Limiting Risk Through Design: The Effects of User Experience and User Interface Design on Food Allergen Safety Training
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With the recent rise in gluten intolerance and celiac disease, food allergen safety training in restaurants is becoming necessary in order to create safer eating environments for those with gluten sensitivities. Traditional restaurant employee training often does not provide sufficient information for the prevention of cross-contamination in commercial kitchens. In addition, the training material itself is not designed for how people learn and process information, resulting in poor retention and comprehension of the training material. This research describes the creation of a restaurant employee training system, based on cognitive psychology, designed to engage the users through interactive gaming and storytelling elements, and to improve the users’ recall of the information. The traditional pages of written material typical of employee training manuals are replaced with an online interactive learning experience through the use of simplified content, iconography, gaming, and storytelling. Designing the learning experience with the psychology of how people learn in mind, and including fun interactions and challenging games creates a visceral experience that resonates with the users. User testing of a small sample revealed that the user experience and user interface design had positive effects on the users’ ability to recall the training material, with all of the participants favoring the integration of the gaming and storytelling elements.