BrainStation Toronto
BrainStation is a global leader in digital skills training. BrainStation empowers individuals and organizations to achieve digital success through courses, workshops, events and corporate training. As part the UX course students are required to complete a final project, which focuses on creating a highly usable, functional and delightful design solution for a digital experience in any digital product format. The final project aims to demonstrate an application of the concepts taught within the course. 
Problem Space
Obtaining nutritional information while dining out. What is the nutritional information for a particular dish when dining out? I don't know if I'm meeting or going over my required nutritional/caloric intakes.
The Impact aiming to achieve
To ensure that diet restricted people can choose a dish while dining out, knowing that they are keeping accurately on track with their nutritional intake. Also to create a less stressful or worrying experience while dining out.
The design question
How might we: develop a tool that provides accurate and detailed nutritional information of dishes while eating out. The tool can to be used as a guide in choosing a dish that is in line with people’s dietary restrictions.
User Research
User interviews were carried out with seven health conscious individuals, whom all had diet restrictions.
Pain Points: Not knowing the ingredients within foods on restaurant menu’s. 
Having no access to any nutritional information on the restaurant’s menu.
Restaurants don’t cater for dietary needs and lack of a variety of healthy options.
Motivations: Dining out is a social activity - dating, spending time with friends, romantic time with partners etc..
Behaviours: They tend to avoid eating out because of mentioned pain points. 
They tend to ask the waiter endless questions about the menu and for substitutions.
Frequently visit’s usual spots as it is a safer option.
Learnings: When eating out participants feel that restaurant menu’s have a lack of healthy options along with a lack of nutritional information needed to choose a dish. Eating out is a social activity for all participants. Choosing from the menu normally takes longer than expected. Participants will frequently ask the waiter questions about ingredients and about substitutions.
Themes and Findings: Restriction 
Insight: People with dietary restrictions feel constrained with their food options when dining out
User Persona
Name: Maria O’Connor
Age: 32
Education: Computer Science (BSc)
Occupation: Computer Scientist
Archetype: Calorie Counter
Devices & Platforms:  Mobile and Fitbit
Personality: Maria is a computer scientist and isn't very active during a typical work day. She feels that she has been putting on weight since she entered the workforce. She is motivated to reach her goal weight within the coming months. She feels that in order to do this she will have to restrict herself from her usual social activities involving food. She is frustrated that in order to achieve her goal she may become less sociable and more isolated.
Used Products and Services: Maria uses Fitbit to track her daily calories burnt and 
step count.
User Goals: To achieve her desired goal weight. To maintain a social life during her weight loss. To live a healthier lifestyle.
Notes: Maria is also overwhelmed by the amount of nutritional information that is out there and she feels lost when finding a tool to help her with her weight loss. She spends a lot of time Googling calories in certain foods which takes up too much time. She tends to meal prep to avoid calorie guessing in certain scenarios while eating out.
“My health and fitness is very important to me. I feel that it is frustrating to decline social invitations in order to keep on track with my diet. Menu’s tend to have limited nutritional or calorie information. As a result I tend to avoid eating out “ -Maria O’ Connor​​​​​​​
Possible Solution
A mobile app with an integrated nutritional database of local restaurant menu items within the user’s city location. The user has the ability to create an account, log diet restriction’s and goal’s that they may have such as weight loss. This initially gives the app the ability to recommend restaurants that will accommodate and suit the users dietary needs. The app also provides dish recommendations to the user based on their account information, educating the user and providing them with the tools to make safe food choices while eating out.
Discovering The User Journey
User Testing
User Testing Round 1
Homepage Findings: It was clear to each participant that this was a food related app  but first impressions was a food ordering app such as Uber Eats.
Recommendations: Focus on the copy to inform the participants that it is not a food ordering app.
Restaurant Information Findings: Each participant felt that this page had all the necessary information. Each participant took notice of the reviews, which conveyed trust. Each participant was unclear about Iconography.
Recommendations: Choose iconography that communicates much clearly.
Restaurant Menu Findings: Each participant found this page informative, clear and easy to navigate. Each participant was unclear about Iconography. Create a profile was overlooked.
Recommendations: Choose iconography that communicates much clearly. Generate more emphasis around creating a profile, perhaps informing the participant more about the benefits. 
Nutritional Information Findings: Each participant found this page informative, clear and easy to navigate. Each participant was unclear about Iconography. Create a profile was overlooked.
Recommendations: Choose iconography that communicates much clearly. Generate more emphasis around creating a profile, perhaps informing the participant more about the benefits. 

User Testing Round 2
Sign Up Findings: Each participant had automatically skipped sign up.
Recommendations: Convey to the user the benefits of signing up before the sign up process.
Prototype & Learning Outcomes
Learning outcomes: Overall I learned that user testing was a key element in shaping the experience of this app. It was a valuable process in order to identity the issues in my user flow. Interestingly many of the participants very much liked this concept and initially encouraged me to develop it. They felt that it would be a tool that they could use to improve their everyday lives.
Technical and informational restrictions: This app is restricted by the lack of nutritional information it requires. Restaurants would need to be willing to analyze menu items in order to provide nutritional information. Another restriction I would encounter is the technology to analyze menus and provide dish recommendations.
Progressing the concept: If this app was to go further the first step would be to approach more health conscious restaurants such as Freshii who have nutritional information available, to partake in the app. From that initial starting point I would focus on restaurant on-boarding and marketing to encourage to grow the app’s database. 
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