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 the time constraint of two weeks, starting with user research and concluding with a high-fidelity prototype.
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. Consequently, I focused on designing a solution for the following problem statement:
How might we make the process of finding recipes targeted towards time and cost-conscious college students more efficient?
I explored three popular recipe apps to identify existing features and opportunity areas.
I conducted 8 interviews with Berkeley students living in apartments 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
Would spend at most 30 minutes to make a meal
Would spend under $10 for a home-cooked meal
Would like to have more variety in the foods they make
Occasionally will use Google to look for a recipe, does not use a specific recipe site
Would like to have an app to easily discover new recipes
When cooking, students value (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.
Click through the interactive prototype below!
Although this design problem had a straight-forward solution, it was still useful to do interviews with other college students to figure out what features to include. 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. Through this project, I also tightened up my visual design by creating a cohesive visual style.
Looking back, I should have spent more time thinking about potential features that would serve a more broad range of users, like people with dietary needs. I also could have considered more use cases, like people 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 design. Feel free to send me feedback or comments!