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PicNic is an ecosystem that diminishes scenarios in which users have negative feelings due to their allergies and dietary needs. Through a personalized profile, functions such us event planning, recommendations, and ingredient scanning allow the user an enhanced and more enjoyable dining experience.

Project Duration

01.06.2020 - 03.14.2020

Ten Weeks


Human Computer Interaction

Prof. June Yoon

Team Members

Kayla Bocage

Camila Odio

Domenica Basantes

Lindsay Crawley

My Role

Project Mannager

UX Engineer


Process Book

Vision Video


The difficulties that users with allergies and dietary restrictions face as a cause of their dining experience being inconvenient and unsafe, make them feel as if they are a burden to the people around them, left out of social situations, and only have the option to eat food that they cook at home.

The Problem

People with allergies and restrictions don’t enjoy the dining experience because their current one is inconvenient and unsafe.

Our Goal

Enhance dining experiences for people who are limited due to allergies and dietary restrictions by facilitating technological and practical resources that create a more enjoyable experience.

It's all about the personalized experience


Getting to know you...

Set your dietary profile in order to make your experience all about you!

Scroll through your feed

and get recommendations

Restaurants and recipes curated to your personal dietary profile assist in avoiding boring and repetitive meals.

Explore your Profile

and gather your favorites

Through their dietary profile, users can view past and saved recipes and restaurants, search and scan for friends, and manage their settings.


Scan your food

and get all the ingredients

Paired devices allow the user to scan the ingredients of their food and automatically log the data into their accounts.

The process

Research Methods


55 targeted responses

Goal: Determine general commonalities between our target group, in order to narrow down their main pain points.

User Interviews

10 participants

Goal: Determine the main pain points and areas of struggle with a more in depth approach.

Expert Interviews

4 participants

30,000 emergency room visits in the US are caused by food allergy reactions each year.

Goal: To get more perspectives on the topic of people with allergies and dietary restrictions, through experts both in the realm of health and restaurant managing.

Cultural Probe

7 participants

Goal: Get a personalized perspective on how users deal with their day to day challenges in order to determine further struggles.



Users specifically struggle in social events, home cooking and dining out.

"I feel like a burden for the restaurants when I have to ask for changes in my order."

-Female, 38

"In events like parties, I struggle a lot because there are not many options."

-Female, 38

Expert Interviews

It's important for the user to have full transparency when it comes to their food options when dining out.


find it difficult to cook, grocery shop and eat out due to their allergies and restrictions.


find it difficult to find safe food when traveling

User Interviews

Users introduced social, emotional and practical factors that contributed to their struggle.

"There is virtually nothing I can do for my patients besides tell them to avoid the allergen

-Dr. Sullivan

“For customers that have allergies, like gluten, we have options for them because we cook to order–we can make it without soy.”

-Ann Healy

"Eating out is really hard because the rest of my family doesn't have restrictions. It's hard to go out with my friends. I can't drink alcohol so it's a social barrier." 

-Female, 16

“It took a long time to figure out what foods or drinks I could not have.”

-Male, 25

Cultural Probes

It exposed the user's personal approach when facing problems in their daily life.

Target Audience

Primary: People with allergies

Secondary: People with dietary restrictions and preferences


After gathering several data points from both primary and secondary research, we began to synthesize. After creating cluster and gathering similarities, we generated our first key insights which helped us narrow down the pain points of the users, and further on inspire our ideation.

Initial Insights




Negative feelings arise from food related situations.


Social events are a main issue for people with restricted diets.




Users prefer practicality and convenience.


Negative feelings arise from food related situations.

We later began to develop our initial "How Might We" (HMW) statements. These helped us gather areas of opportunity for our ideation process.

Reduce the number of stressful moments in the day of a user with food allergies?

Use the allergies as a way to make their
experience enjoyable?

How might we...

Use the allergies as a way to make their
experience enjoyable?

Eliminate the feeling of burden when dealing with people around them with different/less/no limitations?

Having the pillars and our HMWs, we developed our main HMW statement, which was followed by the development of the concept. and the features covering the pain points discovered previously.

How might we alleviate users’ negative feelings and reduce challenges surrounding food in order to create a more enjoyable experience?

Concept: An ecosystem (app and device) that facilitates the sharing and retrieving of information to avoid scenarios in which users have negative feelings due to their allergies and dietary needs.

Personalized Profile

Event Planning



For a more detailed approach check out our full process book 

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