🍲 Dinner Picker — The problem & design


Hi, I’m Kieran Witt and this a post in my Ideas to Products series where I share my journey designing and building one of my many ideas and what I learnt along the way.

📦 Contents

  • 💔 The Experience
  • 📝 Summary Of The Problems
  • 🎯 The Problem I’m Fixing
  • The Solution & Its Design
  • 🚧 Limitations

💔 The Experience

For as long as I can remember, Chloe and I have never been any good at planning our meals for the day ahead or even the next week. I put this down to our collective laziness, busy schedules and indecisiveness. It always seems to be the case that we have nothing in the cupboards (because we didn’t plan), so we’re forced to make an on-the-spot decision that neither of us can agree on. Because of this, we end up eating the same things on rotation: spaghetti bolognese, chicken and leek (a speciality of mine), pizza, fajitas or worse, a takeaway. Our indecisiveness and poor planning has limited our culinary experience and become a bugbear of mine. Seeing I’m on a journey to learn how to code, I thought I’d try to optimise this part of our lives with a tool that does the hard work for us.

📝 Summary Of The Problems

  1. I’m too lazy to plan my meals manually.
  2. Chloe and I find it difficult to decide on the spot what to eat for the day.
  3. Meal planning is a bit of a chore that I’d rather not do.

🎯 The Problem I’m Fixing

Every week Chloe and I struggle to decide what to eat. Overwhelmed with choice, we frequently make poor decisions like getting a takeaway or choosing the same thing. We need a solution that provides us with different options but removes the decision-making process from meal planning.

✨ The Solution & Design

I decided to call this project Dinner Picker, nice and simple and does what it says on the tin. Whilst jotting down the problem, I already had a pretty firm idea of what the solution needed to be. Somehow I needed to create a product that enabled a user to add and remove meal options from a list and then randomly select seven of them from said list, one for each day. I looked across google for similar randomising type products and gathered a bit of inspiration. The most popular one I came across was the wheel of names, a simple and effective solution. But, there was a problem; it only caters for one random decision at a time. I needed seven, one for each day.

Excuse the horrific handwriting!
  1. At the click of a single button, randomly select a meal for each day of the week;
  2. Making sure that each chosen meal would be different; and
  3. If an option on any of the days were ‘Takeaway’ or ‘Restaurant’, then I’d be able to click the day, and it would re-spin that day’s meal and choose a type of takeaway or restaurant
Designed by me using Figma

🚧 Limitations

As with every project, I try to reign myself in. My imagination gets away from me a bit, and I think of creating a wonderfully designed and interactive solution. My coding skills are not quite there yet, so I set some ground rules to make sure I actually output something I can later come back to and iterate.

Next up, building Dinner Picker.

By day I'm a product and project manager in the financial sector. By night I write about my ideas and journey to learn code.