Klemis Kitchen serves as a food pantry for Georgia Tech students with financial concerns that limit their access to proper nourishment. The project provides an app that increases their efficiency and provides a better experience for its users.
Design - Concept sketches, wireframing, storyboarding, design prototype.
Research - Semi-structured interviews, affinity mapping, competitive analysis, expert evaluation.
Creating a scalable app that allows students to sign up for the Klemis Kitchen service and provides them with real time pantry inventory anytime at their fingertips. The app would also provides them with a warm and inviting user experience, recipes suggestions and a Klemis community board for communication with other users and Klemis Kitchen staff.
My team and I worked from foundational discovery to proof of concept prototype during the course of the semester. Along the way we conducted research in the form of user interviews, task analysis, empathy mapping and usability tests. While the rest of my team led the formative research, I led the concepts ideation, setting up a design system and prototyping the research-driven solutions.
We followed a user centered research process to guide our design requirement for the app. The research phase was divided in three parts. Formative research where we analyzed the current service provided, primary research where we interviewed service providers and current users of Klemis kitchen, and finally feedback gathering on conceptual diagrams to understand user expectations.
We synthesized all the data gathered from our surveys and interviews and organized them based on their affinities, to find patterns and common themes. We used our top affinity map findings to inform design decisions and derive design implications from.
We used the data from the semi-structured interview with the users and the service providers to establish functional and non-functional design requirements that would guide our concept ideation process. These would also help us evaluate our design when conducting usability testing sessions.
Users have to collect scattered information through an inefficient back-and-forth emails to complete the registration process. The solution should offer users a transparent onboarding experience to get access to the kitchen and centralize all information about the service.
As mentioned by both service providers that we interviewed, currently the food supply is more than needed in terms of quantities. However, due to the limitation of space and man power, Klemis Kitchen is not able to accommodate more users than what it currently serves.
Currently, e-mails are the only way for Klemis Kitchen to send food availability notifications to users which is neither in time nor adequate. With our solution, users should be able to check the latest availability of food on their mobile device and get notified when new food is available.
We discovered that users tend to feel bad about getting food without giving back to Klemis Kitchen. Thus from the humanity perspective, our solution should be capable of providing an environment where users feel comfortable utilizing Klemis Kitchen’s services.
Users want to know the nutritional information to determine if it meets their dietary restrictions and food expiration information. The solution should provide exactly that - so the user can make an informed decision about how to use the provided service.
Research shows that the visibility of information in the current system where pictures of the kitchen are sent out to users for stock information is not satisfactory. The desired solution will keep users informed of the availability of food with a minimum cognitive load.
My favorite part of the process, we brainstormed eight crazy ideas and specified how those ideas are addressing our design requirements outlined through research findings. We then got together and used a whiteboard to communicate and build upon each other ideas to get them to be their best versions. Once we had our crazy eight figured out, we voted as a group on the top three ideas, drew storyboards, design sketches and started wire-framing.
These were eight conceptual ideas, some crazy and some not so crazy that would help address the function and non-functional requirements we derived from research. The goal of this exercise was to find out what ideas would make the experience better and satisfy the most number of requirements.
We sketches storyboards for the two concepts that satisfied the most number of design requirements, and were exciting features for the Klemis Kitchen app. This helped us understand how the story will flow and further detailing out possible user flows.
For the visual design system, we landed on a few keywords for the kind of user experience we’re trying to achieve. Fresh, warm, inviting, playful. We drew inspiration from colors in fresh fruits and vegetables and decided on clean and simple typeface and iconography for the screens.
Based on our research findings, we sketched out a use case scenario to gain better perspective of user flow and present our findings and solutions to the service providers and users. This would generate conversations and provide feedback for proposed ideas.
We used all the information and feedback we gathered from multiple design concepts and wireframes feedback sessions with service providers and users, integrated that with our design system and started developing high-fidelity prototype to start designing interactions.
Apart from displaying real time pantry inventory information, the app goes one step further where users who are physically present in the kitchen can update the quantity of any of the food items and inform others if anything is running out. This provides them with an opportunity to ‘give back’ to the kitchen and solves inventory management issues.
Users could go to the recipe section to better decide what would they want to pickup from the kitchen and how much quantity. This promotes healthy eating habits, and provides the students better alternatives than choosing packaged unhealthy food that’s about to expire.
The community tab provides users with a communal space to talk to other students using the pantry, share their experience and get questions answered. Along with the pantry tab, users have access to both notifications and food availability in one place, increasing the efficiency of user experience to the maximum.
This project helped me understand how to bridge stakeholder’s requirements and expectations with user requirements through thorough research and attention to details. Big ideas often lie in the smaller remarks by the users.
Due to time constraints we could only design a minimal viable product. With more time, I would’ve liked to work further on reducing the number of steps required to achieve an action, integrating micro interactions and adding another way where non-users of the kitchen could also help out with operations using the app.