Helping co-living students to cook better together with an app

Deloitte Digital
Design, research, testing

During the "Interactions for Mobile" course, I focused on addressing challenging design issues with a user-centered approach. In this case study, the focus was on supporting co-living students in managing their shared living situation and household responsibilities. We collaborated with a coalition of Albert Heijn and Jumbo, who were interested in exploring ways to assist these students, such as by delivering groceries or weekly meal boxes.

My Role

As an Interaction Designer, I had various responsibilities throughout this project. I conducted user research, generated concepts, designed user interfaces, created prototypes, and designed micro-interactions. Additionally, I served as the main contact and facilitator for co-creation with the participants, although these sessions did not occur due to the circumstances surrounding the coronavirus.

Key Tasks

Here is an overview of my key tasks during this project:

  • Conducting user research
  • Generating concepts
  • Designing user interfaces
  • Creating prototypes
  • Designing micro-interactions

Design Process

My design process began with researching the users for whom I was designing a solution: co-living students. To recruit users from the target audience, our group established a selection procedure. Based on this procedure, each group member recruited 2 users to participate for the duration of the project.

I actively involved the users in the research process, for example, through the use of a Cultural Probe Kit (consisting of small assignments) that the users completed. Summarizing the results of these assignments provided valuable insights into the context and the users themselves. This research revealed multiple opportunities that I and the group could explore further.

The gathered opportunities and insights formed the basis for the concepts we individually developed. We then shaped these concepts into prototypes and presented them to each other weekly during Design Panels. Below, you will find more information about these concepts, prototypes, and Design Panels.

User Research

The cultural probe kit used to gather insights from the users' context

We conducted extensive user research using cultural probes, debriefing interviews, wall analysis, and co-creation sessions with co-living students to understand their experiences in the current co-living situation and discover ways to support them.

To understand the current situation and gain better insights into the users and their context, we posed the following main question and answered it using cultural probes: How does the target audience experience living together, sharing accommodations, and managing household tasks with fellow students?

The valuable insights obtained from the cultural probes and debriefing interviews were analyzed and grouped in a wall analysis. This analysis helped us gain a better understanding of the co-living experience. We identified insights related to privacy, daily routines, irritations, responsibilities, studies, finances, moods, socializing, priorities, communication tools, desires, social aspects, household chores, and expectations.

The wall analysis revealed that students often engage in joint activities with their housemates, as it is more enjoyable and saves time and effort. Many insights revolved around household tasks such as cooking and cleaning, where clear communication about task distribution is crucial to avoid irritations. We saw the most opportunities within the "household tasks" and "communication" insights.

Next, we defined a focus for our co-creation: "How can we provide ideal ways to organize household tasks and stimulate communication among co-living students?" Our specific focus was: "By the end of the session, we aim to gain insight into how we can make household tasks that students perceive as 'neutral' or 'unpleasant' more enjoyable during co-living. We also want to understand the 'neutral' or 'unpleasant' feeling that students experience."

Generating Concepts

After conducting user research and identifying opportunities, it was time to generate solutions. Each group member individually developed concepts (in this case, from home due to the circumstances 😷). Each concept consisted of two basic components:

  • One or more insights from the user research.
  • Theoretical knowledge was provided at the beginning of the week.

Below, you'll find more details about each prototype.

Concept 1:

This concept, called, is based on the "Money Changers" trend and insights from user research. provides a simple way for students to split the costs of groceries. It's fast, easy, and fair. Using technology such as NFC (Near Field Communication), reimbursing the advance payments can be easily managed.

Click here to try yourself

Concept 2:

The next concept I developed is called The goal of this app is to help students find diverse and innovative recipes to cook, taking into account their cooking skills and preferences. This way, students can enjoy varied meals, making cooking more enjoyable and effortless.

Click here to try yourself

Concept 3:

The last concept I came up with is called and strongly resembles a social platform. Users have their own profiles on the app where they can chat with friends and follow each other. Discovering new recipes is the essence of this concept. It's what users share with each other – their own recipes and such. Interaction and connectedness with each other are at the core of this concept.

Click here to try yourself

Design Panels

Every week, we presented our concepts to each other during a Design Panel. We provided feedback on each other's concepts and prototypes, and this process helped us refine and improve our ideas. During these sessions, we also learned from the theoretical knowledge provided weekly.

Appie Student

In the last few weeks of the project, we collaborated to combine our concepts into one final concept: Appie Student. In Appie Student, we integrated elements from each concept. For example, we included the cost-splitting feature ( and the selection of meals based on cooking skills and preferences ( in Appie Student.

Appie Student is an app that assists students in discovering and cooking exciting meals, which are delivered weekly in a box to their homes. What sets Appie Student apart is that the meals are tailored to the preferences of all housemates. The app also offers an accessible way for students to learn certain cooking skills through short instructional videos.

Watch the final presentation video of Appie Student below, to gain a better understanding of the app's context and functionalities.


This project allowed us to conduct in-depth user research and develop innovative concepts based on that research. Through participating in Design Panels and exchanging feedback, we further improved our concepts. The end result, Appie Student, is a product that supports students in co-living and household management while enhancing their cooking experience. It was a valuable experience as an Interaction Designer, where I further developed my skills in concept generation, prototyping, and creating micro-interactions.

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