"Mind the Food was my dissertation project as part for my User Experience Design master at the Open University of Catalonia. The goal was to create a project from a initial idea and develop it thruough the course following the double diamond methodology of research, ideation, design, testing and iteration"
  • Research
  • Ideation
  • User flows and site maps
  • UI design
  • Prototyping
  • Testing
  • Interviews
  • Market research
  • Sketch
  • InVision
  • Market research
  • User flows
  • Wireframes
  • High fidelity prototypes
  • Testing results
  • Iterations
  • 9 months

Food waste is both a global and local issue. The annual global food waste weights 1.3 billion tonnes. This food left to rot emits greenhouse gases.

In the UK, well over the half of the food waste comes from households. The main reason why food goes to waste is because it hasn't been consumed on time. People living alone generates almost a hundred kilograms of avoidable food waste a year.

This waste could be avoided by a better planning of shopping and cooking meals, but this is difficult to achieve in a fast paced city as London. The avoidable food waste almost doubles for people living alone, compared to people sharing their meals.

The challenge

The task at hand was to create a platform to avoid food waste at home that can be attractive to young professionals.

I started my research by doing a field study with organisations that fight food waste in different ways, where I met people that sympathise with the cause and learned more about their habits.

The three organisations with which I did my initial field study had really different approaches to reducing food waste, this gave me the opportunity to interact with a variety of users.

Research phase

The research phase consisted of field study, benchmarking, user selection and open interviews.

The criteria to select users for the interviews was a mix of people who like to cook, people who uses any of the existing platforms to avoid food waste and people who are conscious about food waste.

The reason behind this selection was to find out what users like/dislike from existing platforms and would make people who doesn't use any platform start using one.

Concept map

Mind map of the different opportunities for Mind the Food

Information architecture

Information architecture showing the opportunities for different feautures in the different areas intersections

General flowchart

Flowchart mapping different user flows within the app

Kitchen flowchart

Flowchart mapping the user flow within the kitchen content area of the app

Wireframes, testing and iterations

The initial wireframes were completed with placeholding information and went through and heuristic evaluation, a presential user test and a remote user test.

The initial prototypes were really simple and a number of design elements were introduced as the tests took place.

One of the issues that stood out from these user testing was that the way of entering items on the app needed to be faster, as users wouldn't like to have to type or manually introduce their entire shopping list.

"The initial idea of having a community feature for the app and the posibility of creating shopping lists was eliminated to invest time in improving the entering of food items in the app and setting better parameters in what was realisticaly measurable as a goal, and what wasn't."
"The final design allowes the user to easily see the contents of their kitchen and what items are about to expire. The users can enter food items in the platform by scanning their shopping, the application provides recipes that uses the ingredients that are about to expire and align with the user's goals."

Main takeaway, Mind the food

“Make sure you have nailed the basics before you go ahead ideating many different features.”