This was a personal project I did to better familiarize myself with the design process. The app I designed is a menu app that tailors a restaurant menu to a users dietary restrictions and preferences.
Personal Project: January 2018
I thought of this idea when I was at dinner with friends, and noticed that we each had different challenges when deciding what to eat. One of my friends is gluten free, and always has concerns about what does and does not contain gluten. I’m a vegetarian, and when I look at a menu, I'm typically only looking at the very small fraction of choices that don’t have meat in them. We found ourselves searching the menu, googling things, and bombarding our server with questions: “Does that have meat in it?” “Are there gluten free buns available?” I thought, since we all have different diets, why do we all look at the same menu of choices?
I started thinking this was an app for those with dietary restrictions, but at this point, I realized the scope of people this could reach was larger than just those with dietary restrictions. I would also want to consider people with food allergies, or those dieting-- factors that also result in significant menu changes. I went to straight to the internet. I found communities and resources on places like reddit, discussion forums, and blogs. As it turns out, there are real emotions associated with different dietary restrictions. People mentioned feeling embarrassed about their choices, and others mentioned feeling like an annoyance, having to constantly ask waiters questions and make specific requests.
“It's just embarrassing when they have to cater to my food preferences though or if we go out to a restaurant and I have to ask the waiters to leave off cheese or chicken or whatever”
“I get embarrassed when people realize I'm trying to lose weight.”
"I already feel like a tool because I have clinically certified food allergies which has left me somewhat bitter about the cruel hand dealt to me, but I do like to feel as if I'm important enough to have a proper menu printed for me.”
"5 tips to stay social when you have food allergies"