Third Shift

Product Design: Easy meal plan for busy parents


Project: Nuvention AI Analytics Class Project


Project Timeline: 10 Weeks
Melike Inonu, Lauren McCarthy, Masum Patel, Amisha Agarwal, Liying Peng
Chief Design Officer
I led user research, design research, design Figma wireframe and conduct user testing. I am also the designer for Third Shift visual branding. 

Table of Contents

Click Table of Contents below directing to the designated sections

Chief Executive Officer
Chief Strategy Officer
Chief Technology Officer
Chief Information Officer
Project Timeline: 10 Weeks
Project: Nuvention AI Analytics Class Project


Melike Inonu, Lauren McCarthy, Masum Patel, Amisha Agarwal, Liying Peng
Chief Design Officer
I led user research, design research, design Figma wireframe and conduct user testing. I am also the designer for Third Shift visual branding. 

"What’s for dinner?

It‘s all I think about"

Jerry, parent of a 3 yo
What one, nagging, joyless and excruciating decision do parents make every single day?


This is how Annie's day and week look like...

Target Users: city-dwelling middle-class parents with children aged 2-10 years.

Journey Map

It helps: 
  • Family save $250/mo in food waste per family

  • 1 hr/day time saving = $700/month ($25/Hr)

  • Daily Stress Relief: 1,000 worth of spending on wellness alternatives

We Got You

Third Shift app lightens the mental-meal-planning load for busy parents — saving money, reducing waste, and freeing up mental space for a life better-lived. 

Main Features

Keeping in line with our vision to make life easier for busy parents, and bearing in mind the unique needs of our beachhead market, Third Shift is designed with intuitive quickness and ease at its core.

At about 5:30 PM every single day, the customer opens Third Shift and sees three simple options: 

SOMETHING TO ADD — for days when you want to add a specific ingredient

USE WHAT I HAVE — which will offer only recipes that use ingredients the machine knows you have in your kitchen.

SURPRISE ME — for days when you want to try something new for your taste

Wire Frame

1. Getting to Know You

2. How You Eat

3. Your Goal


When the customer downloads the app, they’ll be led through a quick, seamless onboarding process to learn more about the customer’s family and space, dietary restrictions and preferences, nutritional and lifestyle goals and grocery inventory.

If the customer doesn’t want to add all this information immediately upon downloading the app, no problem. The app still automatically adds value by recommending kid-friendly recipes that will improve with input over time: the more you tell us the better we know you.


The awesome thing about our model is that we are leveraging rapidly advancing technology to solve an everyday problem’–using AI to help people in a way it has not been done before. 

We build and manage a knowledge base for the customer.

Don't want to add all info -- No Problem! 
Our AI knows, what’s for dinner…
The more you tell us, the better we know you.

Intuitive Inventory –– Getting to know your kitchen 

Third Shift offers four convenient ways to input data to build a knowledge base so the app always knows what you have on hand. 

UPC barcode scanning

Receipt image capture

API integration into online grocery shopping

Voice-activated & manual entry

UPC barcode scanning

Receipt image capture

API integration into online grocery shopping

Voice activated & manual entry



1. After processing customer kitchen and grocery data, the machine generates a recipe list.

2. Combining data and customer preferences, the machine ranks 3 recipes the customer would like.


3. Then they pick their favorite.

4. Our recommender system improves its intelligence based on the feedback we get from the customer over time. The more you tell us, the better we know you.


Help family eliminates food waste:


Notifications reminder you what's in your fridge and recommend recipes to you


Go to Market Strategy

In our first year, we will focus on building the core team, socializing our solution with advisors and solidifying our values and principles on the path forward. By the year end, we will have built an MVP and start running a pilot. During our launch phase, we will heavily rely on marketing and testing, and as we grow, we will build partnerships that will be key to our success.

Secondary Market Research

There are many players who attempt to solve the meal planning problem. While this clearly validates that the problem is real, Third Shift is a clear stand out from the crowd. None of the existing players can recognize what the user already has in stock, and optimize recommendations based on that. They are also unable to conveniently populate the grocery items in the grocery app of their choice.

Market Size

There are 2 billion people in the world who regularly prepare meals–our TAM. However, our focus will be on PARENTS, more specifically city-dwelling middle class parents with children aged 2-10 years. Their mental load is the heaviest and the pressure is extremely pressing for this group. Among them we will prioritize digital grocery shoppers–which consist of a beachhead market of 2.4 M potential customers.

Meet Annie 👋 

  • 38 years old, Mom of 2 kids,3 and 5 years old

  • Live in Los Angeles with husband, kids and 2 dogs

  • She was a realtor and now she is a stay-at-home mom (because of the pandemic).

  • Household income: $180,000

  • Love desserts! She loves to follow sweet shops on IG and drives up to 90 minutes to try them. 

  • Ruth Bader Ginsbeg is her hero

  • She has her indoor garden, and very concerned food waste and environment issue

  • Aspirations in life: To live life fully and take care of the planet. Adventure!--particularly food adventures

  • Fears in life: Feeding everyone in her household (including her dogs) for the rest of her life, an emotional resistance to left overs, derives no joy from cooking or serging her own food.


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© 2022 by LIYING PENG

I’m finishing my Master’s at Northwestern University’s Engineering Design Innovation Program and received my BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago – with a robust background in Fine Art.


Let’s work together!