App Design: Greenbean

I designed an iOS app aimed at making cooking healthy, eco-conscious meals easier for low budget users.

Problem & Context

Cooking healthy food within a tight budget is hard. Keeping waste production low at the same time is even harder. Health and the environment are two areas often prioritized last when money is low. Understandably so- healthy, fresh foods are generally more costly than unhealthy, processed foods. Many food items with minimal packaging, like fresh produce, cost more than their heavily-packaged counterparts.

Meal-planning and utilizing food items more efficiently can offset this extra cost, while also cutting down food waste. I aimed to create an app that helps users navigate buying and cooking food that is healthy, budget-friendly and low-waste.

"How might I make cooking healthy, eco-conscious meals easier for low budget users?"

User Research

I conducted a survey of 30 college-aged students. While limited in age range, this body of participants fit my criteria for low budget.

Question: "Would you appreciate a feature that provides suggestions to lower waste production?

App Factors & Importance: Averaged from Rankings

Question: "Would you use a low-waste feature that uses on-hand ingredients, in exchange for loss of time in entering ingredients?"

Question: "Would you appreciate a feature that adjusts recipes' ingredient amounts to feed a specified number of people?

Question: "What are your grocery shopping habits?"

Additional Responses: "It depends on how much I'd be saving," "One Store- General grocery items, Another Store– Best produce items, Last Store- Bulk"

Question: "Would you be likely to browse recipes within an app?"

While low-waste averaged third to last in priority rankings, participants supported the idea of low-waste features. They were willing to sacrifice time in favor of sustainability, and most expressed interest in learning more about lowering their waste. I concluded from this information that sustainable practices should be incorporated into the app in a non-intrusive way– perhaps as an underlying factor of the primary user interactions, or as quick tips/insights.

Before research, I considered incorporating a feature to show local prices for ingredients. From the survey results, it appeared that most people choose to shop at one store– contradicting the app feature rankings where "cheap" was ranked higher than "quick." Given these results, and the general difficulty of accessing reliable data on local prices, I left it out.

Branding & Logo

The logo needed to be simple enough to work in a mobile environment, but also express the concepts of budget and environment-consciousness. In my iterations, I experimented with earthy hues and a green/coral color combination. I ultimately decided on a bright green color palette.

Interaction Mapping & Wireframing

I created an interaction map to help resolve the overall structure of the app and user flows. The map proved valuable in illustrating which sections in the app had overlapping information and functionality, and could be an asset when developing the app.

I followed the interaction map with rough wireframes. My primary goal in wire framing was to establish the functionalities needed on each page, and to propose asset types to accomplish them.

App Design

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