CoCook is a meal kit service for college students that helps them save time on cooking with an affordable solution.
This idea came from my personal experience as a graduate student who lived in an apartment with a roommate three years ago. With limited support, I had to cook most of my meals. But, since I took six courses in a semester, I did not have enough time to cook every day. A good solution is making a big meal during weekend and eat for several days. As a result, most of my lunches and dinners were not fresh. I started thinking, other students might also have the same problems. Maybe, I could solve this problem by design. So, I conducted a survey among some college students and got some feedback. Here is the summary about their meals:
For many students:
Dinning out is expensive.
They don’t have too much time to cook.
Many of them are not good at cooking.
Their meals lack variety.
By doing online research, I arrived at a list of solutions for meals. Then I put them into a marketing positioning map with the matrix of expense and efforts.
Marketing Positioning Map
After research, I found meal kit service and cooking coop, which might be the potential solution.
Meal Kit Services
During 2016 to 2018, meal kit services were popular. You can order meals online. Instead of sending you the pre-cooled meals, the service will deliver the prepared materials and the cooking instructions. Then the users cook with the received materials, following the instruction. According to the introduction on their website, anyone could make delicious meals for the family in forty minutes. The cost is lower than dining out.
I tried one of the popupar meal kit services with a friend. Here is what how we felt.
I also found some articles describing a collaborative way of cooking, cooking coop. In that way, people or families banded together, and each of them takes turns to cook for the group.
The combination of the two might be a workable solution for my problems. Following is my proposal. I call it “CoCook.”
- A group of students order meal plans on CoCook online store;
- They receive the prepared materials and cooking instructions from CoCook;
- Each member takes a turn to make the CoCook meals for the group.
Testing the Proposal
Following this approach, I invited two friends to join my CoCook group and started a test. I prepared three meals. Each meal has three serves. According to our schedules, each of the group members prepared lunches in three days with the meal kits I prepared. To evaluate the experience of preparing and eating the meals, I conducted a follow-up survey.
To evaluate the experience of preparing and eating the meals, I conducted a follow-up survey.
As shown in following diagram (1= bad, 5 = good), the score of “difficulty”, “time benefit” and “enjoyment” were increased. So, compare to cooking alone, CoCook makes cooking easier, helps user saving a lot of time, and brings more enjoyment.
To represent user models and service usage scenarios, I created three personas, a story board, and a customer journey map.
A persona is a typical representation of an ideal user of a product. To know my users better, I interviewed ten college students. After analyzing their personalities and daily routines, I generated one primary persona and two secondary personas.
Customer Journey Map
The customer journey map demonstrates the users’ behavior and feeling on each stage of their relationship with CoCook. Then, I found the design opportunities for all the stages, which were translated into product design requirements later.
For the design process, I followed an event-driven approach, which was inspired by the same concept in software engineering.
Major User Tasks
According to the customer journey map, I found four major tasks that the users need to do in this service:
- Make a group
- Create an account
- Order meals
- Mange cooking
To meet each design requirement, following user flows were created:
TODO: Add some description of the information architecture. Use some terminologies. What type of architecture was used? Why?