Sept - Nov
Leaf is a small touch screen projector that attaches to the kitchen walls or cabinets. It encourages users to maintain a sustainable kitchen through gameplay.
Our research showed that people have a hard time staying sustainable because it is a time and effort consuming process with little direct rewards. To tackle these issues we designed a game experience that would foster growth of sustainable habits in the kitchen.
Jae, MS HCI student
User Research, ideating, Wire framing, Game element Design, user testing
of total national energy
consumption constitutes to food production
global economic loss as a result of food loss and waste
of consumer energy use accounts for cooking
Knowing the extent of negative impact a considerable amount of us have on our environment just by going about a regular day of cooking, we ask the question,
"How might we make our kitchens sustainable?"
An interactive game that brings together people, encouraging them to collectively maintain a green kitchen
Play for Points
Play challenges with friends for game-points and view how well you are doing within each ingredient house.
View items you have and add to list when use them. Update the ingredients when you have time.
Learn how to be an efficient chef by repeating recipes. Browse recipes based on available ingredients.
My teammate planned a meal, bought ingredients and cooked a regular American meal. We made observations of the detailed tasks in cooking and discovered potential pain points.
We planned out a survey that focused on asking users their
understanding of sustainability and their current kitchen behavior. We received 73 responses.
We planned out a semi-structured contextual inquiry, We recruited 6 participants who we observed cooking a regular meal in their kitchen.
Brainstorming - desk research
Contextual Inquiry - Affinity Map
People lack environmental awareness and information.
People can't see personal benefits of being sustainable.
People have habitual kitchen behavior that is difficult to alter and change.
People tend to improvise recipes more often.
People store food but mostly end up throwing it away.
The solution must motivate users by providing environmental awareness.
The solution must measure and evaluate sustainability in the kitchen.
The solution help users break old habits and foster new sustainable habits.
Ideation & Concepts
Ideation - Brainstorming
Concept 1 - Haptic protege handle control and visual display.
Concept 2 - A small projector screen with the projector
Concept 3 - A counter top digital device for recipes.
An interactive game that brings together people in an virtual space encouraging them to collectively maintain a Green Kitchen. The game is projected from a small control device. The user interacts with the device to play.
Motivate each other
Users play challenges with friends so it is collaborative and community based.
Track Progress with points
The solution shows progress through sustainability points. Different aspects of the game contribute to the points
Repeat to gain points
The game also tracks consistency and gives users opportunity to repeat challenges.
Concept use cases to discover potential failures and pain points
Organizing information on two displays (projection, game controller), understanding unique user interaction method and designing gameplay were the goals of making a detailed information architecture.
We made the wireframes for the three features of the game and figured how the screens would display gameplay.
We wanted the visuals to be playful, yet communicate its purpose of keeping the user sustainable, We were inspired by isometric monotone designs and created our assets with a language.
Controller Physical Design
We wanted to have an idea of how the game controller (projector) would look and understand how it would fit in the kitchen environment. We rendered the design for the product.
Visual elements for home screen
3D model of game controller (projector)
Level up to a Greener Kitchen
We recruited five participants in the age group 23-27. The testing was done in person if possible or remotely. We prepared a testing protocol beforehand. We used miro to organize the test comments and prioritized them to implement for the next iteration.
Updating Quantity is time consuming
People wanted to have a view of all inventory items rather than in only specific houses
The "more details" on the houses didn't seem to give users the expected insights
People expected "challenges" to be a main feature in the home page
People wanted to know exactly when in the game they can score points
Overall information on houses
The first iteration design of the dashboard showed the overall view. It compared the weekly grocery expenditure and wastage percentage. The users did not find this information useful to track sustainability.
Focus on weekly sustainable progress in a house
in the second iteration we focused on visualizing the sustainable progress for the week. We split the view into an overview, weekly data and historical data.
"Challenges" are found under friends tab
The first iteration design featured the challenges in the last tab (Friends). We got a lot of positive responses on the challenges. Users did not expect the challenges would be under friends though. Since its a game experience they wished it was priority.
"Challenges" in home page (Kitchen)
We moved the challenges to the homepage and changed up the main tabs to be more meaningful. The kitchen features the houses and the challenges. There is a separate tab for inventory and another for recipes.
Users can see level points in top bar
The first iteration displayed the points user gained on the top bar which is a fixed component on every screen. They could also see their points when they complete milestones.
Users can find leaf points throughout the game
We wanted to make the points system more transparent. The game ui now shows where in the journey users can gain points. Their food wastage, recipes, inventory updates & challenges are tracked.
Leaf is our final project for an interactive products studio class. It was my first time working with one other partner. We both had interests spanned across the design process so we challenged each other to work on the parts we were not comfortable with. I understood how to structure, conduct and analyze research better. The main challenge was to figure out the information architecture and wireframes given that our concept featured a novel interaction method. We worked collaboratively to jump past these hurdles. Creating the visuals and the product video for leaf took time and effort to get right. We had significant insights from testing teaching me the importance of testing and iterations. We were happy to get positive comments on our final deliverables. The project helped improve my skills on Adobe illustrator, Figma and designing information flows.