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visual communication practice


Description of idea

Describe your idea and concept of your work in relation to the festival outlines:

The concept of food democracy is a complex and multifaceted affair with many different stakeholders and points of view. I wanted a project that would address people with different levels of interest yet still produce a work of real value. In my initial research I found that education on food literacy would have a number of pay-offs. Better informed purchasing and storage would lead to cheaper food bills, better nutrition and less reliance on cold storage and long supply lines.

It was important for me to avoid the pitfalls of gargantuan thinking; I wanted to build something which contributed many small steps towards change rather than a single large one.

My idea is for a smartphone app that educates a user on what fruit and vegetables are in season, and how to store them. As a convenience device, it does not need to work as hard as a public service campaign to gain a captive audience, and can be integrated easily with food co-ops, inner-city farming communities as well as more mainstream groups. The current prototype is localised for Australia and New Zealand only.

What kind of communication approach do you use?

The challenge for this project was how to make list of healthy foods fun. The app chooses to educate the user through gamification rather than shocking statistics or facts. It is a gentle prod in the right direction as opposed to an angry shove.

What are in your opinion concrete benefits to the society because of your communication?

This app educates the user on different levels. The info panel gives information that is easy to process and put into practice. It also suggests heirloom and local alternatives to wean people off the supermarket fruit and veg aisle. A more subtle method is only showing what is in season for the selected month. While the user can still easily search for a particular item, they are made aware that it is not the best choice.

What did you personally learn from creating your submitted work?

One thing that surprised me was the different and individual way people solve problems. I found that the UI solutions I thought were intuitive, often weren't as apparent to other users. This meant a much longer wire-framing phase, to get the experience just right.

Why is your work, GOOD communication WORK?

My own personal goal for this project was to make something that was more than just a talking point or a call to action but to be the action its self. Foodwise and the AFGC put household food wastage between 20-40%. That's roughly $1036 a year for each household going in the bin. With this app the user has access to information on how to save a large portion of that money. It's great motivation and the flow-on effect benefits local producers.

When searching for food seasonality and storage information I found that a lot of quality education was obscured by the inconvenience of trawling through indices and appendices. Any charts or visual aids were stripped bare of any context.

I would describe the UI personality as distilled, not minimalist. Unnecessary functions have been removed, yet it retains its human element. The proportions are based on the human experience, such as facial proportions and the golden ratio. The text is informal yet meaningful, to facilitate human-to-human design. Careful attention has been paid to UX concepts to stop the user from becoming too overwhelmed; extra icons like 'add to favourites' only appear when needed, lists of fruit and veg are separated by month.

Where and how do you intent do implement your work?

The app is currently in pre-alpha. I'm building it with Corona SDK and plan to release it for free on both iOS and Android later in the year. I will also approach a number of non-profit and profit-for-purpose organisations to help get the word out about it.

Did your intervention had an effect on other Media. If yes, describe the effect? (Has other media reported on it- how? Were you able to change other media with your work- how?)

It has not received any media attention.


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Entry details




an educational smartphone app

Concept author(s)

Ken Smith

Concept author year(s) of birth


Concept author(s) contribution

Original concept, research, writing, development, art direction, coding.



Competition category

visual communication practice

Competition subcategory


Competition field


Competition subfield


Subfield description