I hate suspense so let me show you what we did.
Now how did we get to this final thing, well first off:
What is Meals on Wheels? One of the easiest and toughest assignments that has been dished out to us design students. Food carts are simple right? Tasty? Yes. But mapping them and self generating our own content, actually work and do things? Never. Perhaps we've been sliding along so far with generated data but now we had to work together.
The 4th & Hall Food Cart group thought we had a good idea, we had questions at the ready and thought they were adequate enough to slide by on.
I. What do you sell the most/is your most popular item?
II. Do you get a lot of PSU students/do they make up the bulk of your consumers?
III. How does weather/different seasons/terms affect business?
IV. Do you buy locally? (and if not where do you buy from?)
V. Are you family owned?
VI. Do you have specials or coupons on a regular basis?
VII. How do you feel that you are competitively priced to other food carts or restaurants?
VIII. What are your hours (if not posted)?
Most of this was on the premise of comparing these carts to legit restaurant and fast food joints that surround the PSU campus and see how they chalk up in cost for students and how they affect business.
Let me tell you that some of the worst, most boring and dry answers came out of this if they would even give us the time of day. We had nothing to make up a map out of it. It was looking incredibly bleak for us as Tuesday rolled around and we had nothing.
Time to go looking again.The idea came up next to observe menus and healthy eating habits, while we ended up steering away from the latter because most of them wouldn't talk to us and probably don't even know what their health content is. Menus were supposedly easy right?
The Simple formula:
take a menu
Break it down
While most of the places were very simple we had some complicated ones, this ended up spawning alot of data for us, more than even we could use or show without going over time. So Natsuko one of the group-mates proposed a nice idea, how about comparing entree styles (sandwiches, rice dishes, burgers, curry, etc) and adding in meat/veg content so it can be incredibly apparent for connoisseurs of food carts where they can get the basics.
But of course all this data needs to go into an interesting and readable image that still retains the function. It started first when Micah shot us out this illustration
It became our foundation:
For Type which became a bold statement and a nice hand drawn element.
For Graphs which were to divide things up in an easy and readable way using basic colors to illuminate highlights of each foodcart for readers.
All imploding together to create the final image seen earlier.This would’ve ended up being better if we had spent more time observing the carts and understanding the precious value of their time as opposed to us trying to barge in on them. If we had more time I think certain parts of the image could be refined and type placement enhanced, going and getting all of the food cart menus and making a more cohesive study on the carts. I feel like this project really brought us out of our shells and constituted learning and growth with decision making, it was 'fun'.