Innovating a Way to Learn About the Complex U.S. Food System

Union of Concerned Scientists

How might we inform and empower consumers to make decisions impacting our food system?

Our food system is complex and broken. The challenge for us in this project was to discover ways to not only inform consumers about how the choices they make contribute to the system, but find ways to empower them to take action. With the team at the Union of Concerned Scientists we asked, “What if we use the everyday experience of grocery shopping as a way to create context and inform consumers about our food system?” We designed and created a digital platform that replicated the online shopping experience to present consumers with information and how their decisions impact not only food, but also workers and marginalized communities.

Design Research

We started the work by working directly with the Union of Concerned Scientists to deep our understanding and analysis of the food system and how it impacts communities. We developed a working framework that further informed our design direction.

Web Design

We took this analysis to begin thinking more creatively and collaboratively with the union. We first started with developing journey maps and wireframes to better understand the expectations of consumers. We also developed concepts to establish the overall style and design language to complete the designs. What was completed was an informative and engaging experience for users to learn about the complexities of our food system through something they were already familiar with–online shopping. We provided actionable ways for them to get involved and share their knowledge with their own peers.

What's next

Optimizing the Design Language for a Research and Resource Development Institute

National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment