HACK MY LUNCHBOX
Empowering U.S. Kids and Parents to Create their Healthy School Lunches
User Research, Mockups, Presentation, Evaluation
1 Business expert
Research lead, Mockups, Evaluation
The goal of Hack my Lunchbox was to empower kids to learn how to eat healthy food & eat healthy food by creating their own meal in a gamified educational experience, connected to a lunch delivery system or their school kitchen.
After initial user research conducted prior to the weekend with parents of US children, we chose to create a tablet app for this concept.
During the weekend we further validated our research hypotheses and proceeded to design a tablet app concept that we then evaluated with parents and children.
This app + service concept was created during the San Diego Startup Weekend held in November 2014 by myself and a team of fellow foodies & socially engaged individuals.
FRAMING THE PROBLEM & CONTEXT
Widespread child obesity in USA can be tackled through healthy eating education of the kids and parents, who can influence the school lunch system, making it healthier.
In the U.S.A., 30% of children are overweight or obese. Schools offer little to no education on healthy eating AND school cafeterias serve unhealthy meals.
Through Hack my Lunchbox the goal is to improve the eating habits of children by empowering to learn to create their own healthy meals they can eat at school.
USER EMPATHY SESSIONS
Our team interviewed a few parents with their kids to identify what were the main unmet needs from both sides regarding school lunch. Through the sessions we understood the different sets of concerns of the PARENTS and the CHILDREN.
TIME & EDUCATION – The parents want to teach their kids about healthy food, but they don't have time to do it, and they are afraid they won’t listen
INGREDIENTS – Accessing fresh ingredients at all times can be challenging, especially ones that the kids will like.
TASTY VS HEALTHY - The kids are aware of the importance of eating healthy food, but they also find it hard to resist when the school offers food like pizza or fries
FITTING IN - When their parents pack healthy food, they like it but sometimes feel ashamed in front of other classmates, who laugh at their food.
After gathering relevant insights informing the need for a system to educate the kids (and parents) to how to create a healthy school lunchbox that is also yummy, we designed the concept for the app and food delivery service Hack my Lunchbox. We presented the concept to a few parents and children with a rough paper prototype to evaluate its USEFULNESS for the target user group, as well as the USER EXPERIENCE of the flow and the DESIRABILITY of the design. The kids found the concept easy to understand, playful and engaging. The parents found it a great idea, easy to understand and fun.
The work was presented at the final Startup Weekend Pitches and got great attention from the public. The main objection to the viability of the service lies in the monopoly over school lunches that certain providers have, and the cost of bringing in an alternative food provider, which would be affordable only for family of a higher socio-economic status. It was an enlightening experience, and although, we didn't win, we learned a lot about nutrition and creating a playful educational system.
This is what the user (parent or guardian) will see once they open the app on their iPad or tablet. They can sign up or login if they already have an account
SIGN UP FORM - Here the user can add her child’s profile, by entering the criteria. She/he can add more children, and have separate profiles on a unified account.
SIGN UP FORM - COMPLETED
Once the user has completed the child/children’s profile, she/he clicks on the JOIN BUTTON, which becomes orange when the profile is submitted.
MONTHLY CALENDAR VIEW
The user has an overview of the month, highlighting the current week in green and the next week in orange. The arrow triggers to click and go hack the lunches.
For each day of the school week the app proposes a meal tailored to the child’s nutritional needs, visualized in a fun, easy to understand way.
DAILY LUNCHBOX - HACKING FEATURE
On the left column, the child & parent can access specific food hacks that they can DRAG&DROP on the plate to substitute the proposed ingredient. Once done they press HACK IT.
We presented the app as a paper prototype to kids and their parents for user evaluation. The feedback from the parents was very positive and the children found it to be a fun concept.