UX Case Study: A step in the right ideation

Anna Ptasińska
5 min readNov 24, 2023

As part of the IronHack Bootcamp, our first assignment was to solve a ‘wicked problem’ — and this is what we did.

Our team decided to work on a brief that asked us to conduct user research, ideate and solve how we could access local seasonal produce, while also fostering fair and honest relationships between producers and customers.

There are 3 main factors drive a sustainable model for agriculture and food:

  • It is profitable throughout (economic sustainability);
  • It has broad-based benefits for society (social sustainability); and.
  • It has a positive or neutral impact on the natural environment (environmental sustainability)

How to implement these 3 factors into our app had to be mapped out.

User Research

We decided to utilise the Design Thinking Double Diamond process to fuel our innovation. It took us some time to discuss the important elements to track and implement into our wireframes. Starting from scratch, we decided to set goals and objectives for our work that identified a problem and solution that worked for both local consumers and local, sustainable farmers and small-business supermarkets.

Through the process of empathy mapping, we decided that each member of the group should conduct user interviews. These interviews gave us insight into what consumers sought when buying local and sustainable produce. We then conducted secondary research to identify the following factors that drive to purchase choice:

1.) Price

2.) Findability — how easy is it exactly to find locally-produced goods

3.) Carbon footprint and farm-to-table journey

The cost for living sustainable diets has been deemed to be more expensive, according to a Broken Plate report from The Food Foundation. This report highlighted that the rise in food quality and its price disproportionally affects poor people.

It was hard to decide what USP we could offer and have this could be a UVP for customers — this is how we started to tackle the concept of greenwashing and unpack it for our users.

Problem Statement

After the research process, we came up with the conclusion that our app needs to help users who are environmentally conscious — or who identify as foodies — to discover ways to purchase from local, eco-friendly producers who provide a variety of seasonal, locally sourced items. These consumers are people who want to obtain insight into the sustainability aspects of a product, such as its origin, seasonality, cultivation methods, and farm-to-table journey.

“Finding products that are truly sustainable is difficult”

“I don’t really know what sustainability means”

“Understanding the labels and ingredients of a package takes time and I would like access to this prior to buying the produce and cultivation methods prior to visiting the store”

“I want to buy better seasonal products — as well as understand their import/export carbon footprints.”


These solutions were mapped out to define our user journey.

Through empathy mapping and an affinity diagram, we mapped out the most crucial pain points for our user — combining this with the user journey map, we identified the main pain points of the user: accessibility, price, findability, knowledge/information about why the producer or labels are sustainable.

From there, we created user flows for the application (as seen below), which helped us come up with the ideation for the app.

The outcome

We created an app that lets users purchase from local producers/farmers and supermarkets within their region by adding their zipcode. The app opens up on a products page, and once the user chooses a product, this then opens up a map where they are available. This then showed local supply within their region on a map. A card showcased information about the producer their products and informed users of the seasonality of the products they searched for. You could learn more about the producer, their products, and why they are sustainable to inform users of better buying habits and address their pain points.

Once you add items into a cart, you could add a discount coupon code (depending on the marketing strategy of the app), and then click to proceed. A signup page, or continue as guest option shows up. We put the sign up here so that users know what the application offers in hopes of a low bounce rate and increase the chances of a high number of downloads. The continue as a guest was included so that users could have a whole experience before having to sign up and to avoid abandonment. Forty-seven per cent is the total number of users willing to sign up before a purchase. After that, users can see all their items, confirm their checkout, and choose delivery and payment options.

We then conducted user testing and added extra features to the page, like seasonality badges and easy-to-read icons in the sustainability information pages, to help users better understand why a product is sustainable. We then updated this in the wireframes.

To view the final product, please see the prototype below:

Next Steps

  • Possbility in the future to purchase from more than one farmer/producer in one shopping experience
  • Introduce a user community: people can give tips on how to be more sustainable (growing veggies at home), share cooking sustainably with recipes and give recommendations of local producers in the area
  • Price history graphs — to know how prices increase/decrease over seasons
  • A B2B strategy that will help local producers/farmers and smaller businesses selling the products to onboard

If you have any pointers or comments, please feel free to leave them in the comments section ꜜ😊 👍🏽



Anna Ptasińska

Freelance Journalist, Video Editor & UX Designer | Living in Berlin, Germany | Interests in culture, art, society and the politics of it all.