Potluck: International Student Gatherings


Potluck is a side project undertaken with a brand designer, designing user research, user flow, and solutions for four weeks. Its target users are epicure international students.

My Role

As a UX designer, I oversaw aspects related to user research, user flow, wireframes, Hi-Fi user interface design, prototyping, and so on.


Jaejin Lee
Ted Lee


4 weeks

Tool Used

Figma, Illustrator, After Effect, Miro

About Potluck

An application for gatherings of international students who enjoy cooking and making new friends

Potluck is for in-person gatherings of food-loving international students who want to share foods and culture while making new friends.

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In-depth qualitative data

A user interview was conducted and focused on six students from various countries who had the opportunity to cook for others.

Research goal:
  • Understanding the feeling of sharing food prepared for others.
  • Understanding the feeling of trying food prepared by others.
  • Discovering the feeling of cooking for new acquaintances.
  • Understanding the experience of meeting in person others one has known online.

The greatest concerns when we cook for someone

Why are these issues troublesome?

“Participants want to make a good impression and a positive experience for others.”

Redefined problem statement

How might we help these people establish friendship by sharing food?

Our solution

We try to limit difficult situations and help users new friendships by sharing food.




User testing

“Too many guidelines could confuse users and limit their interest.”

We conducted user testing, including targeting four international students with the Lo-Fi prototype. This testing involved signing up four predetermined user flows, making a profile, searching and making a reservation for parties, and preparing food before joining a party. The usability was acceptable, but there was notable feedback. The guidelines, which specify things like spiciness, food allergies, preferred sauces, and amounts of food, may confound users and make it likely for them to lose interest. From this feedback, we decided to provide only two guidelines for the time being: spiciness and food allergies.

Joining the party

Filtering for the minority groups

Users can use the detailed filtering function to search for parties specifically for vegans and people with food restrictions related to religious backgrounds.

Cooking preparation

Provides guidelines to assist users in properly preparing foods

We help users before cooking by collecting and providing information about participants’ preferred spiciness and food allergies in order to help everyone avoid unpleasant experiences.

Visual design

A visual design to represent joyfulness and curiosity for establishing friendships

Visual motivation is based on exclamation marks and question marks which represent the joyfulness and curiosity of making friends through food. The bright primary colors and rounded edges of the font and icon emphasize approachability and friendliness.


Takeaways & Next Steps


I learned how to focus and constrain more on one issue

Being in a similar situation with users, I first believed that I knew them well. However, the results were unexpected and inconsistent with this assumption. I realized that users might lose their interest if we tried to address every issue, big and small, all at once. Through the usability test, I learned how to refocus on key issues instead.

Next step

Reflect on user feedback

We had a feature by which users rated well-mannered participants after parties, awarding up to five stars. Since food is a sensitive matter for people, we came up with the review feature to encourage reliable, sincere participation. However, some users were concerned that reviews could negatively impact building relationships. Therefore, we will replace this feature with a compliment mark. Users can give compliment marks, similar to a "Like" button’s features, to considerate and positive participants. Users can get special badges based on how many compliment marks they accrue.


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2021 Ted Taehyun Lee. All rights reserved.