will then be boxed and delivered to local paying members of the Soulful platform.The key problem we identified is the distribution process small to medium-sized farms must partake in to get their food to buyers. These farmers spend their own time and money delivering produce to wholesalers, retailers and farmers markets which takes away form their work on the farmWe began our Process with extensive secondary research and interview with industry members. Our initial focus was on food insecurity in local families. However, we discovered that many small to medium sized farm owners are also considered to be low-income. We began to focus on the pan point of this target group and came up with several potential solutions. We pivoted our idea many times to get to where we are today.

Some Initial Wireframes:

Customer Interface
Farmer Interface

Usability Testing

I Met with 5 Users at the University of Waterloo’s Student centre, explained our idea, and let them work through our app wireframes.

Asked prompting questions such as:

  • What would your first action on this page be?
  • What are your impressions of this screen?
  • What would you expect or want to see if you clicked here?


  • See how users interact with our app and if they follow our intended workflow.
  • Understand how we can improve the workflow, layout, design etc.
  • Get users to point out any flaws.
  • Test if our idea is actually something users would purchase.

User Testing Results:

– CTA overlooked
– appeared as an advertisement
– Dense content layout
– Users would like to see images of products
– Imagery > Text
– Improve button proximity and CTA layout
– Include an order progress bar
– Clarify CTA text and wording
– Option to rate recipe after completed
– Inform consumer of some items they can expect to receive
– Users liked knowing where produce was coming from (Farm logos and names)
– Consider providing more video content and tutorials


Click here to view the live app prototype (best viewed on a mobile device)