Diced is a modern solution for inventorying food in shared living spaces. Diced provides expiration reminders, tracks weekly food budgets, and recommends meal options based on food the user already has in their kitchen, resulting in a healthy flow of food into and out of the household.
Gold in UX, Interface & Navigation 2019, Non-Pro
Silver in Apps 2019, Non-Pro
Silver in Interactive Design 2019, Non-Pro
Silver in Digital Tools and Utilities 2019, Non-Pro
01.04.18 - 03.15.18
Human / Computer Interaction
Byeong Cheol Hwang
User Experience Design
We were given ten weeks to use the research and design methods learned in Human Computer Interaction and create an application concept that solved any issue we were interested in tackling. The course helped us to understand the design process from start to finish.
Consumers lack integrated tools to effectively manage food purchases and timely consumption thereby creating excess waste, inefficient (and often overwhelming) shopping practices, and constant budget overages.
We intend to build a mobile application that comprehensively manages the food in the users’ homes by providing reminders of the food’s expiration dates, tracking weekly food budgets, and providing meal option based on the food the user already has in their inventory. This creates a healthy flow of food into and out of the household.
The Research Phase
1.3 billion tons of food gets wasted annually. That’s one third of all food.
1.3 billion tons of food could feed 800 million people. That’s more than the population of Europe.
We considered what applications were already on the market that had similar project goals to diced. After user testing six applications all across the board and summarizing their features, we noted what was successful and what was not.
Here’s what works:
• Clean and modern UI.
• Individual product details + ratings
• Provides helpful information for both diets and exercise.
• Food delivery within one hour.
• Quick user surveys to provide tailored meal plans.
• Makes the shopping experience less of a hassle.
Here’s what doesn’t:
• Paid membership is required for all feature access.
• Recipes are not tailored to the individual.
• Input is manual and not always accurate.
• Not available in all locations.
• Nothing focuses on food management.
• Not all items are logged in their database.
• Almost everyone held phones in their hands while shopping.
• Physically fit, younger customer demographic.
• Customers tend to stand in front of products for an extended amount of time before deciding what they want.
• Older generations and “blue-collar” worker customer base.
• Convenient location increases number of shopping trips.
• Customers tend to buy in bulk and use coupons instead of only buying food for a meal that night.
• We stick to what we’re most comfortable with: for younger generations, mobile devices. For older generations, traditional grocery lists.
• As consumers, when we see something that we want, we buy it. Even if we don’t need it.
• People are unaware of how much food they’re actually wasting.
We asked questions like
• Do you use a shopping list when you shop?
• Do you use a list on your phone or on paper?
• How strictly do you stick to your list?
• Do you consistently purchase the products you trust or can you be swayed to try new things because of sales and advertising?
• How do you know what food you have at home?
• How much do you use your phone while shopping for groceries?
• Would you rather shop at Kroger or Whole Foods? Why?
• How frequently do you go to the grocery store?
• Consumers that are new to being on their own tend to overbuy food and let it go to waste.
• Young adults do not see food waste as an environmental issue.
• Deals and unexpected discounts bring joy to the shopping experience.
Contextual Inquiry Insights
• Almost all food purchases are wanted, not needed.
• Food purchases are influenced by nostalgia.
• Aesthetics (food packaging) will sway the consumer.
What did we do?
We sent out a 2 day diary to participants to see how their kitchen is laid out, what groceries they currently have, and how they go about managing a day of meals. This cultural probe required users to send in photos of their kitchens. We were able to determine high and low traffic areas of access within cupboards and refrigerators, and we were able to get some insight on how people handle excess foods throughout the day.
• If food is out of sight, it goes forgotten and will not be used in the consumer's everyday meals.
• Recipes are not catered to the individual, therefore obscure items go untouched
• Nobody has a food management tool further than pen and paper
Popular Media Search
How Stuff Works
”Top 10 Mistakes in Kitchen Design”
Items often concealed behind built-in kitchen cabinet doors can be oddly shaped and space hogs, such as a food processor.
Conserve Energy Future
”Causes, Effects and Solutions of Food Waste”
People buy lots of food without appropriately making plans on when and how the food will be prepared for consumption.
”The war on food waste has a new weapon: A £99 fridge camera”
Bagged salads are among the most wasted foods…equivalent to 37,000 tonnes, or 178 million bags every year.
”Bad Kitchen Design”
The kitchen is arguably the hardest working room in any home.
The Intended Journey
(Click to Enlarge)
User would not be surprised when products were running low in the kitchen.
The user would be able to access food info from remote locations without bothering roommates or family members.
Application would offer real time updates of the user’s inventory when needed.
User would be notified when products in the kitchen were nearing their expiration dates.
• Allows user to see kitchen contents from remote locations.
• Uses ingredients user already owns to generate recipes.
• By inputting the amount of food used, user can track the flow of food in their kitchen.
• Information access from remote locations.
• Categorizes personal versus community food.
• Allows for in-app communication between parties.
• Ability to see what is in own personal inventory at all times.
• Being able to know what food belongs to who.
• Tailored recipes based on what’s in your fridge.
Dislikes / Confusion
• Wouldn’t share with friends until I discovered and played around with the app more.
• Working and Phrasing issues caused misinterpretation.
Suggestions for Mid-fidelity.
• “Up for grabs” communal food option.
• Implementing the google camera recognition software.
• Charity partnership.
• Despite changing the copy, users would rather get to know the app before inviting their friends to use.
• Clearly make it universal across not only roommates, but also families.
• Clearly define “up for grabs” section for unwanted food.
• Design for the future. i.e. Walk out technology, Smart recognition, Reusable tracking containers / tupperware.