Engaging tangible and mobile experiences to design a smart food tracker, helping people reduce food waste.
Home is a place where we are with our loved ones, where we feel warm and secure. Among many different staple household activities, having food at home ties closely with these fundamental needs. This is why people love preparing and cooking food at home. However, many of us inevitably end up wasting the food we don’t use. Remember the last time you found spoiled fruit or vegetables in the back of your fridge that’s been there forever? Yeah, it happens to all of us. We may feel bad as we toss out the spoiled food, but it still happens over and over.
To increase the user adoption of our proposed solutions, they need to be easy to use and fit different types of homes and lifestyles. After all, not many people want to transform their houses into a sci-fi movie set.
A mobile solution “Got Food?” was created first as a way to address changing contexts. There are four components of the app:
- Inventory shows people what they have at home
- Shopping List lets people add shopping items and suggests what to get based on their inventory
- Recipes encourages people to make the most use of their inventory
- Analytics helps increase people’s awareness of their food consumption and waste.
However, considering our defined principles, a mobile app shouldn’t be the only answer to the problems we were trying to solve. After all, the most intuitive way to check what you have in the fridge is to open the fridge.
After several rounds of ideation, we made use of an everyday object, a fridge magnet, to surface food information, allow direct manipulation, and encourage collaboration among family members. It’s also perfect for the less tech-savvy.