food waste in the home
Heed is a reflective data collecting service which creates a impact on the user every time they use their food bin. The food bin is positioned on a scales which is shown on the monitor.
This project brief was left open to interpretation to how to tackle food waste in the home. This project was given by the Environmental Protection Agency. This project was given 5 weeks to complete; the first two weeks were given to research which was done as a class of 14. The third week we broke off into groups of three and one of four, this was for concept generation. The fourth week was for testing and iterating and the fifth week was for finalising and presenting our concepts to the EPA.
The research phase was exciting as it was 14 heads working together to gain as much information as possible. We broke into small groups to keep things running smoothly. I helped with making and handing out cultural probes to hand out to those we couldn’t get an interview with. This cultural probe took users through their kitchen to see did what they thought was in their kitchen matched what was really there and to point out how much food they might have sitting in their cupboards which were gone off. The style guide was made by a different team and we worked together to keep everything sync.
After breaking into smaller focused teams from our research team of 14, the team I was on decided to focus on how to make food waste visual in the kitchen. We had 5 days to come up with three concepts to present to the EPA. We started concepts by looking at the journey of our food. We thought around the grocery shop, storage of food in the kitchen, food preparation and finally the bin. We went with a reflective bin.
Prototyping & TESTING
We did up two rough prototypes and brought them out for quick user testing and questions. One prototype was a numerical feedback of average weight of the food dropped into the bin; the second was a series of lights which reacted to amount of food in the bin. These were both made with Arduino. An apple was used for testing. We then moved into medium fidelity prototyping to send out on a 3 day trial basis in two homes.
While our prototype was out we thought of how this product would work in the home. How will we get it into peoples homes? How much involvement is needed from the EPA and how can it benefit them? I created a service blueprint to show step by step how the service could work. I also did up some templated for social media advertising which will help spread the word. People like other people to see they are doing good.
The final design came to be a monitor with five colours ranging from green to orange to red; with a connected scales which a bin sat on. The monitor also showed an average cost of the weight in the bin, although it was no truly accurate it gave a sense of money loss when wasting food. This trigger along with the colour trigger makes a conscious impact on the user. The monitor is positioned in plain sight for everyone to see.