Healthy Food Assistant Kiosk

UX research & design for providing healthier food options for people in need

My role

• Team Lead (team of 6)
• UX Designer


• Observation 
• Interview
• Affinity Mapping
• Sketching
• Prototyping


January – April, 2019

The Healthy Food Assistance Kiosk is a self-service system for people in need to find food programs that they would benefit from based on their individual needs. I led a team of 6 HCI graduate students and professional UX designers to design the product from research to prototype. This is a team project from a Human-Center Design course by


How might we provide healthier food options for people in need?

In many neighborhoods, there is little infrastructure for the preservation and distribution of excess food. Excess food is often spoiled before or during distribution. Health food options are often unavailable in some areas, moreover, community member may lack the knowledge to make healthier food choices. There is also a lack of demand and supply for health food options in the community due to limited access to funds. 


User Research

We interviewed volunteers and staff in local non-profit food organizations, volunteered with a food recovery agency, and researched on analogous systems. ​


We discovered themes from our research, captured insights related to the themes, and identified opportunities for design


We brainstormed design ideas, selected the ones related to the challenge, and created prototype.​



In order to better understand our design challenge and the people we were designing for, we volunteered with Flower City Picker to collect and sort leftover produce from vendors of the Rochester Public Market in Rochester, NY. Flower City Pickers “collects, sorts, and distributes the food to local shelters and other organizations to feed the hungry”. 


We interviewed volunteers and staff from Mustard Seed Kitchen, Flower City Pickers, Food Not Bombs to gain an overview of what’s worked and what hasn’t worked in their practices as well as their perspectives of providing healthier food options for people in the community. 



From our research, we captured a good number of insights. We organized the insights and identified three major themes: food waste, food recovery, and limitations.  We then selected the top three insights which we thought they have the biggest opportunities for design solutions and reframe them as  “How Might We” questions. 


Design Opportunity

It is more difficult for larger companies than consumers to reduce food waste.

How might we encourage businesses to donate their leftover food?

Food recovery programs are decentralized.

How might we help food recovery organizations better work with each other?

People need help but often do not know where and how to get it , and the help provided is not based on individual needs.

How might we help people find programs that they would benefit from?


Each of us generated as many design ideas as we could for each “How Might We” question above and organized them on a wall. We then individually surveyed the ideas and voted for two ideas: the most innovative idea and the most likely to succeed idea. As a group, we reviewed and discussed the final ideas that got the highest votes from us. Based on how much the idea relates to as well as helps to solve our original design challenge, we decided to combined a few of the ideas and focus our final solution on this “How Might We” question:

How might we help people find programs that they would benefit from?



We decided to design a kiosk because some community members may not have access to internet or a smartphone. The kiosk can be placed in any locations people usually go to:

  • pharmacy
  • grocery store
  • hospital
  • gas station
  • mall
  • school
  • public market
  • soup kitchens
  • government service
  • office
  • retail location (next to Redbox or Coinstar)

User Flow

There are two major parts in the kiosk. People in need can first find food programs matching their individual needs on the system.

People can also request food from food programs in the system. Food can be picked up in a designated location nearby. 



Next steps involve creating interactive prototype and user testing in the community.