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MarkEat

MarkEat is a food content rewarding platform based on a credit-redeemed function that provides users with agency-like services.

APP
UI
UX

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MarkEat

MarkEat is a food content rewarding platform based on a credit-redeemed function that provides users with agency-like services.

APP
UX
UI

This is a mobile app design project I worked on in UX Design and Strategy course at the University of Southern California from January to April 2018.

In this project, I researched a problem related to people who enjoy taking food pictures and sharing them on social media.

To make sure I would come up with an effective digital product, I

1/ validated the product value proposition;
2/ conducted competitive research and analysis;
3/ identified three key experiences;
4/ created story-telling prototypes;
5/ performed product testing and revised the overall design.

This is an individual project supervised by Professor Jaime Levy in which I played roles as a UI/UX designer, a growth hacker, and an entrepreneur.

Sketch
InVision
Principle
Adobe Photoshop

Value Proposition

Validation

ME

Use business strategy and validated user research to figure out what problem I am going to solve and what kind of customer needs it solved the most.

01

DEFINE CUSTOMER SEGMENT & PROBLEM

Key Problem
Foodies who live in Los Angeles and enjoy taking food pictures find it hard to become a famous food influencer/blogger.

02

CONDUCT CUSTOMER DISCOVERY & RESEARCH

1 vs 1 In-person Interview
91% of 22 interviewees would love to exchange their food photos for something beneficial.

Mechanical Turk
65% of 101 participants expressed their difficulties of becoming a food blogger.

03

VALIDATE USER PERSONA & VALUE PROPOSITION


Finally, I revised the original user persona based on the research result.

Competitive

Research & Analysis

ME

Use a competitive analysis matrix tool (image above) to gain firsthand knowledge of the good and bad user experiences provided by my direct and indirect competitors as well as influencers.

After downloading 8 Android and iOS "food porn" sharing apps and digital influencer agency apps, I went through their user processes, taking note of their visions, revenue streams, monthly traffic, UGC features, ratings, downloads, visual design features, etc. Below are my high-level findings:

Current Marketplace
Some major platforms enable foodies to share creations and to connect to the local business. Other apps create communities for people to share. In addition to a traditional influencer agency in LA’s food industry, I found no app focusing on content rewarding and building a fan base for creators.

Opportunities
Considering the large market share and heavy user stickiness that Yelp and Instagram have, the market is a “purple ocean.” There might be room for an app that uses a decentralized model to connect gross-root food bloggers with local businesses.

Recommendations
1/ Decentralized business model with easy-to-use and intelligent functions will be the “secret sauce.”
2/ Professional and appealing visual design are highly needed to attract the target market.

Key Experiences

Identification

ME

Define three key experiences that set my product apart from all others, and create a minimum viable product (MVP) to identify my value innovation.

1/
HASHTAG
COMPETITIONS

2/
Intelligent Embedded Camera

3/
Credit Redeemed OnLINE STORE

1/ Sign up & login
2/ Scroll and View hashtags details
3/ Join hashtags (take pictures and edit)
4/ View and like creations
5/ Be notified and receive credits
6/ Check the store and use credits

Prototypes

Research & Analysis

ME

Use Sketch, InVision, and Principle to build product prototypes that enable people to understand the narrative linearity of the key experiences.

Guerrilla User Research &

Product Testing

ME

Conduct five fast, lean, and transparent Guerrilla user research to validate my problem hypothesis, value proposition, product usability, and business model.

100%

PROBLEM HYPOTHESIS 

100% (5 out of 5) participants who love to take food pictures and often share them on social media wanted to become a food influencer to earn extra money.

80%

VALUE PROPOSITION 

80% (4 out of 5) participants said they will use MarkEat’s agency-like services to get food content creation reward.

60%

BUSINESS MODEL 

60% (3 out of 5) participants were willing to pay $9.99/month to gain premium services. And 60% are willing to become the signing influencer on MarkEat.

3

USABILITY SUGGESTIONS 

1/ Delete the geolocation-based notification service.

2/ Add a guidance of "how to play the MarkEat game" after new users' sign up and login.

3/ Add a picture editing page after taking food pictures.

Reflection

MEANINGS

This is my first UI/UX design project that I initiated and completed all by myself. I was able to create a product highly related to my passion for food.

During the project, I not only became familiar with all these design tools but also mastered the user discovery process, aligning product design with human-centric problems.

CHALLENGES

My biggest challenge was to conduct customer discovery interviews and Guerrilla user testing with strangers. It took times and efforts to arrange face-to-face interviews.

However, those interviews and experiments were meaningful and super fun. I have pivoted my value proposition three times after customer discovery interviews. I also revised my overall design two times after the usability testing.

CONTACT ME