COLAB11 - Web App

Fruubie

A website designed to help individuals connect with others in their local community in order to share their extra homegrown produce and reduce food waste.


Problem Background  

Our customer is someone who enjoys gardening but has a hard time figuring out what to do with their excess produce.

Food waste has major environmental impacts, it causes the resources used to grow to go to waste and contribute to greenhouse emissions. We at Frubbie are trying to tackle this problem on a household level by addressing the needs of home gardeners. Many people enjoy gardening as a hobby and want to eat healthier.

However, after each harvest, they are left with an abundance of homegrown produce and are unsure what to do with it. Extra produce is usually wasted because it is not used.

The problem now is that there is no effective solution for home gardeners to advertise and distribute excess homegrown produce. There are many home gardeners nearby who have extra produce, but not everyone is aware of this. As a result, we are creating a design solution to connect the community while reducing food waste.

Problem Space - Our customer is someone who enjoys gardening but has a hard time figuring out what to do with their excess produce


By providing a platform for individuals to share their excess homegrown produce, they will reach a broader community of people who will put it to better use, resulting in less food waste. 

By solving the problem, we are trying to accomplish:

  • The extra homegrown produce will reach a wider community
  • Reduce food waste
  • Everyone in the community can enjoy healthy and organic produce
  • Some people may have difficulty approaching their neighbors for various reasons, and the platform provides a safe place for them to post their extra homegrown produce
  • People in need of food can claim it without feeling obligated to return the favor


Research Insights
& User Pain Points

  • As a home gardener, I want to share my extra produce with more people, so that it doesn't go to waste. 
  • As an environmental activist, I want to find locally grown produce near me, so I can reduce my carbon footprint
  • As a vegan person, I want to find accessible organic produce near me, so I can eat more healthily.


Feedback

The concept is really impressive. The login and register page is very easy to navigate. Adding a search bar for addresses would be helpful, and the small blurb on how to navigate using the map would come in handy. Measurement criteria could be made simpler - you can have 1 branch of cilantro, 3 limes, etc but you don't really weigh oranges, on the other hand, they could be in (ounces, lbs, kgs, etc.) or just numbers (3 oranges). 

The homepage is clear but it needs some description. Your location on the post after sharing the post doesn't make sense. Search your location can also use API, One less step for the user. It would be nice to have the pop-up screen actually on the individual page so I don't have to click a lot. What is the growing condition? It can mean a lot and would be helpful to know if I am buying a plant.


Landing on the Solution

A possible solution will be a platform for the users to connect with others by posting and claiming extra homegrown produce in their local community. This solution will require two users.

User A can share their extra homegrown produce with others by posting it on the platform. This will help user A in reaching out to a larger community that may be interested in their excess homegrown produce. User B can use the platform to claim any excess produce in their local area. This will help user B in saving money, eating healthier, and connecting with their neighbors. The solution will help to reduce food waste and connect users with their community.


Iterative Design Learnings

After we showcased our prototype to the users again, we learned that there is no perfect solution and we must listen to our users and always iterate the designs. 

Implementation Details 

Technical implementation

  • Where is it hosted? Fruubie will be hosted on Heroku

What is your tech stack?

  • Language: Python
  • Framework: Flask 
  • Database: MongoDB

Technical challenges

  • What was the hardest part of development? Aside from scoping being the hardest part, adding Google authentication and implementing geolocation would come next.
  • Does your app have any scaling issues? None. 


What are some key takeaways?

  • As it is difficult to work remotely, we made the effort to have time set aside to meet up periodically, allowing us to have the space to collaborate and update each other on our progress.

Future Steps

After doing our user interviews, we decided our product has a lot of scopes and the same lot of work to do. Collectively as a team, we have decided to work on it in the future and make it a household name when it comes to giving away free produce in the local community. We have a long way to go but we have just gotten started.

Team Learnings

Product Manager Learnings:

Utkarsh Bansal

  • It was my first time in a PM environment, it taught me a lot when it comes to working with different teams, managing your and team’s expectations
  • Communication is the key in my role, without which this journey could have gone sideways
  • Navigating through hiccups was made easy by keeping track of our weekly tasks and ensuring those goals are met

Designer Learnings:

Trang Nguyen

  • It was my first time working on a project with a Product Manager and Developers, and I realized that communication is the most important soft skill a Designer should possess. I learned how to communicate with my team members and articulate my design decisions. 
  • I also learned early on how to communicate with Developers in order to understand technical constraints and design a solution around them. 
  • This program taught me many valuable lessons and soft skills that I will use as a Product Designer, and I am grateful to have been a part of team Fruubie and Cohort 11.

Developer Learnings:

Samuel Madrigal

  • It was my first time working with new people I’ve never worked with before, not being able to know what their ways of thinking are or knowing what they are capable and incapable of are something that I never thought id consider until now.
  •  This was such a great learning experience and would do it all over again if I could. This program opened the doors to so many other ways of thinking that id never thought id think about so I will be forever grateful to be a part of this program.

Developer's Learnings:

Jeremy Gonzales

  • First time working in a cross-functional team 
  • Through teamwork and collaboration built a working product 
  • Furthered understanding of Flask and Python

Full Team Learning

Even though all of us are at different stages of life, we overcame multiple hurdles including schedules and managing expectations between each other but the key ingredient which made us reach the ending was communication. The learning curve was steep but the people made the journey easier.