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Title

Background

Project Details

It came to my attention that our household food wastage has significantly increased due to excess food shopping and expiring food that has to be thrown away and leftover yet to be consumed. This has made me realize that food wastage and money spending have become a problem, not only for the household but also for the environment. It has inspired me to look deeper into the problem space and see how it can be addressed.

Role: Product Designer, UX/UI Designer, UX Researcher, Branding

Tools: Figma, Photoshop, Microsoft Survey, FIGJAM, Huion

Timeline: 6 months

DESIGN MISSION

FoodKarma's mission is to equip households with the tools and knowledge to combat food waste

We will help households prolong their food inventory through food visibility and accurate inventory tracking.

We will help households save time and encourage home cooking by timely revealing dynamically curated recipes.

We will help households master food efficiency through education and awareness.

We will help households conceptualize their financial impact when they waste food.

PROTOTYPE

PROTOTYPE

PROTOTYPE

PROTOTYPE

THE PROBLEM

Designing for food efficiency & visability

Food waste is a prevalent issue with economic, social, and enviromental implications as the leading contributor to Methane gas. In developing countries like North America, 61% is wasted at the household level, and about 2/3 of this food is due to food not being used before it goes bad. This amounts to 140 Kilograms of wasted food per year for the average Canadian household, carrying a price tag of more than $1,100 annually! Often this is because of improper storage, poor planning, and lack of food visibility at the household level.

THE DESIGN CHALLENGE

How might we help households track and monitor their food inventory and be food efficient while saving time and encouraging home cooking?

UNDERSTAND AND DEFINE

User and Market Research

User Surveys and User Interviews

I dove deeper into the underlying issues to gain a better understanding and perspective of household food waste. I started out by doing user research, where I conducted surveys to get analytical data and interviewed potential users to uncover their pain points, motivations, behaviours, and goals. I interviewed 10 people; four were male, and six were female between the age of 24 to 40. 

Insights gathered

IMPROPER STORAGE

Food spoilage at home often occurs due to improper storage, which could have easily been prevented if stored correctly and in an easy-to-find location

LACK OF VISIBILITY

Food is frequently wasted at home because people forget about the food they have in their kitchen, including leftovers, and cannot track their condition effectively.

MISJUDGED FOOD NEEDS

A good portion of household food waste results from bulk food purchases and cooking or serving too much food.

POOR PLANNING

Without shopping lists or meal plans, people often make inaccurate estimates of how many ingredients they will use during the week.

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Journey Map

 I mapped out the stages an individual getting off work goes through when planning what to eat to eventually cook a meal. This helped me align on different user behaviours and pain points, and what kind of opportunities might be available within each stage. It also helped me create a logical order for finding recipes and managing food inventory for households.

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IDEATION

From Data to Display

Sketches and Wireflows

The initial sketch started in FigJam using the Huion sketch pad. This allowed me to express my ideas quickly and explore potential forms the ultimate design could take. Once I had the basic concepts, I moved into greyscale wireflows to help test and validate my ideas. 

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PROTOTYPE & TEST

Moderated usability testing

Two rounds of usability tests were done in low fidelity with a total five users with a span of one week.

HYPOTHESIS

We believe that improving the experience of food inventory management for households will help them be food efficient. We will know this is true when we see less food waste at the household level.

Early iterations - Introducing storage tips

Through the feedback collected from users, it was revealed it would be beneficial to have storage tips provided when users were presented with items on the Food preservation page or viewing a specific ingredient in the Household inventory. Having a list layout for "items that might want to use soon!" was more effective as opposed to the constraints of the card layout. So what I did was make it more scannable and something that was easier to build and maintain.

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Food preservation page V.1

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Food preservation page V.2

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Household inventory page V.1

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Household inventory page V.2

Introducing product walkthrough

When conducting usability tests, some users would go through the prototype and not fully utilize some of the key features of FoodKarman and bounce. In the activation phase of the product funnel - users must have an excellent first experience. To ensure this, I introduced a product walk-through to help highlight some of the key features. I showcased only the main features to improve learnability without adding unnecessary noise.
 

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MEASURING THE DESIGN

Validation

The KPI product usability and the UX behavioural metric is Task on Time. The numbers below are measured in seconds and are the average of all 10 participants. 

"Save time on finding ingredients and recipes that will reduce food waste"

TIME ON TASK #1 

Find (2) item’s in your kitchen inventory that is expiring soon (expiring in 1-2 days).

Results: 45 seconds  | 7 seconds Using FoodKarma

542% Improvement

Using FoodKarma vs Conventional methods

TIME ON TASK #2

Find a recipe that uses two or more items in your kitchen inventory that will expire soon (1-2 days).

Results: 1800 seconds  | 10 seconds Using FoodKarma

17,900% Improvement

Using FoodKarma vs Conventional methods

THE RESULT

3,251% Improvement

In task time using FoodKarma

Conclusion: I used geometric mean rather than arithmetic mean because I didn't want a single big number to skew the results. Second, it helped me to account for negative metrics if there were some. It may not be a fair test because FoodKarma is using algorithms to help do a lot of the work, but that's the power of the App. By reducing the time for the task and improving usability we can help encourage homecoming and reduce food waste in households.

THE EXECUTION

Title

It helps you never let food go bad in your kitchen

Food karma helps households track and monitor their food inventory and be food efficient while saving time and encouraging home cooking. Providing curated recipes and just-in-time push notifications when their food is about to expire or needs their attention, Food Karma helps households reduce their food waste.

FoodKarma's mission is to equip households with the tools and knowledge to combat food waste

This mission statement constantly served as FoodKarma's north star while proving boundaries and guardrails to ensure everything was aligned. At the same time, the goals were the compass that always pointed north and tied back to the mission statement. FoodKarma was also a timeboxed effort, so when it came to building and implementing different features, I only focused on the ones that I felt best fulfilled the goals set forward. 

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InventoryF
RecipesFS
RecipeFS

Permissions

For some additional work, I created a permissions onboarding flow that would be used to help address some privacy concerns and provide reassurance. 

Let me introduce you to Carmichael, our logo and mascot, and he is on a mission to help you be a food-efficient hero!

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Challenges

Finding potential users to conduct user interviews and run usability tests as this was during the covid time it was hard to go out and find people during the lockdown. I leveraged video chats to conduct moderated usability tests where I would guide the user and watch them go through the prototype via video chat. Want online via social media to find people to conduct user interviews.

Retrospective

Taking more time to recruit and screen candidates for user research and usability tests as I was stressed with time and finding the participants, I didn’t spend enough time doing this. This would have helped to remove inherent bias when selecting participants. I would have liked to use a screening survey to help select the best candidates, which would haved helped eliminate some candidates that were not the best fit for my research study.

Let's connect & chat!

   © 2019 Michal Domanski