Our group gathered data pertaining to the food carts on the corner of Fifth Avenue and Washington Street. We met before and after class and communicated by email and phone to coordinate our schedules. We tried to have at least one person research the carts each day. The first set of questions we used consisted of: number of employees, cook and preparation time, meat options compared to vegetarian options, reshness of ingredients, ingredient costs and overhead. Our visual inspiration for the final look of our poster is inspired by an isometric map Greg presented to the group.
Angelica concentrated on pricing, gathering information on the price of each dish and the average price per cart. She also gathered background and general knowledge from each carts owner, asking them general questions as well as the questions we agreed upon as a group.
Greg also collected information by using our set of questions, as well as specific questions about the quality of the ingredients used, if they offered organic meat and vegetables. He also polled each cart on their payment options, whether carts accepted debit, credit or cash only. Greg partnered with Pasia to record approximately how many customers showed up to each food cart in 10 minute periods.
Pasia's main focus was on the people who purchased food from the carts and she conducted many interviews while customers waited for their food. She asked questions like how far they walked or biked to the cart, why they chose the particular cart, how often they ate there per week and if they explored more than one dish or only ate their favorite. She also asked about their fashion preferences to see if there was only correlation between various customers and what they ate.
After organizing and sifting through the data, we geared our topic toward what made certain carts more popular and why. The final research we used to develop graph materials were:
- Average price per cart?
- Most popular cart?
- Wait time at each cart?
- How many people worked at each cart?
- Most common ingredients?
- How many dishes used the same ingredients?
- How far people traveled to get to the cart?
- What gender was the common customer?
After calculating the information, we divided up the information so we could each make a graph, using the isometric map style we agreed on. It was hard to place all of the graphs on a poster without making it cluttered. Visually we wanted to keep the information clean and simple using geometric shapes. The title “Bargain Bites” came about when trying to find a way to describe the food carts. Pasia had the idea to create a folded booklet instead of a poster, which would isolate each graph, but also fold out to be an isometric map.
What we learned while doing our on-site research was a bit more difficult to gather information than we expected. There was a lot of rethinking and rearranging our view points and ideas as well as last minute additions to questions and graphs. Some cart owners were more open to answering our questions than others. Right before the project was due a new cart popped up, showing us how often the data we spent our time collecting evolves.