Design Thinking in Engineering (DESTINE) is an Erasmus Intensive Program on application of design thinking into problem-based education. During the program, which is consists of a preparatory online phase and an on site intensive two-week phase, students work in interdisciplinary groups from different European countries. Student teams work on daily life situations in order to generate practical solutions that can contribute to improvement in human life style. The program includes lectures and workshops in design methodology, presentation skills and teamwork.
The goal of the program is for each team to propose and prototype a solution to a given problem area based on immersive research and supported by design thinking tools. The problem area is widely defined to test students’ capacity for problem understanding and definition. My group worked on the wide topic of “How to enrich the dining experience”.
From the left:
Jonathan, Glasgow Caledonian University, Scotland
Catherine (Me), Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden
Pawel, Lodz University of Technology, Poland
Tomek, Lodz University of Technology, Poland
Daniel, University of Vigo, Spain
My role as the only designer in an interdisciplinary group of engineers from different European countries was both to educate and to lead my team members in design methodology throughout the project.
- Trello – web-based project management application
- Group problem solving tasks
- Establishing team ground rules
- Skype meetings and individual assignments
Immersion in the Problem
- Ethnographic studies at different types of restaurants in each respective country
- Three different restaurants on site in Lodz, Poland
- Interviews of employees at restaurants and customers
Defining the Problem
- Customers have a hard time deciding on what dish to pick
- People with allergies and specific food preferences want to know the ingredients
- A big problem for local restaurants is exposure and marketing themselves
- How can communication and feedback between restaurant and customer be improved?
PiQuick is an application for your smartphone where you create a profile of your food preferences. The app communicates through NFC with the interactive menu in front of the restaurant and provides you with a personal menu. The app also collects information on user profiles that can be used as feedback to improve restaurants’ selections. Information collected provides feedback on trends and preferences in that specific area and how many people walk by and at what times.
For Picking a Restaurant Quick and Easy
PiQuick is different from other services such as Yelp and TripAdvisor, who publish crowd-sourced reviews about local businesses, as PiQuick is more specific about the dishes on the menu. Since PiQuick is not used as a city guide to find restaurants with good reviews, it is more spontaneous, direct and quick than it’s competitors. It is for users that want to eat nearby and want to get a quick overview of their alternatives and the dishes relevant to them.
Often when you are travelling you don’t have Wi-Fi and finding good restaurants in the area can be a challenge. PiQuick is a fast and direct way of finding the menu choices that are relevant to you. The app also automatically translates the menu items and the ingredients for your convenience.
Vegetarians and People With Allergies
Restaurants are required to list the ingredients of each dish. This is particularly interesting for customers with allergies or specific food preferences for example gluten intolerants and vegans.
Minimum Effort From the User
To use the service, you just download the app and fill out your profile. No Wi-Fi is necessary for using the app since it employs NFC technology. The next time you are out and wondering about a restaurant, you just swipe your phone in front of it and you will get a personalised menu.
Scenario and Storyboard
Wireframe and Digital Mockups in Axure
Final Prototype for Demonstration and Presentation
PiQuick was awarded a bronze medal in the International Warsaw Invention Show 2014.