Lofo

Linking People with Food

Lofo is a mobile application that provides travelers with information about local food and restaurants. Travelers can also build connections with locals by going out and having a meal with them together.

Time

Role

Teammate

Summer 2017

Research, Ideation, Wireframing, UX/UI Design, Prototyping

Angela Xie

Motivation

We, as human beings, all eat. Throughout history, the food that we eat had shaped civilizations and cultures. Thus, eating local food when traveling can make one's trip more enjoyable and also more meaningful.

So how would travelers, as strangers to a new area, find places to eat? In the summer of 2017, my friend Angela and I set about designing a reliable platform for travelers.

Overview

Lofo is the final solution that solves most of the problems we've identified.

Problem 1

Travelers lack the knowledge of local dishes

Solution

List of top local dishes

When travelers select their destination, a list of top local dishes will show up in the order of popularity.

Each dish has an individual page introducing the taste, ingredients, and also the history and stories about the dish.

Restaurants that serve the dish are also listed so that travelers know where they can get that dish.

Problem 2

A trustworthy restaurant finder is needed

Solution

Foodies' restaurant reports

Foodies are people who are passionate about sharing their knowledge of good restaurants.

Foodies write reviews and recommendations of local restaurants that travelers and even local people can read.

By looking through their posts, one will be able to know about the best restaurants in the area.

Problem 3

There's a gap between local residents and travelers

Solution

Meal buddies

Travelers can see, with or without filters, local meal buddies who are available to go and grab food together.

Meal buddies can help the travels decide what restaurant to go to or what dish to order if there's language barrier.

By hanging out with each other, travelers can even build possible long-term connections with locals.

Design Process

Research

Angela and I first conducted a round of research, trying to figure out how people value food during a travel and how they would usually look for places to eat.

Problem

We identified 3 main problems from surveying people:

  1. Travelers lack the knowledge of local dishes.
  2. Though services like Yelp and Google Review exist, there really isn't a truly trustworthy restaurant finder.
  3. There is a gap between local residents and travelers.

Ideation

To address these problems, we started ideation by creating a stakeholder map, categorizing different people both from the travelers' side and the locals' side.

By analyzing the stakeholder map, we ideated some possible features of the application that can solve the problems we identified:

  1. Initially, food info would be produced by "foodies" who have the passion of sharing their knowledge of local food.
  2. It also would provide a platform for the travelers and local people to meet up and have food together.
  3. Gradually, the food information would grow organically as not only the foodies but also general users can provide these info.

After this, we made flow charts, lo-fi screen sketches, mid-fi wireframes, and multiple iterations before the final solution prototype.

Prototype

Future Steps

More user testing with the prototype needs to be done for more iteration. Other problems are also worthy of considering, such as safety issues, motivation for foodies to write posts, the mechanism through which foodies are recruited, and so on. We'd love to continue working on Lofo and make it better!

© 2018 mike yilin dong