UC Berkeley Extension – UX/UI Student Project
Food Management App
Food Management App
Stay Fresh was my first major project at UC Berkeley’s UX/UI program. Made in a group of four, it includes a bevy of different research methods, personas, user flows, wireframes, mockups, and an Invision prototype.
As a budget minded shopper with a busy schedule, I often buy food but forget about it and it ends up expiring. I don’t feel good about wasting food and wasting money. I wish there was an easy way to keep track of food in my fridge so I can cook with it before it expires.
Develop an app that not only keeps track of when food expires for users, but also suggests ways for them to use their food, and improve purchasing habits to avoid wasting food in the future.
In order to determine whether the app would even be desirable and/or necessary for a demographic, we conducted a competitive analysis, 2 Google surveys, 6 in person interviews, 14 guerrilla interviews, and 3 user tests.
We noticed early on that there were multiple competitors in the market. However, none included all the same features as the others. We aimed to combine a food management system with customizable notifications alerting when food is near expiry, consumption statistics, and recipes to use the food in to create a comprehensive app that includes all of the other features of similar apps on the market.
From our initial survey, we found that wasting food was a universal issue for people, with all respondents claiming that they felt bad throwing out food, with 117/124 respondents feeling that way, while the remaining seven felt neutral towards the issue. With over 99% of respondents feeling that food waste was an issue, our initial survey showed us that there would be a benefit to using a food management app to prevent food waste.
Still, we had to see if people would actually use such an app, and also determine how bad they felt about throwing out food; while we knew that the respondents felt bad, if they only felt a little bad towards the issue there would be little demand for the app, while if the respondents felt very bad about throwing out food, we would have a viable target audience.
In order to determine this, we conducted controlled in-person interviews, guerilla interviews, and sent out a second survey. We found that a large majority of respondents (just over a third) reacted harshly towards wasting food, having strong feelings of guilt, anger, and sadness. In addition, from the second survey and guerilla interviews, we determined that the main reasons for feeling bad were “wasting money” (51.7%), “world hunger” (19%), and “hurting the environment” (12.1%). A large part of respondents (61%) also showed interest in using a food management app to stay organized. The in-person interviews also led to us including a food purchase statistics section in the app, when half of the interviewees mentioned shopping smarter in order to prevent wasting food.
Lastly, our usability tests helped us polish the navigation in the app and determine whether we needed to add any additional features or options. For example, we decided to include a shopping list in the app so that users could remind themselves to buy more of another ingredient after that said ingredient expired in the app.
In the end, we decided to create two personas to cover a wide range of different users of Stay Fresh. The first persona on the bottom left represents users that cook a lot at home, but buy too many groceries, making it difficult for them to know what is in their fridges. The second represents users who find it harder to make time to cook at home, leading to ingredients piling up when expiration draws near.
While most of the features we have remain the same from the conception of the app, the inclusion of the shopping list came after the usability tests, when we found users wanted a way to remind themselves to re-purchase ingredients after using them up in their inventory or after letting them expire.
Low Fidelity Digital Wireframe (Inventory Screen)
Low Fidelity Digital Wireframe (Recipes Screen)