Harvest Project

Academic Case Study

12 Weeks, Fall 2018

Provide high school students with resources to be active leaders in the North Shore community.

Le Labo

Overview

In a team of 4, this project was an academic case study for a senior user experience design course at Simon Fraser University. Over the course of 13 weeks, my team and I had the opportunity to research Harvest Project using interviews, ethnography, and participatory workshops to help identify and alleviate pain points within the organization.

My responsibilities primarily entailed conducting interviews, co-leading product design decisions including the visual direction and copywriting within the mobile application, and prototyping the user interface. I focused on designing the flow of recording donations. This included the interface layouts, interactions, and animations. In addition, I also ensured that the copywriting matched the tone of Harvest Project.

Context

Harvest Project is a community-based urban relief organization serving the North Shore (North + West Vancouver) since 1993. They work to help fight poverty by supporting their community members back to health and stability. They do this by providing one-on-one counselling, food, clothing, and other resources to their clients at no cost.

Harvest Project's Mission

Research Interviews

From our initial interview with the Development Officer of Harvest Project, we discovered that they currently work very closely with students but have a difficult time engaging the students during their presentations.

Kevin Quote

Through other interviews with staff, volunteers, and residents of the North Shore, we identified three major insights:

01

Many volunteers and donors first hear about Harvest Project through their children or friends in schools where they participated in their annual food drives.

02

Most volunteers thought that Harvest Project was a food bank, and only fully understood the breadth of their programs once they visited the organization.

03

Harvest Project continues to build its network of connections with schools through their class presentations and food drives.

Ethnography

We also had the opportunity to visit a local high school along with two staff members from Harvest Project where they presented their organization’s mission and values through a PowerPoint presentation and a short activity with the class. Here, we observed:

01

Students lacked engagement during the presentation, as we saw some students sleeping or getting distracted with phones.

02

They were engaged with the activity but it didn’t clearly connect back to their organization enough for students to feel motivated to participate in the campaigns or be involved.

Harvest Project Opportunity

Journey

With the opportunity in mind, we identified the donation process of highschool students within schools. In creating an experience map in the perspective of senior students that we interviewed, we were able to identify major pain points and inform ourselves in determining where to intervene.

Harvest Project Journey Map
Before Donating
During Donating

Framing

How might we externally simulate Harvest Project’s community impact in order to inspire high school students to become active advocates?

Leadership Workshop

Through reflecting on our process and combining key insights, our final design consists of two components to the overall strategy: a leadership workshop for student council students (prior to a campaign) and a mobile application that motivates students to donate and extends Harvest Project’s involvement beyond the food donation drive.

Leadership Workshop
Activity Cards
Storybook
Badges

Long Term Considerations

Looking forward, we saw this entry point as a long-term investment. With this strategy, Harvest Project will be able to devote more time and resources towards the workshop such as training their many volunteers to conduct the workshop. Then, when enough rapport has been established with the volunteers, they could run the workshops. This would allow the workshops to be conducted more frequently and allow the limited number of staff members to focus on other aspects of the organization.

Our Harvest

In order to inspire high school students to be active advocates for Harvest Project, we proposed a mobile application that allows students to input and track their donations as an entry point to the organization.

Donating

When students donate, they receive feedback through the app, such as “You’ve contributed to 3 meals!” One of the main goals of this app is to make it explicit for students to understand the impact that they're making with the donations that they just made. The feedback allows students to see the impact right away.

Acknowledging Fallacies

Through the workshop, the leadership council students are set as the administrators of the mobile app to monitor and confirm that the inputted data is correct. This is done to avoid data fallacy issues and to make sure that the app is operating with the correct data at all times.

Gamifying Progress

The personal achievements through badges and progress bars are just another way to motivate students to participate in the campaign. Simple illustrations and friendly copywriting allows for approachable content that students can easily understand.

Extending to the Community

Harvest Project can notify students through the app whenever they have certain opportunities, such as volunteer positions, or specific donation items in need. They can also directly write within the app to share stories. This is to introduce Harvest Project through various perspectives that high school students would not be able to see otherwise, keep Harvest Project and students connected all year round, and create experiences beyond the mobile app.

Providing Value

In connecting Harvest Project with schools more strategically, we are able to empower students to be active leaders and volunteers within the Harvest Project community. Students are also able to acquire leadership skills while expanding the Harvest Project community through creative solutions.

Additionally, this design strengthens the understanding between students and their idea of Harvest Project by making their impact tangible. Through visual representations and friendly copywriting, students are more likely to notice the impact and feel empathetic.

Reflection

Over the course of this project, I learned how vital qualitative research methods are in a design process in how they greatly inform rationales and design decisions. This project also provided me with the opportunity to practice speaking to real clients and actively listening to what they truly think.

Our proposal aims to provide high school students with the resources and opportunities they need to become active leaders within the North Shore.

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