MIXR: Connecting Chefs of Different Flavors
HOW CAN COOKING BE A PART OF SOCIAL EXPERIENCE ON COLLEGE CAMPUS?
Design Brief
There are many real-life examples of mobile applications that aim to “teach” users - from language to software program, academic subjects, etc. However, most have a clear distinction between teachers and learners which establishes a one sided dynamic. In this sense, designing a peer economy mobile application raises a question of how we can create a platform that allow users to “share” their knowledge. Mixr aims to connect users with different cultural and cooking backgrounds to meet  and share their techniques and skills both virtually and physically .

Team
Sunah Hong, Josh Kim, Nikita Agarwal

My Role & Contribution
I worked collaboratively with teammate throughout the general research phase that includes brainstorming and persona development, and ideation phase that includes concept finalization, story boarding, and wire-framing. Individually, I took charge of running user testing, developing chatting service of MIXR logistics and high fidelity mock up for user testing, and delivering final prototype.

Deliverables
Final presentation. UI screens, High-fidelity mock up









Problems
Cooking at home is still the preferred way to prepare a meal for 98% of Americans....

...but only 50% report actually cooking regularly at home, less than half of which are millennial.

Source: Report Linker
 53% report wanting to cook more at home
63% of which are millennial who say they would cook more if they had new ideas
Ideation Walk-through
1. Brainstorming 
To incorporate peer economy and to further differentiate our product from other existing teaching apps and, our team planned to make a platform for teachers and learners to meet each other to not only learn recipes, but also to get to know the person. We aimed to bring more interactions and engagement of users. We started from an idea of “Tinder” and applied to our app of teaching and learning how to cook a certain dish.
The following shows few notes and ideas about features we must include within our app:
2. Persona Development
Matt Huber \ 23 \ Junior Software Engineer
Matt is a recent graduate from a local university in Pittsburgh, who is living alone and works at a start-up. Until his graduation, he lived in small dorms and therefore hasn’t never had his own kitchen. After visiting the nearby groceries store, he realizes that all he knows how to make is homemade pizza that his mom taught him. He scours the internet for new recipes, but fails to make them because he is unfamiliar to the realm of cooking and needs someone to show him how to cook in person. He would like to ask his friends from college, but most of them have graduated and moved away. He barely knows the communities around Pittsburgh, and wants a way to meet people organically before asking them how to cook.
Jonny Martin \ 26 \ Product Manager
Jonny is a product manager at Google in Pittsburgh at their office in bakery square, and he loves to cook. His father is of French descent, and as a boy, Jonny learned to cook many french dishes and bake French pastries from his paternal grandmother. However, he doesn’t know how to cook much else, and usually learns from famous YouTubers or BuzzFeed Tasty videos, but misses purely homemade recipes like he learned from his grandmother. None of his friends know how to cook, and he’s looking to learn from someone new and interesting.   




3. Storyboards
4. Wireframe
We took inventory elements of each screen and they were: navigation/explore, app logo, content areas, filter function, search function, communicating function, notification alert, rating system and so on. We started off with hand-drawn sketches and then transferred them into digital later.
5. Low-Fidelity Mock-up / User testing 
Filter
Explore / Navigate / Select
Message / Mutual Checklist
Rate / Review
Based on few samples of user testing, our team was able to find what is working and not within our app. Our users found the following features especially convenient and easy to follow:
1. Intuitive and well-placed icons
2. Balance between graphics and texts
However, there were some improvements we could make:
1. Our current design displays search/filter option for user’s want before the app automatically suggesting potential meeting around the user’s location. However, because users may want to explore possible recipes around them before searching for the specifics, we plan to present suggestions near them first and then make a search option for users who know what they want clearly.
2. Make a page that leads to a collection of what the user has done so far - like a recipe scrapbook.
3. Insert a confirmation screen that displays mutually selected date, location, ingredient and so on so that the user can easily visualize the summary of the upcoming event.
4. Alphabetize on a list of category filter to search better.
5. Make the star button more clear to indicate user’s interest/like.
6. Theme generation
7. High-Fidelity Prototyping
(click to view)
8. Navigation Map
Demo

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