Product Designer/Project Lead
Ron Kang Chew, Shanice Lam, Abbey Mui
8 Weeks, Fall 2019
Sketch, Photoshop, Figma, InDesign, iMovie
Come up with an innovative digital service for any problem space.
This project was part of my Digital Service Innovation class. We were individually tasked with coming up with digital services to tackle current problems and voted on the top ideas to form teams. For my selected project, I served as a Project Lead - guiding the strategic decisions that my team took. My team focused on food waste as our problem space.
I served at the product designer and project lead for our team - crafting both the vision for our product and also doing the visual branding.The food waste idea was my initial proposal, so I was really excited the idea was chosen!
This class culminated in an investor pitch and valuation by local Pittsburgh leaders. Our team placed third in the pitch competition!
It has impacts food security, and affects the climate and resource conservation. Food that could be used to feed hungry families eventually adds up to 8% of global greenhouse gas emissions.
One of the initial inspirations for this project was an app called Too Good to Go - that helps restaurants sell leftover meals for a cheaper price at the end of the day.
A mobile application that tackles personal waste with just one picture of your grocery receipt! Lemon has three key features:
Feature 1 food tracking
Feature 2 repurposing ideas
Feature 3 smarter shopping
We first started by trying to reducing waste from a restaurant's perspective. Our team spoke to buffets, fast food, fresh food, and sit-downs and asked them about their waste/donation habits.
We tried to look at produce waste from the perspective of grocery stores - asking about wasted produce and shopper habits.
By talking to shoppers and managers at local grocery stores (ex: Giant Eagle) we found that:
01 Stores are always fully stocked so customers don't run to competitors.
02 Customers expect perfect, identically shaped produce.
Thus, retailers must stock according to customer expectations and waste becomes a problem at the individual shopper level.
User interviews were conducted to better understand where people waste food along the grocery lifecyle. A plate of spoiled food was used as an artifact to evoke the sentiment surrounding food gone bad. We interviewed 10 candidates and found that 80% of candidates had some issue keeping track of food.
Team dissecting the grocery store interviews to find pain points.
Based on the initial insights, we created a paper prototype of an all encompassing platform, taking inspiration from the likes of Blue Apron and Hello Chef. Most people felt the service was promising, but too overwhelming with its features.
Thus our service, Lemon, was born.
We created storyboards and user tested them. The in-fridge smart camera was a huge privacy concern, while a picture of the receipt was the most well received.
Our team placed third at the demo day pitch where we presented to leaders in the Pittsburgh community! We pitched our idea as a freemium model with a paid premium product.The investors loved our branding and how simple yet effective the idea was!
If this app were to be implemented and put on the market, I would use the following measures of success:
01 Number of new app downloads
02 Cost saved
03 % of food thrown away before going bad from each grocery trip
04 Number of people joining based on referral from current members
05 Qualitative testimonials
This project was rewarding for me because this was the first time I really got to lead a team through the entirety of the project, given that it was all my team members' first times taking an HCI class. I also took charge of branding, logo, and visuals, something I typically shy away from. Doing well at the demo was incredible for me and made me feel that I have really taken my design practice to the next level! Some improvements:
01 Always think about the selling point from the consumer + business standpoint.
Even though this was a user focused project, it was important when pitching to investors to think about how they would make money if they invested in the product. I learnt that it's important to blend being user-centric with being focused on the money-making principles in order to make a product go to market successfully.
02 Provide market validation of a product
We were commended on our research and validation of the idea, however my team never went out and tested the app and its functionality. If given more time, we would definitely go out and do some usability testing.