Projects /

Forgetful Foodie

Always know what you have in the kitchen, and what dishes you can make using them.

forgetful foodie header
font and colors used


Forgetful Foodie was ideated and designed as part of our coursework with the Master of Science in Information (MSI) program at the University of Michigan, for the course “Introduction to Interaction Design”. I collaborated with two fellow graduate students to ideate and design a smartphone application to reduce food wastage by streamlining pantry and inventory management for the average household owner.

My Roles: UX Designer, UX Researcher

Timeline: Aug 2022 - Dec 2022

Team Members: Saumya Bora, Coulton Theuer

Tools Used: Figma, Adobe Illustrator

The Problem

Household food wastage has been a significant problem globally. According to the American Journal of Agricultural Economics, the average American household ends up wasting up to 31.9% of the food they purchase! This is caused in part due to the amount of mental effort required in keeping track of household food inventory so that everything is used up before it expires and the amount of time and effort it takes to meal-plan and determine the dish that tastes good, is easy to prepare, and uses an adequate amount of ingredients.
Thus, we wondered:

How we might help people to safely consume all the highly perishable foods in their pantry without wastage, while simultaneously alleviating some of the mental burden of managing a household?

Our Initial Solution

This conundrum led us to come up with Forgetful Foodie: a smartphone application designed to help users consume all their perishable food items before they go bad through:


Promotional Poster for Forgetful Foodie

Phase 1: Discovery and Research

We aimed to design primarily for adult grocery shoppers who shop on behalf of a household, either just for themselves or also for other loved ones. So, we interviewed a few of these potential users, from various age demographics, cultures, and ethnicities. Here are some interesting excerpts from the process:

Insights Gathered

All in all, people rarely used dedicated applications to manage their pantry. They either took notes, or kept a mental note of what they had and needed soon.

Phase 2: Design

After outlining the problem, and gathering insights, we began painting a picture with the information gathered. This led us to plotting out user scenarios, finalizing application features and flow, and collecting and reviewing peer and user feedback.


After interviewing our target demographic, we were able to get a better picture of why it tended to be so hard to avoid food wastage in our fast-paced daily lives. We began sketching out our findings, and ended up with the following scenarios:


Scenario 1: Abby's Bananas


Scenario 2: Nathan's Dilemma

These illustrations were based off of a combination of insights gathered from our users, and from personal experiences handling and managing our own households. This gave us some definite problems to work towards solving, thus acting as a catalyst for ideation.
Our primary goals were:

Pain Points

Based on the feedback we had received from the initial target users, we were determined to make forgetful foodie as convenient to use and update as possible. Our 'Pantry Health' feature, intended to allow users to quickly glance through what and how much of something they have at any given time, was the product of this thinking.
A few pain points that arose were:

We attempted to solve these problems through brainstorming appropriate features, which led to coming up with:

Paper Prototypes

paper prototype 1
paper prototype 2

Flow 1: Pantry Health

paper prototype 3

Flow 2: Receipt Scanning

paper prototype 4

Flow 3: "Try a Recipe!"

We used these sketches as a guideline to base our digital wireframes' layout on.

We decided that showing the quantity of a pantry item left, along with a countdown to its expiration date would require at least two graphs side-by-side.
Additionally, clicking on a particular item should let the user fetch detailed information about it, along with edit/delete options.

prototype 1
prototype 2

Flow 1: Pantry Health

prototype 3

Flow 2: Receipt Scanning

We decided that the application would have 3 menus:

Barcode Scanning

barcode 1
barcode 2

and Item Recognition

item recognition 1
item recognition 2

and finally, we also fleshed out the "Try a Recipe!" flow, providing the user the option to browse recipes based on their inventory, or just look up 'All Recipes.' As the name suggests, will allow the user to create, share and browse through user-recipes from the community.

recipe prototype 1
recipe prototype 2
recipe prototype 3

These lofi frames were then given a splash of color, which gave us the opportunity to experiment with some color palettes and help us see what works best, which resulted in the following prototype

Phase 3: Feedback and Revisions

Feedback on Initial Prototype

Upon subjecting the above-developed prototypes to peer evaluation, we received a tremendous amount of insight:


Final Prototype

After incorporating everything discussed above into our redesign, we were ready with our final prototype.

Link to Prototype

Future Scope

If we get the opportunity to further develop this prototype, we would love to focus more on the specifics of recipe submission and curation, and any new features that could improve the user's experience in that sphere.


This is one of my first complete Interaction Design projects, and thanks to the course structure, we were able to delve into the entire process week-by-week, and understand the importance of iterative design based on feedback. The one learning lesson I took from this project was to inculcate a habit of documenting my activities as and when they occur, which would have helped me compile this study quicker and extract deeper insights overall.