In this Multidisciplinary design project, our team must deliver a complete working system to personalize the face of a Pop-Tart by creating an Android Mobile App user interface integrated to modified 3D food printer apart from developing an optimal “frosting” material for the system.
We need to work together in a truly multidisciplinary manner to deliver the best product possible for the user. The user “drawing” options will need to be balanced with the capability of the print/frosting systems to deliver a physical rendering of the design on the screen. Mechanical design and “frosting” formulation design choices will have significant impact on each other.
Several commercial 3D food printers have become available over the past 5 years. Our team has evaluated a range of those available; No working “off the shelf” option exists. We need to modify existing commercial products (printers, extrusion cartridges, etc.) to create their working system through the design, fabrication and integration of unique parts. The capability of the system to print an interesting (tasty) design will depend as much on the “frosting” as the capability of the printer. We have the additional support from various R&D based Engineers and Food Scientists at Battlecreek, Michigan. The Mobile App subteam of which I am a member has the additional support the Pop-Tarts Brand Manager who helped us understand and develop personas.
I met regularly with with Food Scientist, the Brand Manager and the Product Manager of the Pop-tart brand to understand the intent of the project and who the target audience was.
A number of popular apps in the market for children focus on a user journey akin to a hero's journey seen in most movies and books. Intially it might appear unrelated but users are encouraged to collect points to have progress and explore uncharted areas of the adventurous journey. Also to note was the encouragement given to creative expression of children.
Points to Progress
Directions and Encouragement
An Adventure, a hero's journey!
MIT Sketch: Creative Expression
To reach a consensus within the multidisciplinary team and with the stakeholders (kellogg's) I made some lo-fidelity wireframes. The next step was to make a clickable prototype and circulate it within the Kellogg's headquarter at Battlecreek, Michigan.
Prototype (1st of many)
I made an invision prototype for the hardware, android team and mentors at Kellogg's. On your right are some screens. After this summer when my team regroups, I will coordinate with the Andorid Programming team and the Mechanical team to implement the application.
Update: We're going to the Ann Arbor Hands on Museum next week to get qualitative data from children. A second round of interviews with target users is going on to iterate the current prototype. Meanwhile the Android programming team is in the process of building the app and is in touch with me regarding logos and other graphic assets.
Our visits to the museum were successful in terms of how many users we observed and the feedback we received.
1. (-) Children thought they had to draw the PopTart on the app.
2. (-) Child wanted to keep/eat their drawing.
3. They wanted to eat the poptart (‘Can I at least lick it’).
4. (+) Printer movement attracted children - there was no attention span issue here at all to our surprise.
5. (-) However, while we were cleaning the printer or waiting for it to work or for whatever reason the printer was not working, they were not happy. Some spent time watching fish in the aquarium.
6. In science/engineering we sometimes fail and try again.
7. (-) Fingers too thick to draw. They never blame the machine, only themselves.
8. (+) Parent’s pushed kids to try it out; One parent had a countdown to remind her children that they have limited time.
9. Eraser not in app.
10. Color used most frequently.
11. Pop tart background in pop-tart should be there… they were drawing it themselves. Check the photographs to see what they drew.
12. Countdown could be used in public spaces.
13. (+) Good educational experience for children.