Bake and Barter

CS 220: Human Computer Interactions Project

By: Emily Faith Anderson, Beatrice Egan, and Claire Schlenker

P1: User, Task, and Domain Analysis

User Analysis

The target users of this application are Wellesley College students who are interested in baking on campus. The users will primarily be between the ages of 18 and 24, but some users may also be non-traditional students. The users will therefore have similar educational experiences, and are assumed to be fluent in English. Additionally, the users are expected to have strong experience with computers and mobile applications because of the increasing popularity of smartphones and tablets. Users are expected to have different backgrounds in baking, as well as different motivations. Some of the possible background and motivations for our users include the following:


Winifred (Frequent, avid baker)

Analysis and implications

When Winifred needed ingredients or supplies, she always turned to her good friend first. This behavior demonstrates that our users will need our application to be a reliable resource, much like a good friend. Winifred also mentioned how time-consuming it is to consistently bake/cook all her meals. Because time is an important resource for her, our application needs to be fast, but also have a very fast learning time. The kitchen Winifred uses are small, and having a mobile application is more convenient than using a computer. Winifred does not like throwing away ingredients or food because it feels wasteful. She described how she tries to plan ahead so that she will not have extras. However, she did say that when she has extras she will typically try to make another item, give the extras to her friend, or even knock on the door of somebody who lives on her hall. Having a resource to help her connect ingredients to those who need them would facilitate her desire to not waste resources.

Molly (Occasional baker)

Analysis and implications

Because Molly is on the meal plan, her baking is significantly more infrequent than Winifred's. As such, she is severely limited in her existing resources. When Molly wants to bake, she has to consider access to both ingredients and utensils. As such, our application should provide a forum for the exchange of utensils, as well as ingredients. She also already makes use of the Free and For Sale conference on Facebook to search for ingredients and to post leftovers, which makes her a likely user of our application. Like Winifred, Molly is limited by time, which suggests that our application should be able to be used quickly and efficiently.

Erin (Amateur baker)

Analysis and implications

Erin is interested in expanding the scope of her baking/cooking skills while also being lest wasteful with her ingredients. She would use Bake & Barter to connect with and experienced culinary artist, such as Winifred, not only for ingredients but for advice and recipes. This app would stop Erin from impromptu over purchasing ingredients and share the left over ingredients she has. It also would save her time from posting and checking the Free & For Sale Conference non stop every time she is in need of a baking utensil. This app would help facilitate Erin’s learning, better her baking experience, and surely put a halt to her abandoning baking plans because she’s with frustrated with obtaining ingredients.

User Personas

Baker Betty (frequent, avid baker):

Betty is a junior political science major who is extremely health conscious and has as a strong culinary interest. She’s been off the meal plan since sophomore year and cooks at least one meal a day. She plans her cooking/baking in advance and does a weekly supermarket run to get all her ingredients. While she tries to get everything she needs in advance, she sometimes finds herself needing an extra cup of milk or an extra egg. While she could go to the Emporium, she really doesn’t need to purchase an entire gallon of milk or carton of eggs. She also has a large pantry of items she would be willing to share and barter. Betty’s main motivation in using the application would be to share her extra resources for cash or trade. She would be less likely to post on the app seeking a good, though occasionally she would utilize this capability.

Casual Cook Catherine (occasional baker, experienced):

Catherine is a sophomore computer science major with a busy calendar and a lot of on campus commitments. When she bakes it’s usually an impromptu decision; the Emporium could be closed, Roche Brother’s is too time consuming to walk to, and although she has a baking pan and box of brownies on hand she just needs some eggs and oil. Catherine is looking for the most time efficient way to procure these ingredients and thus turns to Bake and Barter. Her main usage of the app would be procuring ingredients, as the coordination required to share her pantry with others is a challenge to fit into her schedule.

Forgetting Flour Francine (students who love to bake, but are forgetful about their ingredients):

Francine is a senior art history major who has been baking all her life. While she is an experienced baker and loves to bake, she often finds it is a spontaneous project. As of now, she scrambles to put together ingredients from Free & For Sale, the Emporium, and friends. She often feels it takes as much time to gather all her ingredients as it does to bake a cake for a friend’s birthday. Francine would utilize Bake & Barter in order to most efficiently gather ingredient. She will be looking to purchase or barter as many ingredients as possible from a single user in closest proximity to her. Francine rarely has ingredients to post on Bake & Barter, and although she loves baking her interest in posting recipes or chatting with users is limited.

Amateur Anna (students who want to learn to bake):

Anna is a freshman with 12 extra curricula’s, a major that changes every day, and great ambitions to improve her baking skills. She has gone out and purchased some basic supplies (a mixing bowl and a spatula) but often finds herself wanting to bake without access to ingredients. As a freshman, she is not able to have a car on campus and the selection of baking ingredients in the Emporium is limiting. She also would like to learn new recipes and techniques from experienced bakers. Anna would use Bake & Barter as a learning tool to reach out to experienced bakers and gain access to recipes. She also would utilize the bartering aspect as her access to ingredients is limited. Anna views Bake & Barter as a great tool to aid in her self-taught baking journey.

Davis Scholar Diner Dana:

Dana is a Davis Scholar and has greater access to kitchen supplies given her apartment style housing. She has a lot of experience baking and cooking as she has lived on her own, and off a meal plan for the past 10 years. Dana cooks dinner for herself 3 or 4 times a week and likes to bake for friends on the weekend. Given her location on East campus, the Emporium is not a convenient place to dash over to for ingredients. She also feels she works on a lot of unique recipes and the ingredients she finds herself needing scale beyond the scope of their selection. Dana loves Bake & Barter because it puts her in touch with other serious bakers who have a pantry filled with a variety of ingredients. She is able to conveniently obtain obscure ingredients while making new connections and baking friends on campus. She loves sharing her latest recipes and being able to share extra ingredients that otherwise would have gone to waste.

Task Analysis

Choose What To Make

Before users can begin the baking process, they need to know what they would like to make. The goal of this task is to decide what to bake. The sub-tasks in this goal are reviewing what ingredients/supplies the user already has, asking friends for help, and searching for recipes. There is no strict order to this subtasks, and they can be completed multiple times until the user has decided on a recipe. We are predicting that this task will be completed frequently, almost every time the user wishes to bake.

Search For Recipes

While the task of searching for recipes is nested under the task of choosing what to make, it is a large component of this application. When searching the recipe database, users must complete the following subtasks: decide what they are searching for, enter the search terms, read the list of responses, and select a recipe. Users can search and review responses multiple times as needed. After selecting a recipe, users have the option of saving the recipe as a favorite.

The subtask of entering the search terms also has several subtasks. Users will need to decide along what attribute, if any, they are searching. Users can search by type of meal (dessert, dinner, breakfast), main ingredient (chocolate, hamburg, eggs), by baking time (short, medium, long), or by difficulty level (easy, average, difficult). However, these subtasks are optional and one or several may be used. The precondition to this subtask is that the user needs to know what they are trying to bake.

Organize Ingredients and Supplies

Once deciding on a recipe, users organize what ingredients and supplies they have, and make note of what ingredients and supplies they are missing. There are two main subtasks: assessing current ingredients and supplies, and acquiring additional ingredients and supplies. Within the subtask of acquiring additional ingredients and supplies, users can skipp ingredients and modify the recipe, ask their friends, and use Bake & Barter to search the SuperPantry. This set of tasks has the precondition of the user knowing what they want to bake. Additionally, the users needs to know what ingredients and supplies are required to complete their objective.

Search the SuperPantry

By searching the SuperPantry, users view all ingredients and supplies that have been posted by other users. Within this task, the following subtasks exist: entering search term, reviewing the list of responses, selecting a post, and completing the trade. The first two subtasks (entering a search term and reviewing the list of responses) can be completed multiple times until the user chooses to select an appropriate post. Furthermore, at any point in this process users can choose to view other’s users posted pantries. In order to use the SuperPantry effectively, the user needs to meet the precondition of knowing what ingredients/supplies they are looking for.

Complete the Trade

While nested underneath the task of searching the SuperPantry, the task of completing the trade is an essential part of our application. This task is used once a user has selected an item from the SuperPantry that they need. At this point, the users will have three options: make trade offer, make cash offer, and message. If users choose to make a trade offer, they need to meet the precondition of having their own items they no longer need. Technically, there is not a time constraint on this task, but if multiple users are thinking about requesting the same item, it might be beneficial for users to make their decisions promptly.


After the user has located a recipe and all necessary ingredients and supplies, the user bakes their item. This application does not take an active role in this process, however bakers could use the application to message other users for assistance. However, this task is being included in the diagram because it is essential to the overall baking activity. But, it is being treated in a very shallow manner.


Once the user has completed cooking, they are able to enjoy the items that they have baked. This could include eating or sharing the item. This application does not take an active role in this process, but this task is being included in the diagram because it is essential to the overall baking activity. Again, it is being treated in a very shallow manner.

Clean Up

After users have finished baking and enjoying their item(s), they clean up their dishes and workspace. This application does not take an active role in this process. Similar to the previous two tasks, this step is essential to the overall baking activity and is being included in a very shallow manner.

Manage Extras

After the baking process is completed, users need to find a way to deal with their extra baked food and/or ingredients. This task returns to the main functionality of this application - connecting those with extra baking items with those who need them. Within this task, users will have several options: keep all of the extras, leave the extras in a public location, or post items to Bake & Barter. Users will need to meet the precondition of having extra items available. Because users will not always have extra items, this task may not be used as frequently as some of the others.

If the user chooses to leave the extras in a public location, there is a subtask of choosing the location. The application can provide a list of recommended locations.

If the users chooses to post items to Bake & Barter, the following subtasks exist: take photo of item, and fill out information. To fill out information, users will provide a name, description, quantity, and indicate whether the item is perishable/non-perishable.

Manage Profile and Pantry

Under this task, users can edit their Bake & Barter profile and manage the contents of their pantry. If they choose to edit their profile, they will have the option of changing their picture and contact information. If users choose to manage the contents of their pantry, they will have the option of the following subtasks: reviewing currently posted items, and deleting items. Deleting items may have a time constraint dependant upon the perishability of the item.

Hierarchical Task Diagram

Hierarchical Task Plans

Plan 0: Do 1, 2, any order, both optional

Plan 1: Do 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, then can do 1.4, 1.5, 1.6 in any order, but 1.4, 1.5, 1.6 is recommended

Plan 1.1: Do 1.1.1, do 1.1.2 (optional), do 1.1.3 if necessary
Plan 1.1.3: Do, then do in order and repeat as necessary, do
Plan Do,,,, in any order, all optional
Plan Do (optional)

Plan 1.2: Do 1.2.1, 1.2.2
Plan 1.2.2: Do,, in any order, all optional but must do one
Plan Do, and repeat as necessary, then do
Plan Do (optional), then do
Plan Do, or do, or do

Plan 1.6: Do 1.6.1, or 1.6.2, or 1.6.3
Plan 1.6.3: Do, in any order
Plan Do,,, in any order

Plan 2: Do 2.1, 2.2 in any order, both optional
Plan 2.1: Do 2.1.1, 2.1.2 in any order, both optional
Plan 2.2: Do 2.2.1, 2.2.2 in any order, both optional

Domain Analysis

In addition to using the conventional symbols, our entity relationship diagram utilizes colors to make the diagram easier to view and understand. These color assignments are as follows:

Readers may notice the use of several arrows in the ERD. One of the arrows is double pointed, and goes between the Search and Select Item(s) relation diamonds. This was done to demonstrate that users may search and select multiple items, or they may return to searching after changing their mind about the selected item. The second arrow is a single pointed arrow that goes from the Select Item(s) relation to the Seal Deal relation. This was done because there is a strict sequence between these two relations: users must have at least one item selected before they can Complete the Trade.