Re-seed is a web platform that aims to solve the food waste problem that affects the urban and modern world, by addressing the lack of connection between companies with surplus food and social associations that help people in need.
The platform facilitates daily interactions between social institutions and food businesses, and monitors the whole process from the supplier donating surplus food to the final receivers.
Marzee Labs was selected by the Social Challenges Innovation Platform project to deliver a solution to this social and environmental challenge. We received a grant from the European Commission to develop a Minimum Viable Product (MVP). We worked in close collaboration with La Maison des Familles - a social institution helping families in Tournai, Belgium.
The first step we took was to create a brand that would translate the purpose of the platform and make people relate to the overall mission. Our brand specialist wanted to pass happiness as the overall emotion for users to feel when interacting with Re-Seed platform. Soft shapes, calming colours, happy faces and an uplifting tone of voice. The brand guidelines stated logo, colors, typography, print behaviour, and gave some insights to web behaviour.
While the team was working on branding, the product team was dedicated to creating the whole idea of the product. We sat down with the main user of the platform, the social organisation responsible for launching the challenge (La Maison des Familles). We had a first design thinking workshop with them to discuss their challenges and needs, and to be sure the solution we were developing made sense for them and responded to their needs. We had the chance to speak with different stakeholders working with them, both internal and external. The results of the workshop and a series of interviews and interactions with stakeholders (User Research) were translated into key elements for the product: main users, flows and processes, data structure, and the platform pages and dashboards.
The web design and iconography for the platform followed the brand guidelines. We decided to develop mockups for both the institutional website and for the platform itself. For the institutional website, we first worked on a document with the text structured for the site and then worked on the mockup. The colors, typography, images and icons followed the brand book and the product message we wanted to pass. For the platform itself, the design process followed a differently structured line of work due to its complexity. The first step was to develop wireframes for the main pages, so we knew the components we had to design and be mindful of the User Experience during this process. This step was developed in close collaboration with the product managers that had the overview of how the user should interact with the platform and what was the main features and flows the different pages should have. The results of the service design activities were very important during this phase. Afterwards, our design team started mocking up the pages of the platform. This was an ongoing process throughout the platform implementation and we would go back to the wireframes every time we felt we needed to change something.
This step focused mainly on setting up a Drupal base theme. Here we started implementing the components we defined in the previous stage into HTML markup and CSS styling.
We have decided to use Drupal 8 to build the Re-Seed platform due to its architectural solidity. Drupal logic was key to facilitate the creation of all the content hierarchy that we imagined for Re-Seed platform and the user roles and management needed for all the different stakeholders that would interact with the platform. Additionally, Drupal made it easier to tackle the level of complexity needed for the platform in terms of data processing, the many dashboards to showcase data and the different forms. It's also important to mention that the Drupal multilingual feature facilitated the inclusion of two languages to the Re-Seed platform: English and French. We managed the project via GitHub using SCRUM methodology, organising work in sprints and releases. We were able to share the progress of the platform with the final client and gather feedback during the development process to improve the platform.
After all the interactions with our main client/user, once we had the platform ready to use we shared with them a complete Guideline of how to use the platform. More than that, we organized a personal meeting with them for training the staff that would use the platform. We used platform.sh to host the production site. This enabled us to have separate work environments for previewing and testing during its development and evolution.