Kathleen Hsu
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QuickEats

I worked independently on this project to design a solution that would make it easier for college students to make home-cooked meals. 

 
 
 
 

I worked independently on this project to design a solution that would make it easier for college students to make home-cooked meals. I gave myself a time constraint of two weeks, starting with user research and concluding with an interactive prototype.

 

 

The Problem

How might we make the process of finding recipes targeted towards time and cost-conscious college students more efficient?

College students struggle with eating nutritious food, due to their busy schedules and tight budget. As the process of finding healthy recipes that also do not take a long time to prepare is incredibly time-consuming, many college students turn to inexpensive and unhealthy food instead.

 

 

Secondary Research

I explored three popular recipe apps to identify existing features and opportunity areas.

 

 

Interviews

I conducted 8 interviews with Berkeley students to gain a better understanding of their current experience with cooking. 

Below is a synthesis of the main insights:

  • Cooks about half of their meals on average, but would like to cook more (lack of time and convenience are barriers)

  • Would spend at most 30 minutes to cook a meal

  • Ideally spend under $10 for a meal

  • Wants to have more variety in the foods they make

  • Occasionally will search the internet for recipes, does not use a specific recipe site

  • Would prefer to use an app to discover new recipes

  • Values the following in order of preference: 1. Time, 2. Cost, 3. Nutrition

Based on the interview findings, I aimed to design an app that would enable college students to easily find quick, budget-friendly, and healthy recipes to make.

 

 

Final Design

Log in  or  sign up  using your email address or phone.

Log in or sign up using your email address or phone.

Discover  quick and inexpensive recipes by popularity/recommended for you, searching, or selecting a category. Sort recipes by time, number of favorites, or price per serving.

Discover quick and inexpensive recipes by popularity/recommended for you, searching, or selecting a category. Sort recipes by time, number of favorites, or price per serving.

Save recipes you like to your  Favorites .

Save recipes you like to your Favorites.

Add ingredients from any recipe to your  Shoplist.

Add ingredients from any recipe to your Shoplist.

See the recipes that your friends favorited on the  Community  page.

See the recipes that your friends favorited on the Community page.


 

Reflections

Although this design problem had a straight-forward solution, it was still incredibly useful to conduct interviews with other college students and determine what features to include in the recipe app. I learned to set aside my assumptions based on my personal experience and frustrations, as doing user research is critical for building empathy and designing an effective solution that serves the needs of others. I also tightened up the visual design by creating a cohesive visual style.  

Looking back, I should have evaluated potential features that would make the app more customizable and serve a broader range of users. For instance, considering users with dietary needs or looking for recipes with only ingredients they have on hand.

Moving forward, I would like to continue testing the usability of the app and iterating on the screens. Feel free to send me feedback or comments!