Project Scope

Our client’s goal was to develop a mobile application that connects passionate home cooks with a community of users seeking a fresh, homemade, affordable meal. 

Role

Working on a team with one other UX designer, I researched and explored the domain before iterating on our design using a lean methodology. This included a heuristic analysis, qualitative research, usability testing, and rapid prototyping.

Heuristic Analysis

We first conducted a thorough heuristic analysis of the preliminary wireframes provided by our client. We provided possible solutions to be prototype regarding the users’ control and freedom, the flexibility and efficiency of the interface, and consistency throughout the mobile application. We also identified missing task flows to be created in the iteration phase.

Interviews and Usability Tests


Method

We conducted 45 minute usability tests with each participant on preliminary wireframes, paying attention to complicated workflows such as ordering and posting a dish. Following the usability tests we had open-ended and informal interviews with each participant.

We were particularly interested in how our users understand the phrase “home-cooked” and what they expect from a home-cooked meal.

Participants

 

Cooks

Ages 26 – 29
2 professional chefs; 1 experienced home cook

 

Consumers

Ages 23 – 35
4 diners open to economy sharing services



Usability Solutions

Effectiveness

Consumers are unable to place an order if they can’t verify ingredients

Require cooks to list ingredients; consider auto-population and tag options

Cooks need a way to post meal promptly

Ensure call-to-action on cook dashboard

Efficiency

Consumers do not understand the favorites list as a way to explore

Provide a list of favorite cooks or recommended options based on past orders

Cooks were not clear on what to look for in ‘popular nearby’ section

Allow cooks to browse what meals consumers are interested in

Satisfaction

Consumers were interested in learning more about the chef (e.g. specialities)

Include a cook profile where consumers can see additional information

Cooks were not open to chatting with consumers, due to time constraints

Allow consumers to message the cook only for critical requests

Interview Insights

Cook Role

Motivations:

Positive reactions from guests after preparing a meal with care

Concerns:

Risk and liability of charing for meals made in a private home

Needs:

Insight into how many consumers are looking to buy homemade meals

Consumer Role

Motivations:

Delicious, unique meals made with fresh, locally sourced ingredients

Concerns:

Cleanliness of home-cooks’ kitchens and the unknown quality of food

Needs:

Consistency of great home-cooks offering their specialty meals


Iteration

Wireframes

With usability tests and interview insights in mind, two sets of low fidelity wireframes were created. From these wireframes we collaborated on a single preliminary prototype with which we conducted further usability tests.

Cook On-boarding

Post Disk Task Flow

Diner Meal Exploration

Application Map

Consumer Dashboard

Cook Dashboard

Final Prototype


Design Highlights

Some of the most important changes and designs we made include enabling all users to explore dish options before committing to the application, and introducing a certification option, ServeSafe, during cook on-boarding. We found that reliability in the form of certification was a high priority for both the diner and cook user. W removed ‘delivery’ option and consistently used ‘take-out’ or ‘dine-in’ and other words relevant to the paradigm.

The diner’s dashboard was re-designed to incorporate ‘explore’ functionality and dish postings are now filtered by location and sorted by date/time – clarifying dish entry population and availability. The ‘favorite’ functionality is modified to target cooks instead of dishes

We created an ‘Add Dish’ call to action for cook and made ingredients input mandatory so diner can assess dish more easily. We also built ‘accept’ and ‘decline’ options for the cook allowing them to have more control over their customers. 


User Interface Design

High Fidelity Mockups

My team packaged our deliverables including heuristic analyses, wireframes, and the working prototype for our client. We then handed off these deliverables to the internal UI team who created three sets of designs. The final design is featured below, executed by designer and developer Amy Ton.

Product Roadmap

Further Research Suggestions

During our research we found that the ‘cook’ user group has multiple roles which were not within the project scope or anticipated by our client and that need further exploration. Some of the roles we came across were the novice, the user with culinary knowledge, and the experienced home-cook that collects recipes.

With the current product we suggested to our client that they conduct enterprise site visits and further qualitative research to understand  the unique motives and concerns for each role. We also suggested that they release an MVP and after receiving feedback expand on proto-personas to full personas and decide which to re-design for. 

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