MealSpace

MealSpace combines the best parts of a Maker Space and a home kitchen. It allows students to create their own meals with all the necessary ingredients and materials provided. MealSpace is a new experience to eating out.

Fast Facts

Role:

UX Designer

Project Type:

Student Design Competition CHI 2018 submission

Dates:

September 2017 - Janurary 2017

Tools:

  • Pencil and Paper
  • Dry Erase Marker / White Board
  • Sketch
  • InVision
  • Google Survey Forms

Skills:

  • Design Methodologies
  • Participatory Design
  • Analytical Research
  • Sketching techniques
  • Wireframing and prototyping
  • Scenarios and storyboarding

Overview

The solution is a cultivation of a makerspace and a kitchen. It is supposed to help first-year students cook safely and healthy. This was project that was submited to the Student Design Competition of Computer-Human Interaction Conference 2018.

The Problem

Moving to college is a tough transition for students: increased workload, social pressure, and no more home-cooked meals. Of all these factors, students undermine the importance of balanced, healthy meals. While on-campus meal plans aim to provide students with a variety of food choices, a freshman on average can gain weight 5X greater than the general population.

The Process: Research

Research and User Interviews


Paper Surveys

We Recieved 21 college students that expressed interest and concerns regarding grocery shopping and cooking at home. The biggest finding is that they high nutrition and low cost.

User Interviews

During our interviews with two participants that were different from the 21 college students, claimed that cost is a deterrence for using existing solutions such as InstaCart. They Also mentioned their current process for meal planning is a simple ad-hoc method. At the end of the interviews, the participants made it clear that even though they knew nutrition was important, nutrition levels are normally not met.

Diary Studies

The biggest finding during our diary study was that general mood after eating was improved when the participant either ate with a tv show playing or when eating with a friend. Therefore eating with some company improves the eating experience.

Process Summary

After identifying the different needs that our users have, we used a priority matrix based approach to develop ideas. We wrote different needs of our users along with an axis and assigned them weights based on our research findings; along the other axis, we wrote different ways these solutions can be implemented. After coming up with these ideas, we ranked them and chose MealSpace because it tackled the issues of time and nutrition most efficiently.

solution matrix we created to solidfy what direction we were going to go.
Our initial sketches.

The Solution Overview

Mealspace brings people together into a single space in order to create a creative culinary atmosphere that focuses on nutrition, cost, and time. We source from local farmers that grow marvelous vegetables and source the highest and safest meat and dairy products allows us to give back to our community. With the use of freeze and cold storage technology, we’re able to provide local and tasty ingredients all year! The convenience of location and provided materials makes Mealspace the prime stop to come and create an outstanding meal with friends or meal prep for a student’s busy week. Every meal creation with us supports student health, the local food ecosystem, and economy.



Step 1: Students visit the website and schedule a session.
Step 2: Users arrive at designated cook stations and sign in.
Step 3: Tablet app shows step-by-step instructions.

High Fidelity Prototype

Website

  • It allows users to reserve the station they wish to work at.
  • Pick out specific recipes to ensure the ingredients will be available when they get there.
  • It also allows users to invite others to the experience.


Tablet

  1. Password protected
  2. Shows the required materials and ingredients needed prior to cooking.
  3. Detailed instructions on how to prepare the recipe.
  4. Sends the recipe to you so you can cook it yourself later.

Link to prototype


Summary and Reflection

Given that nutrition is a concern among students and evidence shows that weight gain is an issue, Mealspace provides an easy yet efficient way to cook nutritious meals with an opportunity to collaborate with fellow college students and learn about cooking. MealSpace offers a physical space for students to get together and share an enjoyable, healthy experience. With MealSpace, eating health is no longer a dread, but a social engagement to look forward to.