Jeel Jasani

User Experience
Mannu Amrit
Final App Design
User Interviews
Naman Govil
Android Prototype
User Interviews
Harikrishna Prabhu
Android App
Poster Presentation


messE is a system ideated and developed at a week long workshop organized by MIT Media Labs in association with Nokia. This workshop brought together designers and developers to collaborate and identify key problems and come up with solutions pertaining to mobile ecosystems in a span of four days.

The MIT Media Lab Design Innovation workshop admitted 150 participants, who were evenly divided into 5 tracks. I was a part of the Mobile Ecosystems track which was headed by Amy Canham and Sujoy Kumar Choudhary. Our goal was to design and prototype user-centric ideas focussing on the process as well as the final deliverable.

The Idea

MessE provides students with a mobile platform to manage and plan their meal subscriptions and cancel meals that they will not use. This data is made available to the Hostel Food Manager who can then cook accordingly and avoid wastage. The system also provides for coordinated collaboration between messes and NGOs to get the left-over food to the needy.

Students waste money in hostel meal plans at universities by paying on a monthly/yearly basis and not utilizing all their meals. As a result, a substantial amount of food is also wasted in the hostel mess (canteen).

This poster describes our solution
to the above problem. It shows
the stakeholders and how the
system would help each of them.

Final Prototype

Here is our final design of the messE app student counterpart from which they can easily cancel their daily meals and help prevent food wastage.


We adopted the User Centred Design Methodology. It involved Persona and Scenario Creation. Based on our personas and scenarios, we conducted Interviews with our stakeholders. We then assembled all or findings from the interviews into an Affinity Diagram. This Affinity Mapping helped us generate ideas for our app and we were able to figure out what user needs we should focus on.


After going through all the data gathered from our research, we finalized how our app would work. We started with low-fidelity paper prototypes and then came up with digital mid-fidelity prototypes.

Here is a flow diagram of our
paper prototypes showing the
connections and communication
flows within the system.
Above: Mid-fidelity prototype of
the app.
Left: The Non-Smart Phone (SMS)
prototype for students.

On the left are the phone screens for the mess managers whereas the right picture shows the phone screens for the NGOs.

Usability Testing

Once we had our prototype, we performed multiple rounds of user testing with students as well as hostel food managers. Based on insights from this tesing, we came up with our final design.

Android Prototype

After our final design was tested and accepted, we went ahead and decided to create a working prototype. The basic structure was implemented on Eclipse using the Android SDK.

The Team

Here we are, working on design iterations.