Meals on Wheels Colorado has many dedicated volunteers that deliver frozen and hot meals to over 2,000 seniors in the Denver Metro Area and beyond. With Volunteers of America depending on these volunteers to address the issues of isolation and hunger, VOA must enhance volunteer experience of using paper forms by transforming them into an easy to use mobile application.
UI component creation
The Meals on Wheels mobile app designed for Volunteers of America aims to streamline the meal delivery process, but currently faces challenges. Volunteer confusion arises from acronyms on the route sheet, hindering effective communication. The route sheet lacks clear delivery instructions, contributing to potential errors. Furthermore, the absence of organized addresses forces volunteers to navigate the city inefficiently, wasting time and resources. Lastly, communication hurdles emerge as volunteers struggle to reach the Meals on Wheels coordinator when necessary, highlighting a need for improved connectivity and support mechanisms through a mobile app.
I began the process of research through auditing the current method of how volunteers gain information about where they are going. I also followed volunteers and did a ride along to see what pain points they encounter during the meal delivery process.
Throughout the interview process, a common complain amongst all the volunteers were that the coordinators were unreachable. There were certain buildings volunteers could not enter because they needed a pin to get in. Volunteers also commented on not knowing what meals to give to certain clients, no notes on clients therefore volunteers do not know who they are except for their name, and the addresses provided sometimes lead to the wrong building and there were no ways to confirm it. Affinity maps and cartesian plots were created. After conducting the interviews. Personas were created as well as their user journeys.
Daily Map Sheet
It was essential to create a user flow to better understand any hiccups our user may have when they use the new app.
Current User Flow with Sheets
We started off the the current user flow: users with the sheet only. Through understanding the process it took just to get the user on board with volunteering with Volunteers of America, I learned that this method takes a long time and it is on the MOW managers to take some time to initiate the set up and get the users. going.
New User Flow with App
In the user interviews, volunteers mentioned using either google maps or Apple maps. We took a look at several different apps that can include multiple stops and shows approximately how long the routes will take.
Route4Me allows for users to plan their route while optimizing these routes which saves time for the user. OptimoRoute is a delivery route planning app that are used primarily for businesses such as eCommerce, food delivery, and healthcare. Circuit is another delivery route planning app which allows users to plan for multiple drivers.
The personas were created based off of two types of volunteers that were interviewed: veteran volunteers who have over a year of experience and new volunteers who have less than a month of experience. The interviews were conducted via telephone and volunteers at Meals on Wheels were asked a series of questions pertaining to their experience volunteering, their interpretation of the route sheet, and what pain points the users experience during the whole process of delivering the meals.
Styles for the Meals on Wheels app were created based on the Style Guide and Graphic Usage Standards created by Meals on Wheels. Components were built out following Material Design while still honoring the Meals on Wheels style guide.
"Trade Gothic is a hard-working, semi-condensed sans-serif font family that is used for all Meals onWheels body copy and detailed information. This font is great for legibility at small sizes and incontent-heavy areas. Bryant is a rounded, geometric sans-serif typeface. It is well-suited for a variety of applications but is used for headlines and tag lines in the Meals on Wheels America brand language" -MOW
"Our color palette was chosen to reflect the character and spirit of our brand. The primary palette asserts our energy, our sense of urgency and the optimism found in the goodness of our services." - MOW
I started to create low fidelity mockups and then started to piece together what matters in the app and what things can be left out and were unnecessary. These features presented below are what we considered important and key to the volunteers delivering meals with success.
The route overview provides users with a preview of the route and provides the most optimal and efficient route in order to save time.
The client profile presents users with a photo of the client's home as well as what type of meal is being delivered to them. The user is able to confirm if the food was delivered or not.
Users are able to pick a substitute route if those are available and if they have the time to take on these routes.
While this app did not go into production, I appreciated the process of doing full circle UX. Being able to participate first hand and to see the volunteers truly love what they do and care for the community motivated me to bring on a product that can be used with ease and make the volunteers day just a little bit easier.