“Understand the type of environment, utensils, and cookware. What types of food could we put in the app?”
UX/UI Designer
Bryan Juteau
“I wish you could help me understand the LAUSD food system. Is the demographic ready for the experience?”
Experience Designer
Dee Foster
“I want to know the logistical terms. I wish the backend expanded on the work that has already been made.”
UX Research
Interaction Designer
William Gamez
Our team was thorough in providing validating data points to support our concept, and the app showcased a realistic walkthrough of features that could help our target audience. However, there were many logistical concerns that weren't addressed early through our ideation process.
I’m proud of our group efficiency, it shows in the final prototype screens. I made sure to have the brand guidelines be applicable throughout the entire product as much as I was able to and it shows consistency. An updated design was considered with gestalt principle of proximity.
Final Prototype
Prototype Sprint
Start with the role that you see can help the entire team. Create a mutual agreement of fail-safe systems to help the team overcome potential challenges. Communicate early and often with everyone.

Focus on the audience when creating a new solution. Interview people and create the opportunity for them to be comfortable so they can be transparent about their experiences. Each personal story matters because at times there may be overlap habits and challenges that people face.

It’s important to identify people’s willingness to use your product and prioritize accessibility. We found that while at first some of our features were considered to be helpful through interviews and research testing we had to simplify the user flow for an easy on boarding process.
I provided a design system as well as a few brand guidelines to everyone for the prototype. Our team built different screens, but the work was built on top of each other and later became a bit inconsistent. Thankfully, by version two, there were opportunities to reign in design and make it more cohesive.
The concept posters were very pivotal in entering the prototype phase. Each team member thought of different directions with helpful features. Our team merged some features from each idea and had a clear direction that definitely covered a clear solution for families who face food insecurity.
Competitive Analisys
We researched how for-profit businesses efficiently provide ready-to-cook or eat meals to families experiencing food insecurity. We identified opportunities to improve accessibility and shift our focus from providing food to providing nutritional options and substitutes for families' meal plans.
Exploring Direction
Within the first couple of days our team began to ideate key features for our product based on the initial research. We wanted to highlight features that made things easier and through our first interviews we were able to prioritize our user flow based on authentic needs of our target audience.
User Flow
Here are three of our insights: 1. Government constantly helps people who face food insecurity. 2. Mutual Aid is a solidarity-based support, in which communities unite. 3. Hybrid business models can help customers from varying price points and give back to under represented communities.
Deep Dive Research
The kick-off research revealed that women with lower incomes are disproportionately affected by food insecurity. We also learned about a new approach to addressing this issue through a TedTalk, which influenced our project's design and outcome. “The way we frame a problem determines the type of solutions we get."
The IxD program created a design challenge for our Interaction Design Studio class. The aim was to design, justify, and clearly communicate solutions that are informed by human-centered design principles and utilize screen-based interaction patterns. Our class focused on creating an interactive digital solution for people who face food insecurity in the city of Los Angeles.
Research Lead – Conducted deep dive research and guided the team to look for different sources.

Resource Manager – Provided resources and tools to collaborate through the project.

Lead Designer – iterations of the logo, branding, and style guide.

Presentation Writer – Drafted the presentation approach for our project walkthrough.
Introducing the LAUSD Universal Student Free Meal app - a digital meal service providing nutritionally-rich ready-to-cook or eat meals to students and families experiencing food insecurity. Get access to high-quality, nourishing meals right at your fingertips.
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Problem: Our team was tasked with finding an opportunity to create a digital product that helps families with young children who are impacted by food insecurity in Los Angeles. Consider a focus like nutrition, local action, or food waste to incorporate into the strategy.

Insight: We found a strong way to help through local action to provide food for people with food insecurity. We found three positions: government, community, and business action. And from those points, we saw a way to expand the Universal Student Free Meal program of LAUSD.

Solution: Our project aims to enhance the LAUSD Universal Student Free Meal program by introducing a premium digital meal service app for students and their families who struggle with food insecurity. This app offers nutritionally-rich ready-to-cook or eat meals to support the nutritional needs of those in need.
The people our team interviewed were incredibly influential in aligning our project outcome with actionable ways to help lessen the stress of their situations. The stories told were vivid and absolutely inspiring. Our team became passionate about picking the right direction based on research and listening to the journey of their struggles.
“Being homeless costs 3 times more than regular living.”
“People say I am a strong woman, but why can’t I be weak?”
Early 30s
American Citizen
Single Mother of 1
“[The Food Stamp] was not enough to cover the entire meal for our family, but it helped us a lot.”
“I don’t want my children to know that I am receiving money from the government.”
Early 30s
Chinese Immigrant
Mother of 2 daughters
Authentic Stories
Interaction Designer
Concept Developer
Bin Gao
Natsumi Takagi
Product Designer