There are limited vendors that offer allergen-free cakes, leaving about 32 million people have food allergies to be underserved; in addition the current process for ordering custom cakes can be convoluted and time-consuming. 
    I built a website and app that will allow busy people to order custom allergen-free cakes, so everyone can enjoy the cake, without worrying about triggering people’s food allergies.

Allergen   free Custom Cakes


Project Overview


Lead UX Design, User Research, Wireframing, Prototyping, Testing


April 2022 to May 2022

The allergen-free custom cakes website and app allow busy people to customize an allergen-free cake that everyone can enjoy.


It is hard for the customer to visualize the custom cakes they are ordering.

Pain point #3: Visualization

Custom cake orders can be time-consuming: they require coordinating with bakery over the phone and/or in person.

Pain Point #2: Time-Consuming

Anxiety about triggering guests’ food allergies because users are uncertain about all of their guests’ food allergies.

Pain Point #1:  Anxiety

User Research

As part of user research, I conducted four interviews with people, aged 30-50 years old, who have ordered custom cakes.  I also did secondary research to better understand some of the common complaints people have had about ordering custom cakes.  The primary user group are busy moms who plan celebrations for their families.  The research identified the following pain points:

The interviews and the secondary research suggests that users have been alarmed and concerned about allergic reactions from cakes that they have either witnessed or heard about. There was also a lot of confusion about what ingredients triggered these reactions. These experiences caused users to feel anxious and hesitant about their food selections because they were uncertain about their guests’ food allergies.



✔   Problem Statement:
Ellen is a busy mom who wants to quickly and easily order a custom cake for an upcoming celebration. She wants a cake that everyone can enjoy and doesn’t want to worry about triggering anyone’s food allergies.

✔   Goals:
  • Plan a memorable and fun party for everyone
  • Have a stress-free celebration  
  • Make the celebration feel momentous and special

✔   Frustrations: 
  • “I don’t have time to visit and coordinate with bakeries to make a custom cake ”
  • “I don’t want to worry about someone getting hives from the cake I ordered”
  • “It feels like finding an allergen-free cake is impossible”

✔   Short Biography: Ellen is the designated planner for her family and relatives, which means she is in charge of planning celebrations for all the major milestones from birthdays to family reunions. She has a growing “to-do” list and planning this party will be stressful and time-consuming. She doesn’t have time to collect everyone’s food allergies or have time to meet with the baker to put in a custom cake order, but she still wants to make a special cake to make the celebration feel special. 

“I have so much to do for this party – and the last thing I want to worry about is serving food that could hospitalize someone.”

- Ellen


The homepage is structured using the story brand strategy: a three-step process diagram, a large call to action (“Build a Cake”), and testimonials section to build brand authority.

     Each screen went through multiple iterations so that the customization process is concisely explained on the homepage and the customization is broken down into multiple sections so the user is not immediately overwhelmed by all of the customization options.  

The website is designed to sequentially walk the user through the customization process. Additionally the customization options were organized into multiple sections so it would be less overwhelming for the users.  


Users wanted multiple payment methods. 

Users wanted to visualize the cake as they customized it.

Users wanted more interactive components to prototype, e.g. interactive checkboxes

Users wanted an order form that was simple and short.

Round 1 Findings

Usability Studies

The first round of usability studies discovered that users wanted a simple and short method for specifying the pickup time and date, a visual of the cake as they customized the cake, and they wanted to change the homepage layout. The second round of usability studies discovered that users wanted more interactive components in the prototype, the background image to be less distracting, and more payment options.

The interviews revealed that while budgets are important, users wanted to quickly and conveniently put together a catering menu from a list of food options that would meet their guests' dietary restrictions and had price transparency. Users wanted to limit their in-person meeting with the caterer and conveniently communicate changes to the menu throughout the planning process.


Users wanted to change the homepage layout: they wanted to see the process steps worked above the the testimonials.

Round 2 Findings



Short Form


Simpler Background

Payment Options


Research Goals:

The goal of the usability studies was to determine if users can quickly and easily complete the core task of planning and paying for a catering menu for the wedding within an app.

Research Details:

I performed two moderated usability studies, remotely, in which participants completed the task of planning and paying for a catering menu on their own.  


Five participants, who are either planning an upcoming wedding or have experience planning a wedding catering menu, aged 20-50 years old.

Users wanted a simpler, less distracting background.



✔   The first usability study revealed that users were overwhelmed by the long pick up form, so in the next iteration the pickup form was reduced to just the critical necessary information date and time, assuming there is only one location for this local bakery.

✔   The website is designed to sequentially walk the user through the customization process. Additionally the customization options were organized into multiple sections so it would be less overwhelming for the users.  

✔   The usability study also revealed that users wanted multiple options for payment method; therefore, the next iteration included payment options such as Amazon, Paypal, and Visa (credit card).

✔   Since users shop from multiple devices, I added additional sizes to accommodate users. The website would be accessible on both desktop and on a phone.

  • Users are overwhelmed by long forms
  • Users prefer the customization process to be broken down into more digestible section


“Everything felt streamlined and the concept is creative. I like that you can customize a cake all online.”


Our target audience found the website and app to be easy, straightforward, and made the overall cake ordering process more convenient to use.  The website and app could streamline the current custom cake ordering process.




Possible Next Steps

Add chat or messaging feature so the user can directly talk to the baker.


Create a more interactive visualization of all the possible colors and decorations as the user customizes the cake.

Add real-time order status updates so the user is able to check the status of their order.