Find your own kind of food

Hanshen is a Product Designer

Yuqi is an iOS Developer

We are Hanshen and Yuqi


How it started...

I was in NYC and I struggled to find food

"I know what I like, but I don't know a good way to find it."

"There are just too many options online now."

"You know, rating sounds attractive but I stopped trusting people's comments at some point."

Synthesizing the persona 

Earlier last year, I attended a start-up competition in NYC with a team. When we finished the competition, it was lunchtime and we were trying to figure out what to eat.


One of us was vegetarian. We all wanted Asian food but some wanted Thai food in particular. We then pulled out phones in the busy Time Square with people hustling around us and went on Google Maps and Yelp to search for the right food.  After 15 minutes searching, reading all the comments, and filtering the ratings, we ended up in a restaurant that we had no clue what to order - we simply knew it had a 4.7 rating.

Figuring out what to eat has become a hard task for me. Is that true for others?

Understanding how people find food

I interviewed 12 students and professionals in Ann Arbor and asked about their food-seeking stories.

Here is what I found...

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There are too many processes to go through before people can find the one food they like. For time-sensitive users and users with special dietary requirements, the system they use is not smart enough to generate concise results.

Now I see the pain points...

How I want SYum to feel like...

Defining a Design Language

"Reds ..., violets, in particular, are all going to accentuate hunger." 

-- StackExperience


SYum aims to provide most diverse and personalized food selection information for users. The logo should highlight the primary function as well as the value proposition of SYum.

Inspiration and Sketches

SYum is the place of gathering for all kinds of food. The intersection of Western and Eastern culinary culture was my primary direction of research. I find the chopsticks - fork - knife all in one silverware a good starting point.

Some sketches and working progress.

"I like it. It reminds me of the fancy restaurants but also the cheap street food."

--Hans, User Testing Participant

Can I build something to change this?

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Translating the idea into a prototype

2-step Onboarding


1-1. Cuisine Preferences

1-2. Specific Dish Preferences

2. Personal Dieting Preferneces

Now let's see some good food

- A list of 5 generated by keyword tags of cuisine, ingredient, and taste


- Compare price, nutrition, and distance instantaneously

- View food detail page with more pictures and discover friends who like the food too


- Find more food that fans of this food also like

- Like the food and it will be added to your list

- The list you see next time will be based on your like history

- Get direction, or archive it

Main page

Liked landing page

Food Info


SYum is more than an app


SYum aims to provide the most individualized food information in the simplest way. Customizability and simplicity are hard to coexist. The more functions to add, the less simple and navigatable the product is. How to balance the two is both art and science. 


There are still many areas of services in our daily life where design can play a great role to improve. It could be just around the apps we are using every day. Having keen observation of the digital experiences is one important way to solve problems.

Going forward...

Currently, SYum mobile app is under development and more rounds of design iteration.


A web version prototype will be our second area of focus. How should our product display the best food on a stable screen? How to fabricate the great parts of mobile that received praises into the web? How should it be different? These are all questions we are trying to answer.

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