Orthex: Foodguard

The work was created as part of the Product Development Project course at Aalto University. A multidisciplinary team of designer, engineers, and business students from Finland and the USA was tasked to develop a test of concept or the Finnish storage box company Orthex.

During the project I took ownership of the design of the product. Dyring the process, I oversaw the user experience by employing practices of user research and design thinking methodologies. I further worked on the design of the Android interface to cover the basic UX flows of the application.

SME: Hanna Kukkonen
Student team: Valtteri Niutanen, Anastasia Cazmali, Axel Sendås, Jiaqui Zheng, Mateusz Malewski, Nina Gray, Olli Kekäläinen, Stephanie Olive, Teo Georgiev

Top-level process breakdown
  1. User interviews to identify, if any, problem spaces regarding home storage
  2. Ideation and identification of problem space
  3. Second round of interviews & surveys focused on the identified problem space. Design thinking workshop on persona building and journey mapping.
  4. Building a low-fidelity mobile app & physical prototypes.
  5. Testing, feedback & alteration
  6. High-fidelity mobile app & physical prototypes.
  7. Testing, feedback & alteration.Presentation & conclusions
The challenge
  •  Food waste: 130 million kg/year (23 kg per capita). Equals CO² of 100,000 cars €400–550 waste million annually. “Food waste in the Finnish food chain” – Juha-Matti Katajajuuri, Journal of Cleaner Production. Vol. 73, June 2014

  • Orthex wanted us to develop and test a solution that involved the use of IoT technology.


User interviews to identify, if any, problem spaces regarding home storage.



The undertaken user interviews showed us a few potential problem areas, which we could explore. After negotiation with the team and stakeholders, we decided to target food storage, because food waste was an issue brought up by almost all interviewees, there were financial and environmental benefits to tackling it, and it aligned with Orthex's sustainability values.


During the second round of research and through communication with the stakeholder, we identified the user group which would be most appropriate for targetting and built a prime user persona. around that. Development of empathy maps, as-Is & to-be scenarios, and needs statements helped us built assumptions, which we then validated or discharged during the second round of user interviews and surveys.

Key persona: Sara Virtanen

  • 27-years-old
  • Digital marketing expert
  • Based in Helsinki
  • University education
  • Lives in a privately rented accommodation, which she aims to make it to "feel
    like home".
  • Dynamic eveyday life
  • Plans change unexpectedly
  • Tries to cook at home more, but unable due to changing plans and social engagements.

Empathy mapping


Presentation of paper prototypes and tests


Journey mapping

4. & 5.

Low-fidelity mobile app & physical prototypes. Testing, feedback & alteration. After ligning the requirements with the client, the concept that was decided to be taken forward was a solution, which tracks the quality of the stored food.


Track & remind user about food expiration: physical IoT device + mobile app

Second alteration

+ Give suggestions on how the food can be prepared in time

Third alteration

+ More sophisticated physical device, which tracks temperature and humidity, and estmate their effects on stored food, plus utilises colour cues
in order to provide prompts more intuitively for the user.

Screenshot 2021-02-24 at 5.06.26

Phisical prototype: communication between the app and Arduino worked. Pivot on the concept of an integrated device, as it does not provide flexibility and increases product price.

App worked entirely through user-generated inputs, which was too laboursome. It needed alteration, connection to external services and automation.

6. & 7.

High-fidelity mobile app & physical prototypes. Testing, feedback & alteration.

Screenshot 2021-02-24 at 5.06.11

Initial prototypes of boxes with integrated screen.


Test versions of the physical devices.


HI [ at ] TEOGEORGIEV [ dot ] COM