I led UX design (user flows, wireframing, prototyping, usability testing, copy) for a team of 4 when building a responsive web application for the USDA’s National School Lunch Program. Our goals were to increase the simplicity and accuracy of the application.
After winning the national contest (first place, best visual design, and best behavioral design), our ideas will benefit millions of lower income households when qualifying for subsidies beginning in the 2017-2018 school year.
The Department of Agriculture (USDA) subsidizes 7+ billion school meals every year for students of lower income households. Unfortunately, 2 million children (1 of every 5 students) don't get the right subsidy because the paper application is so hard to understand.
The USDA asked for a new online application to improve the accuracy and simplicity of the process.
We delved into the government's extensive documentation and realized that eligibility often hinges on household size and total income.
To figure out why these are often misreported, we interviewed a specialist who worked at a lower income school in the New York area. She often helps families complete the NSLP’s application every year.
We created protopersonas to remind us of common user struggles as we created the application.
We discussed various ways to present and order the required survey questions.
We then overlayed the personas across a user journey and survey logic.
And pinpointed trouble spots that would affect our survey prompts and design.
Throughout the process, I conducted usability testing which led to adjustments in our application design:
LunchLine won the USDA’s E.A.T. Lunch UX Challenge:
The USDA's prototype using these ideas will be available by summer of 2017.
Specific KPIs we aimed for:
We hope future releases include: