LEV is a meal prep station that consolidates and streamlines the home cooking experience.

Physical affordances, lights, and a simple tablet interface make cooking intuitive and manageable for any skill level.

My Roles:
User Research / Design Iteration / Design Testing

Meet Frank

Frank is 70 years old. He used to work as a contractor for 30 years until he started noticing issues with day-to-day memory and attention.

Frank was diagnosed with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI), a cognitive stage that affects 15% of adults over age 65. He is now retired and lives at home with his wife, Helen, as his caregiver.

Click to learn more about MCI

In an interview, Frank discussed his experience with MCI. Tasks like shopping, driving, and cooking have become challenging to manage, impacting Frank's agency and mood.

Despite MCI, Frank is still an adult and wants to live independently.

What is MCI?

Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) is a cognitive stage that affects 15-20% of adults over age 65.

While adults with MCI are still fully functional in ADLs, their IADLs become more challenging. There are two forms of MCI:

Amnestic MCI: Memory

Nonamnestic MCI: Decision-making, complex task sequencing, visual perception

While MCI precedes Dementia, it does not necessarily always develop into more serious cognitive issues.


Frank's cognitive issues make cooking a more dangerous task


Frank will oftentimes forget to eat altogether, affecting his health


Helen has to fit meal prep and dinner cooking on top of work

Our design team walked through a journey mapping user exercise with Frank and Helen, charting the high and low points of their daily life. From this we began to see areas for design improvement.

But thankfully,
they're not alone

Frank and Helen attend the MCI Empowerment Program

A resource and day center for adults in the Atlanta area with MCI, run by our team's client, Emory Brain Health Center.

Through MCI EP, Frank and Helen receive resources, info, support groups, and activity spaces. Our design team was tasked with creating a new product solution for MCI EP to help fellows tackle struggles in a variety of IADLs.

Our Focus

MCI EP has a variety of resources and activity spaces to help MCI fellows with tasks like medication assistance, smart home and smart watch integration, built environments, and tracking lost items.

We focused on kitchen space design, as research shows food and cooking provide both agency and personal significance for older adults.


• Overwhelmed by multiple stimuli
• Exhausted by daily cognitive load
• Values self-efficacy and perception

What currently exists?

Where is the design opportunity?

Identifying Pain Points

Kitchen Experience Roleplay

To get even deeper insights on interaction pain points, we simulated a meal cooking experience in a prototype kitchen


Remembering what ingredients to buy for a recipe on top of being conscious of what ingredients we already have was difficult to juggle mentally, especially when expiration dates were factored in.


In assembling everything to cook, locating both food items and cooking utensils strewn haphazardly across the entire kitchen was frustrating and dragged out the process.


Recipes that we found online often gave very little guidance on cooking practices, and going back and forth between active kitchen areas like the stove and the fridge or counter proved to be distracting and dangerous if burners were left on.

Design Opportunity


Cooking is an involved process that can especially fatigue MCI fellows. Making the process inherent through inherent tangible and visual design cues make cooking manageable.


Scattered, various tasks involved in cooking create overwhelming cognitive load for MCI fellows. Streamlining activity into one, focused space eases the process.

Respectfully Supportive

The system needs to be designed to minimize risk so users don't have to worry about safety errors, but should allow them the agency to explore the system freely.

Concept Ideation & User Feedback

Tablet UI Design

Branded under Amazon's design language to integrate their mealkit delivery services, I designed a tablet interface to guide users through a simple, step-by-step recipe schedule


Embedded lighting directs the user's full attention to each step of a recipe


Removable food pans and trays make for simple cleaning and storage


From cutting boards to utensils storage and refrigeration, LEV focuses the cooking process into one streamlined area.