2013 • School of Information @ University of California, Berkeley

My six-member team in the User Interface Design and Development course at Berkeley designed and prototyped Gyro, a food tracking app that aimed to reduce waste.

final prototype

Our primary challenge was cumbersome data acquisition, which we decided to solve with radical simplicity by asking for as little information as possible: what the food is and how long it keeps. We built the prototype as a webapp with Flask, jQuery Mobile and Isotope.


Our early designs relied on the familiar shopping list performing double duty as a data acquisition tool, but as the term wore on and we got bogged down in the minutiae of shopping behaviors, we had to face the fact that our ideas weren’t working because they were too far removed from the interaction patterns we observed during user research. So we made the hard decision to scrap our designs and start over, less than a week before our deadline. 

After some back-to-basics brainstorming we came up with the idea of a simple list of countdown timers you can create to help spur you to use up your perishable food before it goes bad.