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Toumi (Chef App)

Project Overview

I created an onboarding guide for newly hired chefs and I later designed a prototype app for my school project at UC Berkeley Extension.

I was an Assistant Cook at a senior-citizen NPO program that cooks healthy Japanese meals for seniors age 65+ in San Francisco. 

PURPOSE: Converting a lean proof of concept into a prototype mobile app

 

TIMELINE: 9 Weeks

 

MY ROLE: UX Designer, UI/Visual Designer, and Chef

 

TOOLS: Sketch, Trello, Invision

 

METHODOLOGY: User Research, User Testing

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PROBLEM STATEMENT

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WORKING ENVIRONMENT

When I first started the job as an Assistant Chef, there was no instruction manual on preparing the meals for service or a kitchen schedule. Only verbal instructions.

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MY NOTES

The kitchen staff mainly spoke Japanese, along with a few volunteers. I had to learn by observing and taking notes every day and meeting with staff after work to discuss their pain points.

USER PAIN POINTS

FOR CHEFS:

  • The high turnover rate for kitchen staff

  • Chef burn-out, working overtime

  • No formal training or onboarding process

  • No recipe guide

  • Mostly non-English speaking working environment

  • Mostly hiring staff with no experience

FOR MANAGEMENT:

  • Overworked, overseeing the entire operation

  • Unable to increase low wages for kitchen staff. This is controlled by a different department

CONSEQUENCES

Unfortunately, my co-worker (who was hired at the same time as me) was fired because he couldn’t keep up with the pace in the kitchen or memorize the recipes and prep directions.

After a month, we hired someone new. Despite being an excellent cook with 10+ years of experience in the restaurant industry, he struggled because there were only verbal instructions and still no written schedule to follow.

HOW TO SOLVE THE PROBLEM: WITH TRELLO

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USER NEEDS:

  • Easy-to-understand onboarding for new staff

  • Create a cheap but efficient recipe and schedule guide for the chef to learn quickly

  • Create a tool that all staff members and managers can use to keep track of delegating tasks and inventory management

  • Fewer mistakes, happier people

LEAN PROOF OF CONCEPT:

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INITIAL RESULTS:

Sharing my Trello board with Co-workers:

  • The pace of the kitchen went a lot faster. My co-worker took the time to review my notes before starting our shift. I got a lot of “thank yous!” 

  • The head chef decided to print out her recipe guide to share with the team. 

  • Management took the Trello board seriously and decided to start creating an official manual.

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But wait...there's more

PROJECT CASE STUDY:

CREATING A CHEF APP

Japanese Restaurant Entrance

WHY WOULD AN APP HELP?

 

Weaknesses of Trello

  • Doesn’t show the entire month’s menu

  • Trello boards for the weekly schedule have to be manually updated by the drag & drop system

  • There’s no easy-to-view schedule/timeline of all the tasks you need to do for the day

 

Other benefits include:

  • Easy view of the chef’s schedule & their duties

  • Language (Japanese) translations

  • Notification reminders of when time-sensitive tasks need to be done

PERSONA CASE

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Click on the image to magnify 

USER FLOW (IN THE KITCHEN)

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USER RESEARCH INSIGHTS

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“I would never be on my phone to use [notifications] as a reminder. It’s all about remembering it yourself”

— User

Feedback:

  1. Take what makes Trello works and incorporate it into the app.

  2. Align the staff together in completing the same goal

 

PROTOTYPING & USABILITY TESTING

Click on the image to magnify 

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LOW-FIDELITY 

USER INSIGHT:

(Recipe Page) From most important to least important:

  1. Photo of dish

  2. Directions

  3. Ingredients

  4. Recipe

  5. Delivery

  6. How to plate

Click on the image to magnify 

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HI-FIDELITY (Ver.1)

“The printing [icon] seems like something you would want to disclose...it may be confidential.”

— User

  • Both chefs and managers keep track of inventory. There is already a separate software system (such as Quickbooks, etc.) for tracking inventory and supplier information.

  • All users indicate that the Kitchen Schedule is the most important.

FINAL HI-FIDELITY DESIGN

HOME PAGE

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SCHEDULE PAGE

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RECIPE PAGE

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ALL RECIPES

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ALL ITERATIONS

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DESIGN SYSTEM

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FINAL TAKEAWAY

The kitchen information is still relevant, and it’s a vital onboarding process. Users access the kitchen information quickly before/after their shift without risking contamination issues.  

 

The app creates valuable alignment with all staff without the overburden of features, and it saves management training time and money.