I managed the design team for a startup focused on reducing food waste in dining services and I led the design development of the company’s tracker UI system.
Phood is a food waste management startup, aiming to reduce the amount of food thrown away in dining services by weighting leftovers and collecting quantitative data.
Restaurants, corporate and college dining services produce an incredible amount of food waste every day.
Food businesses waste an average of over 100,000 lbs of food per year.
Addressing this problem, Phood created a simple, easy-to-use software and hardware, to help businesses save over $100,000 per year by reducing 50% of their food waste, as well as increase excess food donations by 35%.
The challenge was to make sure the software UI is easy to use by the end users, the kitchen staff, who have different levels of tech experience and are working in a hectic work environment.
To address the busy environment kitchens are, Phood's UI is compact, minimalist and straightforward. Utilizing the powerful AI tracking technology, the time needed to measure food waste is reduced to just second.
I served as the lead-facing discipline designer when we conducted interviews with dining service managers and kitchen staff to collect qualitative data about their work experience using a beta version of Phood's tracker,
Several workers expressed their frustration from the size and close proximity of the buttons, leading them to accidentally press the wrong one.
In addition, although initially perceived to be clear understandable, the interface was too complex to comprehend for the less tech-savvy workers.
Following the interviews, I quickly mocked up some basic wireframes to gather feedback from the team and users on the overall layout and structure of the tracker system. This involved establishing a standardized visual hierarchy and layout for the future Phood components.
When thinking about the functionality, I wanted to use clear colors and typography to improve the uses of the interface but at the same time convey the brand sustainability goals.
Since the scanning process is done automatically, the minimalist design of the UI is meant to minimize distraction while working in the kitchen.
The large gaps between the buttons allows undisturbed interactions
Facilitating users feedback, a successful scan and submission to the company's inventory system is confirmed through a full-screen window.
The window fades out after 3 seconds countdown to allow continuous scanning.
If the AI system misidentified the scanned item, the kitchen staff can then access the meal's menu and choose from one of the preloaded items.