Improving the user experience of buying sustainable food for young adults… [Read more]
Nourish is a collaborative food delivery service that helps young adults to shop sustainably and reduce food waste.
Nourish is a food delivery service designed for young adults who want to be more sustainable in their food shopping but find it difficult. The research demonstrated that it can be hard to manage food, especially when living with others, such as back at home with parents. Conflicts over fridge space, diets, and when to eat can make it easier for food to go to waste. Nourish allows households to collaborate, selecting what to eat together. Portions are created for each person to ensure the right amount of food will be delivered for the next week. It will empower them to reduce food waste and provides them with abilities and knowledge to shop more sustainably.
The challenge: Food waste
The food industry accounts for roughly 26% of all carbon dioxide equivalent emissions. A huge portion of food is wasted, if the emissions created from food waste represented a country, it would be the third-largest emitter of greenhouse gasses in the world.
My research showed that people want to be more sustainable with food and reduce their food waste, but busy modern lives make this very difficult. Particularly when trying to manage food with others.
A multitude of research methods were used to gain a deep tacit understanding of the problems facing young adults wanting to be sustainable with their food. The research was qualitative to discover pain points, task goals, experience goals, attitudes and behaviours. But ultimately to gain empathy with the participants and gain userful insights.
Methods included: 7 Interviews (contextual when possible), remote ethnography with 5 participants where they kept a diary through an app, generative co-design activities to discover what the participants dreamt of having, and visits to an existing refill shop with participants.
Affinity mapping was used to explore, cluster, and analyse the information from the research. Key insights included:
Around 25% of Young adults (20-34) are living back with their families, and this is set to increase with Covid-19 difficulties. Often the young adults want to shop sustainably (vegetarianism or other) but differences in habits and desires cause tension and conflicts, the families want to enjoy food together.
The 'story' of the food is very important to the participants, wanting to know where it came from. McDonalds was given as an example of 'sustainable food' due to their marketing.
Eating and cooking alone can feel unpleasant if you're feeling lonely. Therefore quick decisions can be made not thinking about health or environmental sustainability.
Decisions for food to eat between couples happening remotely on the way home from work can lead to increased waste through miscommunication.
The insights were turned into an opportunity by using the "How Might We" method. The technique 'Crazy 8s' was then used to rapidly generate ideas. These were analysed remotely with participants and put into two selection matrixes. These were: Ability to improve experience vs ability to improve behaviour and obtrusiveness vs product control - to consider the ethics of changing their behavior. The crazy 8 ideas, behavioral interventions and new service concepts were developed through generative service co-design. A journey map was used as a tool to develop a new food service.
Co-design and usability
Design concepts were tested with participants and they were encouraged to participate in designing in order to understand their needs. This was particularly useful for bigger picture service design development, and getting feedback on the strength of behaviour change strategies. Usability studies were conducted remotely where users follow a click-through prototype and think aloud.
I’m an enthusiastic deep-thinking designer, striving for creative and innovative designs based on evidence and empathy.
My first degree was in Product Design and Technology, and I have 5 years of experience working in industry as a Product Designer and Design Engineer. I have always strived for my work to be innovative and to improve design methods and strategies. I enjoy solving challenges and creating products and services that people enjoy using. However, sometimes more structured engineering approaches can take the user out of focus as you work towards the end goal. User Experience Design has allowed me to develop the skills and knowledge to keep the users at the centre of the design to create products and services that will feel great to use and meet real needs. I prefer larger picture thinking, researching, service design and iterative design. I can now combine my analytical and methodical engineering and scientific approaches with more fluid and adaptive iterative UX design approaches.
In my career, I would like to put into practice my new UX skills and combine them with more strategic and analytical thinking.
Improving the user experience of buying sustainable food for young adults living with parents or carers.
In 2014 I exhibited my Product Design work at New Designers in London. Only a selection of students were chosen to exhibit and it was a privilege to meet professionals from the industry there.
In 2017 I was awarded Incorporated Engineer status with the Institute of Mechanical Engineers. This process included the quarterly submission of reports with a final interview in London. It proved my competencies in knowledge and understanding, design and development of processes, systems, services and products, responsibility, management and leadership, communication and interpersonal skills, and professional commitment.
In 2019 I completed IBM's Enterprise Design Thinking & Team Essentials for AI online courses. These developed skills and knowledge for teamwork in UX and responsible designing for Artificial Intelligence.
In 2019 I entered the University UXathon with a team. We won the award for best concept for our sustainability focussed service that easily allowed customers to swap unwanted clothes for new garments. This involved creating a service concept with an app design based on a brief provided by a start up company.
In 2020 our team won funding from the Ford Smart Mobility Challenge for our packaging-free food service concept 'wefill'. A concept where food is delivered to student halls and the reusable packaging is swapped and taken away. We developed a brand, the service design, business model, and preliminary user interface designs.