Culture and identity through food.

The Savour logo. The design features a simplified globe with a spoon and fork on either side of it.

A mobile social platform for cultural food lovers who want to explore the world’s culinary bounty. Learn about a forgotten favorite or discover something new. Share and create to connect others to your food experience. Learn about other cultures and explore your own with Savour.

Savour is a solo project created to explore cultural identity in relation to food. Through the conceptualization of a new platform, Savour fosters and centers communities in order to strengthen users' connections to their lived experiences.

Using empathetic research to define the problem.

As an Asian-American individual who has experienced cultural disconnect, this solo project was developed to address how do you express your experiences if you don't have the vocabulary to articulate them? I explored how this disconnect relates to identity and the cultural pillar of food, using the latter subject to tie in lived experience.

Qualitative User Data

Qualitative surveys were conducted on the subject of food and culture based on identifying labels, the presence or absence of feelings in relation to food, and individual associations with food.

Below are a sample of takeaways from this research.

  • A majority of respondents answered that there is at least one cultural food that they enjoy/value but do not have the means to access information about it.

  • Individuals with multicultural American identities reported feelings of disconnect more often than those who did not identify with multiple cultures or ethnicities.

  • The same respondents noted that food holds a higher level of importance to personal identity than those who don't associate with more than one culture.

  • The most common words that respondents associated with cultural food included "connection" and "comfort."

Secondary Data

Academic sources were used to explore the ongoing discussion about culture, food, and identity. Through research of academic papers and articles, it became apparent that food plays a significant role in one's cultural identity. As a factor that affects one's physical and mental state, access to cultural foods contributes to the level of cultural stress that one experiences. This comes through in ways outside of the dishes themselves, including food etiquette, expectations, personal choice regarding diet, symbolism, etc. Lacking access to this connection has been found to be associated with strain, including anxiety and depression. This is especially prevalent for those who are second-generation Americans.


Through Savour's exploration, a user persona was synthesized to embody the common experiences found during the research process.

Ideation + development.

Initial Conceptualization

To address the issue of cultural disconnect, in-person event planning was considered along with an anthology/collection-based project that would gather information sourced from individuals who were knowledgeable on the topic of cultural foods. However, these came with respective limitations such as location and reliance on existing access to information. It was determined that utilizing these methods to distribute experiences would maintain barriers for individuals who already struggled to find cultural food information. In a project that ultimately prioritizes including the voices of those who experience this disconnect, this would not be ideal.

Since cultural identities and food experiences differ from person to person, it was decided that it wouldn't be suitable to create a singular static resource that would not apply to others.

Access to cultural foods brings forth a sense of community, so various means that involved bringing people together were explored. A social app based around this niche was conceptualized to increase user-to-user interaction and knowledge sharing.

Continued Iteration

Competitive analysis was conducted on several social apps and crowd-sourced companies to analyze Savour's viability as a niche application. After synthesizing this data, Savour's design became to emphasize individual user identity, as the accessibility of users drops when exploring crowd-sourced content. At the same time, the community feature became closely integrated with the design's content in order to provide hubs and a means of organizing information.

High fidelity mockup.

Interactive Prototype



Savour was a valuable exercise in identifying problems from everyday introspection, and how to use data in order to access experiences far beyond my own while generating solutions. This process emphasized the importance of minimizing assumptions through research in order to maintain effectiveness. The process of creating Savour also required me to be accountable for all steps in the iterative design process, which gave me further experience in applying my freelancing administrative skills to UX projects.

The next steps for this project would involve gathering user feedback and using the data alongside the additional information gathered through assumption testing to refine both the platform's features and focus. I would aim to create additional iteration reports in order to further archive this process, as they would provide documentation on development and design decisions.