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Kitchen Express - The Design of Customized Cooking Service

Before there were Hello Fresh, Blue Apron, and Uber Eats, there was Kitchen Express! This is a project that my friends and I completed by taking an online course from Acumen Academy. By going through the four phases in the human-centered design cycle, we designed a new customized cooking service to solve Taiwanese's unhealthy eating habits. Kitchen Express is a mobile food truck that prepares and cooks customers' personalized meal plans. What users need to do is to select the ingredients, complete online transactions, and pick up their healthy, fresh meal!   
(Artwork created by Chloris Chen)
Inspiration Phase
  • Taiwanese have long working hours and they mostly commute between work and home, which usually can be time-consuming. Due to the size of the apartments, some even do not have a kitchen. Therefore, Taiwanese usually eat out or order take out, which tends to be less healthy. To first understand Taiwanese current eating habits, we conducted interviews and diary study. 
  • We identified three targeted user groups and interviewed two users in each group:
    • Current user: already have been cooking for themselves​
    • Willing-to-try user: never cooked before but have always wanted to
    • Lapsed user: tried cooking before but gave up 
  • We also interviewed two experts to learn what is considered as a healthy eating habit​
    • Chef​
    • Nutritionist
Diary Study
  • We asked the six interviewees to record their eating habits on an Excel sheet for three days. They took notes of the time, location, description and photo of the meal, and the cost. 
  • They were also asked to describe their ideal meal per day. 
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Ideation Phase
Affinity Diagram
  • After exploratory research, we analyzed the qualitative data by conducting an affinity diagram.
  • We came up with three "How May We" questions and three solutions. 
Identified Pain Points
  • Preparing ingredeicent and cleaning the kitchen after cooking can be time-consuming.
  • Lack of space and equipment are some main barriers preventing people from cooking.
  • Only cook when they wanted a specific dish.
"How May We..."
  • provide an efficient method for users to receive healthy meals?
  • provide fresh, accessible, and appropriate amounts of food to users?
  • provide easily accessible information about a balanced diet to users?
Plausible Solutions
  • Create a Facebook page to promote a balanced diet and healthy cooking methods 
  • Operate a fully-equipped mobile kitchen
  • Provide a fully customized cooking service 
Prototyping Phase 
Selected Solution
  • We decided to combine the mobile kitchen and Facebook page. The Facebook page is set as a community center where users receive information on healthy diets and receipts. They can place online order and pick up their healthy meal at the mobile kitchen on their way home from work.  
  • We created a scenario describing a 25 years old business woman's dilemma of cooking at home and how the Kitchen Express service solve her needs.
Prototype testing 
  • We created a Facebook page to reflect how the business operate online. 
  • Four participants were recruited to test out the service flow, concept, and platform prototype.
  • Participant read through the scenarios and checked out the Facebook page. They provided their thoughts on the service.  
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Implementation Phase
As this is an online course project, we did not actually execute and implement our design idea. However, through launching the Facebook page, we did receive messages from family and friends showing interests and seeing the values of the service. One of the outcome of the project was that we created a deck documenting the whole design cycle. 
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Lesson Learned
  • How to conduct diary study and triangulate the results with interview data
  • How to conduct affinity diagram to analyze data and group findings
  • How to utilize online resources to learn the human-center design cycle and organize a UX/UI study group  
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