Foodies aims to simplify the seeking of specific foreign foods. Exchanges experiences are always full of unforgettable memories, and the food has a significant role in that. Besides, when you are abroad, sometimes you might miss your home and your local food. For that reason, the Foodies case study ambition was to create an application that helps people find specific foods from foreign countries.
To start the investigation, we defined two objectives for doing interviews and exploring the environment. The first target was foreigners that are interested in finding products from their own countries. The second target was shop owners with food or drinks from abroad. We decided to explore also the “business part” and not just the possible users, to better understand the typical clients for them and define our user target.
The team was of four people. During the interviews with the shop’s owners, my role was primarily to communicate with the owners while the others were observing non-speech language and taking notes. We achieved to interview six different owners of shops from different countries.
While during the interviews with the first target (foreigners), we divided the role equally with two interviews performed each. Our team decided to design two different prototypes for two devices: smartphones and smartwatches. My role was focused on designing the Lo-Fi and Hi-Fi prototype of the smartwatch. In addition, I had the main role in defining scenarios and user tasks to design the prototypes in the design process.
We achieved to interview 6 shop owners and 8 foreigners. Cause the findings in the interview, and we had to rethink our application a little. Indeed, we assumed that those only people abroad looking for foreign food, but thanks to the shop owners, we understood that there is one more target. In fact, people who were abroad before to other countries are still looking for products that remember their past experiences. Besides, we discovered that people abroad have difficulties finding a specific country shop and even if they find that, more of the time they don’t find all the products they want. From that, we defined that our prototype should fit this need through research for products and nationality of the shops.
To have more clear what need our application had to fit, we defined a scenario representing a use case of our product:
Based on the users that stated that they sometimes have difficulties finding a product or a shop using the web or applications and based on the scenario, we decided to include the feature of a virtual assistant, which is simpler and natural. Besides, we decided to develop our prototypes in smartwatches and smartphones, which were our target's most common devices. Hence, the decision of the feature of virtual assistant was also in line with the devices chosen. Users could search their product without having to type. Besides, we defined two different tasks for developing our lo-fi prototype. These are possible to summarize in:
After that, we started to draw sketches to clarify some functions of the application and to define the screens needed to perform the tasks before showed.
After the definition of the task, we start to develop our lo-fi prototype on paper. My explanation will focus on the smartwatch prototype cause was my main role. For the smartwatch prototype, we decided to design and build a paper prototype to have better results and accuracy on our screens. Besides the screens, we also design some basic interactions on paper, for example, a scrolling interaction. Above you can watch the video of the Lo-Fi prototype.
Based on the feedback received, we started to develop the Hi-Fi prototypes.
Firstly, we take some visual decisions to have common points between the smartwatch and smartphone. We chose to follow Apple’s design guidelines with rounded shapes to give our prototype a modern, calm and friendly look. Besides, we chose to put flags to indicate the specific country shops to speed up the interaction while searching for a specific shop. We also use the flag colors for the design of the shop profile. Above you can watch the video of the Hi-Fi prototype.
The final prototype permit to perform three main tasks:
These tasks gave an insight into the potentialities of the product and the quality of interaction design done.
The journey was very funny and the final product was very impressive in terms of interaction. The insights from the interviews surprised me. My team was asserted that those who were looking for specific foreign food was usually someone abroad at this moment. Instead, we discover that people that were abroad in different countries are the main customers of this type of shop. These findings obligated us to change our initial idea and confirmed the importance of interviews. Thanks to this project I learn how to prototype for the little screen as the smartwatch. The design for the little screen has to face up many challenges and thanks to that I improved my skills in prototyping in Figma. The design of the application was very nice and minimalist. The virtual assistant was very well integrated and something very necessary for a small device like a smartwatch. From that, I think that the concept of adapting interaction design depending on the device constraint was something that I have to think about in all the next projects. In this case, we design a very simple interaction for a virtual assistant that could be reused in other designs.