I worked with a multidisciplinary team which had background experience in design, programming, 3D modeling, and psychology. I assisted the team with literature review, prototype design, and contributed heavily to conducting our user research and served as the scheduler and organizer for our evaluation sessions. I also led our information architecture planning.
Reclam offers a new way for people to buy food – through a network of restaurants that are committed to promoting reusable containers to reduce packaging waste. Our “clam” container network partners with restaurants to make reusing containers simple and efficient. Users can purchase Clam credits to purchase meals from Clam Club restaurants similar to ClassPass, incentivizing users to purchase membership plans that let them explore eco-friendly restaurants near them.
To understand our users' goals, we started with reading through scholarly articles, news articles, forums and by going through the existing methods of food consumption. During our research, we identified 3 user goals in the area of sustainable food consumption and working and studying from home:
Improve Relationship With Sustainable Dining
Find Convenient Meals
Discover Cost-Effective Options
Next we developed a task analysis of the different methods that users in our demographic acquires food as well as conducting a design space critique of applications doing similar work. We then conducted semi-structured interviews and a Qualtrics survey to better understand our target users. To study the weekly diet routines of the user groups, we mainly focused on the food preparation methods most commonly used by users. We looked at nine common factors that may influence members' decisions about how they eat. We calculated each factor's average ranking score, which permits us to handily view and think about the general significance for each factor on the list. We wanted to understand if COVID influences the user's dietary patterns, so we measured whether they were working remotely. Lastly, we ran a series of diary studies with seven participants to get greater insight into their eating habits.
From our user research we defined the following Functional Requirements of our application:
Convenience - Whether cooking at home, dining out or ordering take out, users indicate that they will often go for the choice that offers the fastest, closest, and easiest experience.
Shared Experiences - Users indicated the importance of social connection with food dining out and at home when cooking and sharing with others.
Promote Sustainable Dining - Users will choose sustainable options if presented with a reasonable choice during their food choice process.
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We conducted Task-Based Usability tests to determine the success of Reclam's design based on its functional and non-functional requirements and distilled this into a list of key findings for future iterations of this application.
Our team found a wealth of research and applications that are designed for the sale of food. In the theme of sustainability, however, our team found a sparse representation of sustainable centered approaches to the food industry. As such a large and important industry that has a significant impact on the environmental and social factors it was surprising to have difficulty identifying current sustainable systems. Future designers will need to continue research into sustainable food methods to attain a deeper understanding of the food industry in order to develop solutions.
Our current design is focused on a phone application food takeaway industry, however the food industry is incredibly large and designers could easily identify other solutions as demonstrated in our large range of diverse ideas that were formed in the early stages of this project. Creating a reusable and more sustainable food container for food takeaway was only one of 10 ideas that our team forumalated. Other popular ideas within our team that were not further explored were shopping comparisons, social cooking encouragement, food sharing and surplus food management.
Conducted an in-depth literature review and design space critique of a wide problem space.
Managed the facilitation of our task-based usability tests.
Educated immensely on sustainability and its role in new and upcoming technologies.
Conducted my first diary study, and refined affinity mapping and interviewing techniques.