Kai, an end to end mobile application connecting food donors to those in need.



Strategy, Research, UX Design, Branding, Logo Design, UI Design, UX Copywriting


Courtney Leonard


80 hours


Pencil and paper, Sketch, Adobe Illustrator, InVision

Project Background

Kai is a small start-up based in Chicago dedicated to ending world hunger once and for all through the power of community while leveraging the sharing economy. Their long-term plan to eradicate hunger worldwide began in 2013. Since then, the team of four have been heads down engineering the best possible scalable organization to help food donors connect with local shelters, including its own food center that serves families in need and homeless people.

Everyone on the small team is excited to help solve this massive global problem. So far the team has been gathering food from a few donors and distributing it to shelters. They tested the model and were able buy a couple of refrigerated trucks to transport the food. They have a system with part-time drivers that work hours per day picking up food for deliveries.

They are want to scale, and for that, want to automate their processes. Kai needs an app that allows food donors to easily book with them and, eventually, they will also need an app for food drivers to manage their routes.

Project Goals

  • Design an end to end mobile application to support Kai’s services.

  • Design solution for donors to make food donations and track donation pickups.

  • Design Kai brand

Design Process

Design process diagram.png


1 on 1 Interviews


Competitive Analysis


User Personas


User Flows


Hi-Fidelity Wireframes

Mobile App Design

Branding and Logo


Hi- Fidelity Prototype

Usability Testing




I performed a competitive app analysis, looking at features offered by other delivery services in order to see what features delivery applications are offering and interactions users are accustomed to with these features.

Results from the competitive analysis led to the inclusion of a number of features including a user sign in, a donation categorization tool, pickup scheduling and instructions, and driver tracking.


Empathy interviews were conducted amongst four users anticipated to use the Kai application including; two grocery store managers, a store receiving manager, and a volunteer donation delivery driver. Users were interviewed in person and by phone answering questions regarding store processes, current systems in place, and their outlook on those processes.



User Personas

Research defined the Brian and Jonnie personas, key hypothetical users of the Kai application. Jonnie represents a Gen X user that works at a donor organization. Jonnie appreciates when processes run smoothly and maintaining her community at work, and separate life at home. Brian represents the Millennial driver that volunteers driving to give back to his community.


This sitemap defines the architecture and general framework and flow of the Donor app and Driver app for Kai.


By creating mid fidelity wireframes, I articulated a layout for Kai. The layout and user flows of the app were guided by my research, and key tasks. These wireframes give the donor user the ability to build donations and to track and manage donation pickups.


Branding and UI Design

branding and logo

For the Kai brand, I emphasized themes of brightness, and trust with a clean feel. The slight serif on the font in the logo highlights ideas of reliability while remaining modern. The color palette of greens and grays is calming, while bringing in themes of freshness. In designing the logo, I conveyed a sense of connection with interlinking lines, and referred to the tracking symbol to convey Kai’s business tracking and delivery.



This UI Kit defines all of the visual elements of the application so they can be carried through to maintain consistency with any future additions or alterations made to the application.


Applied UI Design

Using visual elements, and style guidelines from the branding included in the style tile and UI kit, I created the final design with the applied UI.

Click below to see the full applied UI design.


With the Invision prototype, I tested 5 users in person. Users were able to complete the task flow to create a donation, but found some difficulty navigating the application. Alterations were made to the UX design of the application to simplify the navigation and give users a destination after tracking a pickup driver, and to save a partially completed donation pickup.

Moving forward

During testing, users saw opportunities for messaging features to be added to the application, and had questions regarding restrictions on accepted donation items made by receiving organizations.

If work were to be continued on the Kai application, I see potential to scale the products, making them available to other cities and organizations making food donations. Kai would also benefit from the addition of application features for drivers to manage routs, schedules, and to communicate with donors and recipients. It would also benefit from features geared toward donation recipients to make requests or restrictions for accepted donation items, and messaging capabilities to stay in contact with drivers and donors.


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