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UX UI Designer & Researcher

Anchor 1

How do we effectively encourage university students to maintain healthier dietary patterns?


The goal of this project is to examine the challenges faced by students at universities in the United Kingdom and suggest an idea to remove those obstacles, allowing for healthier dietary habits among the target audience. ​

My Role

Secondary Research,
Primary Research,

Design Process,

Interface Design,

Usabilty Testing



Eye Gaze Tracker 

Optimal Workshop

Google Forms


Google Scholar

Microsoft Teams



6 members

Duration - 8 Weeks

Discovery & Research :

- 2 Weeks

Design & Testing :

- 6 Weeks


  • What do university student diets consist of and how unhealthy are they?

  • What are university student dietary needs and how is it currently being met?

  • Who are our target user groups and what is their need?

  • What is the most effective way to intervene to reduce unhealthy eating habits?

Primary Research

A survey was conducted with a sample size of 155 university students from the United Kingdom to validate the student dilemma regarding their food patterns and desires.

Survey responses from the students
When I decide what to eat, I decide based on ...


Student Opinions on .. "

Health and Diet as


" Having a healthy diet is important to me."


" My diet became worse when I started university."


" I want to improve my diet."


" I find it difficult to eat healthily."


" I wish there was a way to make it easier to maintain a healthy diet."

On campus meals


of students wish that there were more healthy food options available on/around campus for students.

Case Study: Goldsmiths University

Unhealthy food options are easily accessible to students. This creates temptations for stressed, busy, financially struggling students to often buy unhealthy snacks. 


Goldsmiths’ campus - is surrounded by fast-food restaurant

Jax is a uni student who wants to be healthy due to academic social and personal pressure but fails to do so and mainly relies on snack items.

Who are our target users?

I have created an empathy map of a typical "snacker" type university student  named "Jax".

Empathy Map.jpg

User Capabilities Assessments of UK university students with risky dietary patterns

Our proposed solutions:

We reflected on students' eating priorities, and then we explored various ideas, including a social media app, a canteen, a pop-up food stall, and a vending machine. Based on our research we concluded that the vending machine was the most suitable option to deliver our proposed solution.


Lo Fi Design Sketch of the VM


Using the research findings, we created low-fidelity storyboards to illustrate the key use cases of the vending machine within the university’s micro-environment. 

Imagine you are running late for school

You stumble across a vending machine

Too many people in canteen

How Might We

Based on diverse user need statements sourced from secondary and primary research, various ‘how might we’ (HMW) statements were devised to evaluate varied methods to serve the user needs from which the key functions of the vending machine are defined.

Computing Functional Architecture

Functional Architecture.png

User Flow

User Flow.png

User Testing - Information Architecture and Tree Testing

Direct successful paths in the single menu were 0.5 seconds faster than the categories menu

Non-native English (NNE) speakers were 4.9 seconds quicker than English speakers to complete both tasks on the categories menu.

This is reinforced by the feedback survey where NNE speakers found it much easier (8.8 to 6.75) to complete the two tasks

First Iteration - User Interface Design

Home Page

Information page (option 2).jpg

Menu Page

Information Page

Digital display test using Eye Gaze Tracker

  • The chart reveals that people focus on food items and the food menu the most.

  • We initially believed that the recommendations section, which stood out with a different background color, would be more popular, but the results proved us wrong.

  • Also, most people aren't keen on using voice ordering.

Main Menu Page's result of Eye Gaze Tracking  

  • Many people noticed the 'cart' sign in the heat map, where buttons like "Buy now" and "Add to cart" are placed.

  • Surprisingly, the nutrition section, despite being in the middle, didn't get much attention, as indicated by the thin green layer on the map.

  • However, users paid more attention to the item's picture and the "Goes with" information.

Display's Page's result of Eye Gaze Tracking  

User Testing - Insightful Comments from User

Food Menu


I have to click a couple of times to find the food on the menu. It’s annoying.
It’s better to have an all-food page and let me scroll.


Nutrition Section


As I don’t know nutritional science, I don’t know what the numbers mean.

The numbers in green give me a healthy kind of feel, while red means unhealthy. The more red numbers make me think twice if I going to buy it.


The Recommendation


I thought the food in ‘Today’s for Food’ was tailor-made for me. It is meaningless if everyone gets the same.


Voice Ordering


I won’t use the voice ordering function 'cause I think using the touch screen is straightforward enough. I’m not interested in using this function when the surrounding is too crowded


Explore our VM Testing through video.

User's comments after doing the VM test.

The information is overwhelming, I don’t feel like reading it.

I’m not aware of the four collection points as it is different from the normal VM.


It’s cool to see things that go with my choice

User Testing - Insightful Comments from User


Time Limitation


Reading small details seems like a task to do when there is time in question. I feel like there is no time to be realizing nutritional value while I am ordering.

Different Purpose


My only goal is to get done with the process (order the food I want to eat). I didn't pay attention to the nutritional information since there was only one item I was going to get.

We love Vending Machine


There is potential to provide food anywhere and not just snacks/ bottled drinks. I always like using a vending machine that I come across that is so convenient and has food.

Sharing insights from our User Testing Survey

High Fidelity Design - Final Iteration


Key Take Aways 

  • A single menu is easier to navigate

  • Nutritional or calorie intake must be shared early and be easy to compare with other options 

  • Placing vending machines in locations where students are likely to be under academic stress could encourage long-term habit improvement

  • Voice enabled vending machines are more effective in locations with low footfall.

If I had time I would have..

  • Done the error handling.

  • Technical aspects of moving the food within the Vending machine

  • Feasibility of heating food within the vending machine

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An end-to-end design solution for enabling healthy eating habits amongst students in the UK

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An end-to-end design solution for enabling healthy eating habits amongst students in the UK

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