2019 | Earthday 365

Sustainable Design

Bringing sustainability to the restaurant industry of St. Louis.

Green Dining Finder is a location-based app for Earthday365 that helps people find sustainable restaurants in St. Louis. This app provides a full picture of the sustainability practices of validated restaurants with ratings for different categories such as energy and water conservation.

Code with a Cause

Wanting to take on new challenges and keep my design skills sharp, I started searching for a new project. That’s when I stumbled upon Code for a Cause—a 48-hour hackathon focused on benefiting non-profits who don’t have the resources available to hire tech teams.

The non-profit I chose to help was Earthday 365. Their goal from the hackathon was to build a mobile app that allows restaurant diners and their club members to find the restaurants that they audit and certify for sustainability.

Defining the Minimum Vialbe Product

The project statement Earthday365 outlined was ambitious for a weekend of work, to say the least. Given that the team was only made up of Earthday365 volunteers, one developer, and myself, we needed to limit the scope of this project to something we could build in a weekend.

Being the only designer on the team, I was responsible for determining the vision of what we could build in one weekend, iterating and collaborating with the team on high-fidelity mockups, and building a rich prototype for the developer to reference.

Iterative Design

The original design was heavily based on the outdated web tool Earthday365 was hosting. While it was great for putting together a flow and outlining the touch points, it fell a little short in terms of design aesthetic.

To make up for this shortcoming, I took another pass at the design and created something that was much more aligned with what users expect from a native mobile app.

Challenges of a Hackathon

Even though we tried to limit the scope and features to something we could achieve in a single weekend, the team and I were unsuccessful. We managed to get very close to a working product, however, quality assurance testing, bug fixing, and the submission process of getting into the app store prevented us from delivering within the constraints of our timeline.

Since the hackathon, the team has continued to contribute on an ongoing basis. We still plan to see the project through and deliver the working product. As it stands, the project is complete, but the release has been delayed due to COVID-19.

©2023 Tyler Renfro