84% surveyed self-reported as "not confident"" in their knowledge of sushi terminology.

How can you deliver deep insight when your target audience doesn't speak the language?

Show, don't tell

Navigating Without Reading

SushiPro's information architecture is structured in a way that allows users to refine their selection using only visuals and gesture, sidestepping the English - Japanese language barrier.

Incremental Exposure to Japanese Langauge

Japanese terminology and sushi facts are introduced gradually, beginning with nametags, and ending in detailed descriptions with guesture-based walkthroughs of traditional preparation techniques.

Sushi Sketches

Step 1: Style

Users explore based on properties that require no existing expertise, beginning with 3D examples of each presentation style.

Sushi Filtration Steps

Step 2: Filling Types

Within an individual preparation style, there are additional nuances that are finer than shape, but broad enough to encapsulate multiple recipes.

As users drill down to the second level, the first recedes in 3D space, reenforcing the environmental metaphor and signalling that users can go back - literally - at any time.

Sushi Recipe Screen

Step 3: Individual Recipes

At the last level of filtration, users select individual recipes to learn more about.

Step 4: Guided Preparation

Users manipulate 3D food with real gestures - slicing, wrapping, and rolling their way to a plate of finished sushi, learning techniquies they can bring directly to the kitchen.


Drawing from past experience

Pokemon Stadium Game

Likitung's Sushi-Go-Round

In 1999, Pokemon Stadium introduced me to sushi on the N64, in a game where you had to identify recipes on a conveyor belt and eat only the ones that were desirable.

Sushi Chef. Photo: Calvin Lee

Japanese chefs have been serving sushi on belts since 1958

Kitchen To Screen

Creating a granular filter interface from the sushi conveyor belt

Nested Rings

The SushiPro interface started with an aerial translation of the circular conveyor belt, with selections on the innermost ring dictating the contents of the outer rings.

Perspective View

The final interface was a front-facing view of the nested conveyor belt, with higher-level categories receding into the background as users drill down.

Sushi Sketches

Visual Design

Simulating an intimate restaurant experience


SushiPro is targeted at novices, and aims to make the transition from app to kitchen as intuitive as possible.

A skeumorphic approach preserves the maximum amount of detail, which - for the inexperienced sushi chef - is crucial to retaining information from the app.


Nobody sets out to have a dining experience that's rushed, dirty, or cheap, and although sushi belts began as a fast-food innovation, they've since made their way into more luxurious settings.

Laqured wood, warm lighting, and serif type were chosen specifically to match the mood of a more sophisticated restaurant.

App Showcase

Interaction Prototypes


Drag to move the conveyor belt and reveal content.

Drill down

Users tap items or swipe up to traverse the menu. Swipe down to move back.

Choosing A Recipe

Tapping an individual recipe opens details about its ingredients and preparation.

App Showcase