Food Saver [Read more]
Food Saver is an intelligent food management system designed to help college students make personalised food plans and guide them to buy and manage appropriate amounts but also environmentally friendly food. It also provides a community that enables students to exchange food and guild them to recycle expired food to make the most use of the foods.
Shopping for food
Every year, 1/3 of food is wasted, which causes serious waste of resources and environmental pollution. Young people aged 18-34 waste proportionally more food than other age groups and students are a key audience within this young age group. If we can reduce the food waste of young people, we can save a considerable portion of food, so that food may reach those in need, reduce resource waste and pollution.
This project aims to understand young people’s food purchasing, storage and usage habits, in order to find ways to guide them save more food and choose more environmentally friendly food products.
Survey results and other research records
In order to better understand users' food needs and their thoughts and behaviours when buying food, I conducted the following research:
- 27 questionnaires were collected to understand their food usage and the main reasons for wasting food
- 2 shadowing studies were used to observe closely how they choose products, and what factors in the store affect their shopping choices
- 7 contextual interviews combined with card sortings to learn more about their experiences and problems in buying, storing and using food, as well as their views on food waste and environmental pollution
Data was collated and analysed with journey mapping and affinity mapping. These key insights template from This Is Service Design Doing is used to better refine the key findings:
- Students want to buy and enjoy their food without any wasting, but they feel annoyed about making food plan.
- Students don’t know much about the foods and can't remember their expiration date and storage requirements.
- Some students buy more food than they actually need or the food is sold in large quantities and they can't finish all the food by oneself.
The designer tried to extract words from participants’ task and experience goals, generated the HMW statements and combined them with the Brainstorm cards and “Crazy 8s” method to quickly generate new ideas. Also, 2 participants were invited to discuss their ideal food management system and other ideas together.
Then the Now Wow How Matrix was used to mark and rank the ideas based on the level of feasibility and innovative, to help him choose and combine the suitable ideas into one concept.
As the concept direction and user flows were identified, the sitemap and initial sketch were generated. The prototype was made with Adobe XD and a series of user testing was undertaken to test and refine the concept.
Food Saver is a smart food management system that uses personalised data and IoT to help the user plan their food consumption and choose more environmentally friendly products when they go shopping.
- It connects smartphone with a fridge, which has temperature sensors, weight sensors and a camera inside. So it can monitor the user's food storage and remind the food expiration time. It is connected to the database of food stores, and users can scan the barcode to obtain food information and customer comments.
- It provides a local community for users to learn more knowledge about foods and users can exchange food or donate food to those in need.
- It has a scanner (optional), which can detect the quality of food through its chemical sensor so that even if users want to buy some unpackaged food (without identification code), they can also use the scanner to view the food quality and expiration time.
- Every time users fill in the information or make choices, the AI records all of them and keeps learning user’s habits all the time.
I am interested in the interaction between people and their surroundings and looking for more creative and convenient ways to enhance people's daily life experience.
Through the duration of my degree, I found that I am very interested in understanding the feelings and thoughts of users. It is one of my interests to observe what troubles people meet in their daily lives and record their complaints and ideas. I am also a fan of electronic products, and I often view technology news and pay attention to new product exhibitions or conferences such as CES and Google Developers Conference. I want to combine new and interesting technologies with user-centred research to design engaging, creative and user-friendly products.