Nomhunter is a mobile app that makes sustainable eating easier: look up nearby grocery stores, their price range, and the sustainability of their food products.
The was a capstone group project for a UX design course that involved user research on barriers to making more sustainable lifestyle choices, prototyping using Adobe Illustrator and InVision, as well as usability testing and iteration.
CSC318: The Design of Interactive Computational Media: A computer science course at the University of Toronto where students learn user-centered design through hands-on projects and assignments.
This was the capstone project for CSC318, completed with a team of four peers also enrolled in the course. I was the primary designer for the mockup's interface, and worked with my team to make an evidence-based product design.
Skills & Tools
This quick presentation summarizes our major findings, the process of our prototyping, user testing, and iteration, and a SWOT analysis of current market competitors.
Narrowing the Problem Domain
To design a feasible product, we needed a feasible problem to solve. Beginning within the problem domain of Environmental Sustainability, we conducted primary research via an online survey as well as secondary research via peer-reviewed journals and reputable periodicals to examine how users interacted with environmentalism. Our research showed that although food and agricultural sustainability was a growing concern, many users found it difficult to contribute to agricultural sustainability.
Although food and agricultural sustainability was a growing concern, many users found it difficult to contribute to agricultural sustainability
The most prominent obstacles were:
- Knowledge gaps about what "sustainable food choices" are like
- Knowledge gaps about where to buy sustainable food
- Concerns about the cost and accessibility of sustainable food
- Absence of a comprehensive, reputable, accredited resource to find the above information
What is a sustainable food?
This was the main questin our users had. To help our users answer this question, we conducted secondary research into the attributes that typically define a "sustainable food". These attributes were consolidated into four main aspects that made it into our eventual prototype:
Ideation & Prototyping
From User Needs to Design Solutions
Our survey results coalesced around the following user needs, which we translated into potential design specifications.
- I don't know what factors contribute to sustainability
- I don't know what "food miles" are or how many my foods have
- I want to find all sustainability info in one place
- I don't know where I can shop sustainably and affordably
- I need to find a place to shop on-the-go
Based on these ideas, we sketched some ideas of potential solutions: from a grocery store kiosk, to a “smart fridge”, and even an augmented shopping cart. However, peer evaluations in tutorial led us to conclude that a smartphone app would be the most feasible.
Our initial idea was just an app that could scan food items and return sustainability information - however, we soon realized that we could make our users' lives even easier if we localized that information, and told them where exactly sustainable food could be found. In addition, we included the options to save one's favourite foods and stores, as well as see what kinds of foods and stores were trending nearby, such as new in-season produce or sales.
The Four Main Parts of the App
To get feedback on our product design, we had friends, family, and our classmates test our app and provide feedback. From testing, we learned that:
- The welcome screen was unnecessary.
- Application was too complicated - a tutorial was needed.
- Both stores and food needed to be shown across all sections of the app.
- Help section was not very informative.
- Users were confused by the absence of a login page
We replaced the welcome screen with a tutorial, with an option to skip the tutorial as well as the option to reopen the tutorial from the app's menu system if the user needs a refresher:
The complete tutorial:
Final Prototype & Report
To view the completed app on InVision, click here:
You can also view our research report and process summary on Google Drive: