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Food Bank for NYC


Foodbank NYC is a non-profit organization that encourages city residents to donate extra food to people in need. It also holds events with a theme of "fight against hunger". The organization has its website but no mobile apps available. 

As a junior year UX project, Foodbank NYC app is designed during the Covid-19 pandemic, aimed at solving the immediate food shortage caused by the virus in the Great New York area by improving the fluency of the supply chain. Users can receive event updates, schedule a donation, and check available drop-off spots around the city. By enabling mobile functions, users can donate for love at any time, anywhere. 

Role  Student

Tool  Figma, Xmind

Date  Dec 2020

Instructors  Lydia White, Allan Yu

Responsibilities UX Design, User Research, Wireframing, Prototyping


New York City was deadly desolate in 2020, with an incredibly high unemployment rate of 15.5%...

Suddenly after a fierce worldwide pandemic, everything was shut down in 2020. Schools and companies turn to remote mode: students and workers stay at home. Consequently, the overall unemployment rate had increased rapidly since the pandemic and, according to News10's data, reached its climax in April at about 15.5%. Therefore, families suffered from hunger due to food shortages. 

Food Bank NYC was a non-profit organization based in New York City that gathered extra food from local supermarkets and cafes and sent the collected food to people in need. It seemed to be the organization's biggest challenge of the year.

Data demonstrated that Foodbank NYC's work was important in saving the city.

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Food insecurity raises rapidly as a consequence of COVID-19. New York City is a storm center. As a result, the number of starving people is doubled (2000 to 4050) because of unemployment. Apparently, most food stations are running out of food since the pandemic doesn’t give Foodbank a reaction time. 48% of people finding help are turned away due to shortages of food during the pandemic, which is doubled from before the pandemic.

Source: World Food Programme (WFP’s forecast), Foodbank’s research report ‘fighting more than covid-19”



Wear user's shoes...

Contextual Inquiry

I learned during Covid-19, Food Bank NYC's food supply couldn't meet the increasing demand.

Survey Methodology

I first sent surveys to both donors and staff. Based on the results, I delivered interviews with some participants. 

Survey Findings

Most donors thought the donation process was complicated, while staff complained about schedule conflicts because donors come at unpredictable times.


Data Visualization

I collected data on the number of donations and donated food weight in lbs per month. In order to compare data before Covid-19 to during Covid-19, the time frame was set to June-December 2019 and March-September 2020, respectively. 

Data Finding

During Covid, both numbers of donations and donated food weight per month increased significantly. The average increase in donated food weight is 56.6%; and the average increase in number of donations per month is 60.3%. 

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Fig1. Increase in number of donations per month, before to during Covid-19

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Fig2. Increase in donated food weight (lbs) per month, before to during Covid-19


To help beneficiaries, donors bring food to the staff at designated sites. Staff will pack up food so it is ready to pick up.







Donate food and volunteer

Feel grateful to donors

Organize and send out food

User Persona · Donor

User Persona · Staff


User Journey

I set donors the main users because both problems, [donation process] and [schedule conflict], can be solved from the donor's perspective. 


What user problems are discouraging donors from social goodwill? 

Through these user researches, I determined three main user problems and corresponding UX strategies.

The goal of these UX strategies is to improve the user experience from various aspects, including: donation, scheduling, and community. 


The current website has a complex donation process, which might discourage users.

Ineffective donation

Time conflicts

Most staff works in local restaurants while processing donations at the same time.

Lack of empathy

Users feel disconnected from others while participating in charity events.











01 Friendliness

The donation process is made a lot easier to motivate donors. Users can also post on social media to spread influence after donation.

02 Scheduling

The new scheduling function empowers Food Bank NYC because it helps both donors and staff better manage their time.

03 Interaction

To encourage a sense of community, the fundraising function is improved to connect donors through social media platforms.

To encourage a sense of community, the fundraising function is improved to connect donors through social media platforms.


Mobility brings friendliness.

Try it yourself!

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