Projects | Infograin


How can we help students with dietary restrictions find meals at restaurants?


Role: UX Researcher + UX Designer  

Tools: Pen & Paper, Balsamiq, Sketch, Invision, Principle  

Award: Finalist @ Convergence Innovation Competition  

Duration: 3 months  

Details: 4 person team project @ Georgia Tech  

How it works?

A mobile app that shows a list of restaurants compatible with users dietary restrictions sorted (by default) on a customized score for each restaurant.

#1 Personalization: Multiple Dietary Restriction Selection

Users can select multiple restrictions and get a list of restaurants encompassing all previously mentioned restrictions.

#2 Discoverability: Color Coded Match Score to indicate the compatibility of the restaurant

Users can quickly browse through compatible restaurants by just looking at the score. This customized match score is based on other user reviews and ratings as well as dishes at a restaurant that fit users dietary restrictions.

#3 Customizability: Menu filtering

Users can filter through the menu based on handy legends but can also view complete menu helpful in social group settings.



Problem Space & Research Questions

Our initial goal was to understand issues students face while grocery shopping but our initial interviews and observations led us to pivot to a more pressing need - the inability to find restaurants to accommodate their dietary restrictions.

  • How does student's history (eg, number of years with a restriction) with their dietary restriction inform their process?
  • How do users decide on a restaurant to eat out at?
  • What influence do social setting and surrounding environment have on their decision-making process?

Defining the problem scope

Affinity Diagram

We used Affinity diagram to synthesize the results from interviews and contextual inquiries.

Figure: Affinity Diagram

Persona Creation

From the research, we noticed that three different user groups emerged - Vikki, the voluntary vegan; Vishnu, the international vegetarian student, and Grace, a gluten-free gal because of health issues. This implies that Vikki might be more flexible, Vishnu has a learning process, and Grace who is gluten-free due to health issue.

Figure: Personas

Customer journey mapping

Customer journey maps helped us empathize with our user group and keep our team focused addressing user needs.

Figure: Customer journey maps

Research to Design

I summarized the key findings from research and defined a set of design goals and guidelines to ease us into the design process.

Figure: Key findings - design goals - design guidelines mapping


What is the current process?

The question at the back of our minds: how can we simplify the process?

Figure: Brainstorming overview

What was the result of the brainstorming session?

Figure: Storyboard - mockups

Feature Level Decision: Winner or Best of three worlds?

Having obtained informal feedback from concept testing with users, we realized that we could combine the best parts of each design into our solution. We went back to the whiteboard and reviewed each design on a feature level. Mapping user responses to each feature helped us realize that we could take the positive things from each design and converge on those.

Figure: Feature Level Decision

Figure: Feature Level Decision white boarding session


Information Architecture

Figure: Information Architecture

User Flows

Figure: User Flow

Figure: User Flow with Screens


We gave 8 users 2 tasks and made the user scenarios realistic drawing from the user research previously conducted.

  • Task 1: Pick a restaurant in this area: You only have the maps view available to you and you cannot drill down and click on the restaurant to view their menu.
  • Task 2: Pick a dish from a given restaurant: You are going with a friend who does not have any dietary restriction and you need to pick a dish for them as well.

User feedback was concentrated in three areas:
  • Selecting dietary restriction
  • Map view
  • Menu Page

and this is how I incorporated the feedback...


Professionally, I am happy with the way we incorporated user feedback throughout the project and grounded our design in extensive user research. This was evident from our final evaluation which received a SUS rating of 80 and all the informal feedback we got at the Convergence Innovation Competition.

Personally, this project is extremely close to my heart since it addressed issues that close friends struggle with on a daily basis.

If I had more time part, I would bring Infograin to the next level and explore how it would be able to support a group of users - some with dietary restrictions and some without - to have a delightful experience with food that suits everyone at the table.

Dear UXfolio Official,