Student Design Competition CHI 2018 submission
September 2017 - Janurary 2017
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 “gain weight 5.5 times greater” than the general population (Mihalopoulos et al., 2008).
Research and User Interviews
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.
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.
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.
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.
High Fidelity Prototype
- Password protected
- Shows the required materials and ingredients needed prior to cooking.
- Detailed instructions on how to prepare the recipe.
- Sends the recipe to you so you can cook it yourself later.
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.