What's in Your Fridge?
July 2022, 3 weeks
Figma, Miro, Notion
WIYF is an app concept that can help home chefs reduce food waste, save money, and get inspired.
The design challenge
The average US household
wastes about 32% of the food
in their kitchen.
How might we help help home chefs use food before it's wasted and get inspired to cook with what they have on hand?
To research this problem, we developed a series of interview questions as well as a survey around cooking at home and grocery shopping habits and pain points. We wanted to speak with individuals who have cooking skills at various levels so we could create something that would be helpful for both novice and experienced chefs. Furthermore, it was important to the solution that we also had an understanding of on hand ingredient inventory, and how stocked the average fridge is. Grouping our feedback into 10 different categories allowed us to get a grasp on our users habits, needs, and issues around all things cooking and meal prep.What we found was that the average user generally can feel uninspired to plan and cook their own meals, leading to food going unused.
Once we had a better understanding of who we were designing for, we wanted to put those findings into a persona. Jake, our user persona, recently moved to his first apartent and started his new job. Short on time, money, and faced with feeding himself, Jake needs a way to make cooking easier. Still getting into the routine of grocery shopping, Jake tends to just buy what looks good and then figure out how to use it later.
Ingredients in your fridge or pantry go bad before you can use them leading to a lot of food and money wasted. The user who enjoys cooking needs motivation and recipe suggestions to reduce waste and use the ingredients they already have at home.We conducted interviews and surveys to better understand how people use the food they buy to plan & prepare meals. We then analyzed the data to create a mobile app that could inspire home chefs to use the ingredients they already have stocked in their kitchen to make meals, therefore reducing waste and saving both time & money.
One of our biggest obstacles when we began designing was how to allow users to input their own "food inventory" into the app and keep it updated as they use items and grocery shop throughout the week. We started to solve this issue but including a "pantry staples" section, that include items generally kept on hand. Future iterations could also include linking your WIYF app to your Instacart or allowing you to scan a receipt for quick inventory updates. Another design problem we ran into was how to allow users to filter recipes that are pushed to them. Most people have dietary prefrences and in more severe cases, allergies so this was an important decision when creating a food app. We decided to make an easy link in the profile page where users can conviently add in their restrictions or prefs.
The user who enjoys cooking needs motivation and recipe suggestions to reduce waste and use the ingredients they already have at home.
Home chefs, who like to cook several times a week, struggle to find recipes and plan meals, causing them to throw out food before they are able to use it. How can we enable home chefs to save both food and money while finding inspiration and motivation to cook?
We began to brainstorm the screens our user would navigate to find recipes. The unique feature of our app is that it can take your input of ingredients and churn out recipe options for you to use those ingredients. However, when it comes to food, there are many individual preferences to consider: Who are you feeding? What do you/they like or not like? Do you have any restrictions or allergies?
To get some ideas on paper, we then sketched a few of the wireframes and a general idea for how they would look.
Moving onto our low fidelity wireframes, we began to build out the introductory screens in Figma. We wanted the ingredient add screen to show the most likely items, like pantry staples, as well as a search bar to find and add things. We then decided to incorporate a swipe left versus right method of scrolling and choosing from the recipes that were generated.
We used our user interviews as the foundation of our research. We went in with our own implicit biases and assumptions only to discover our users were experiencing certain pain points we didn’t expect. By putting our interview data into an affinity map we were able to focus on a solid problem statement.
Future versions for WIYF could include a feature allowing users to link their WIYF account to Instacart so the app could auto populate your ingredients and also suggest items to add to your grocery cart once you've used them.