Addressing food insecurity at San Diego City College



The Problem

As a student at San Diego City College, I’ve observed a campus-wide problem over the past two years. Our food court has been closed and under renovation for over three years now. In the meantime, students have very limited access to food that is either overpriced or unhealthy.

How might we provide healthier food options for students at San Diego City College? 

My Contribution

My teammate and I worked collaboratively in every stage of the process, including user research, UX design, and visual design.

Additionally, I was responsible for sketching paper wireframes and prototyping them, writing test scripts for user testing, and designing the logo. I also worked on the visual design of the main product pages, filter screen, and confirmation screens.


Product design, logo design


Betty Lau, Carol Taira

My Role

UX Researcher, UX Designer, Visual Designer, Logo Designer


Sketch, Marvel, InVision, Illustrator

Design Process

My teammate and I applied IDEO’s human-centered design process to find an innovative solution to this problem.

The Solution

We designed CampusEats, a meal delivery app that partners with local grocery stores to provide more affordable, more varied, and healthier food options for students.

Jump to Prototype


Interviews and Field Research

In order to design a successful solution, we conducted in-depth research to better understand the problem, gain insights, and learn from people’s needs and motivations.

We conducted interviews with students from San Diego City College, spoke with a nutritionist to learn about the importance of healthy food, and visited the Emergency Food Pantry to see how they help students in need. I also conducted ethnographic research at Mesa Commons, the new food court at Mesa College, to see how students’ needs are met.

Users to Learn from

Students from San Diego City College

Analogous Inspiration

Dabbawalas, India’s food delivery system

In-Context Immersion

Students at food spots around campus
Mesa Commons, the new food court at Mesa College

Experts to Speak To

A nutritionist
City College’s Emergency Food Pantry
See Interview Guide
Behind the scenes of Emergency Food Pantry
New food court at Mesa College
Dining area at Mesa College
Food display at the Emergency Food Pantry

Affinity Mapping

After conducting research, my teammate and I converged to share our findings and make sense of our research. We put key information into Post-its, revisited our notes, mentioned key learnings, and shared inspiring stories from people.

Then, we clustered similar Post-its together and created an affinity map. We found three themes and discovered three insights within each theme.

Key Insights



The themes and insights from our research helped identify opportunities for design. We engaged in rapid brainstorming to find innovative solutions that focused on the three “how might we” questions and themes we developed: affordable, healthy, and fast for students.

The Solution

After the ideation session, we came up with CampusEats, a meal delivery app in which students can order a variety of healthy and affordable food from nearby grocery stores. Before lunch time, a student volunteer does a mass pickup and delivery straight to campus so that other students don’t have to spend time going out to get food.

We modeled CampusEats after meal delivery apps like UberEats and GrubHub. We also took analogous inspiration from India’s food delivery system in which homemade lunches are prepared and mass delivered by families directly to business sites.

How It Works

Why It Works

  • The app delivers food from nearby grocery stores: Ralphs, Albertsons, and Grocery Outlet.
  • The grocery stores offer more affordable options. For example, a banana costs $0.33 at Albertsons as opposed to $1.00 on campus.
  • Grocery stores offer more variety and healthier options. For example, they carry a wider inventory of sandwiches, sushi boxes, and fruits.
  • A student volunteer does a one-time mass delivery pick-up for everyone’s orders, making the delivery cost super low for each student.
  • A student volunteer drops off everyone’s orders on campus, making this a great time-saving option.

Rapid Prototyping & User Testing

Once we developed the app idea, we went straight into prototyping with pen and paper. We created an interactive low-fidelity prototype in Marvel, then conducted four rounds of user tests with eight students. We took their valuable feedback to make multiple iterations.
See User Test Scripts

Logo Design

Final Prototype

After multiple rounds of user testing and iterations, we worked on the visual design of the app. I designed the order screens, main product screens, filter, and QR code screens.

Project Learnings

User Research is essential

We discovered a lot about students’ needs during our initial research. These insights really helped us arrive at our final solution. By doing user research, we were able to identify the problem areas to solve.

Seek user feedback Early and continually

By testing ideas early on, we were able to hone in on a strong concept. Conducting multiple rounds of user testing helped us better design the app for our users. There were a lot of small details that we improved based on students’ feedback.