ezee Vegan Application

Design of a responsive web application for vegan nutrition and eating. ezee Vegan provides recipes and nutritional information, focused on a plant-based diet. Premium users can contact a qualified expert via video call for first hand advice.
 
Skills: UI/UX Design
ezee Vegan Application

Introduction

The general interest in vegan diet has never been higher. Studies over recent years document health benefits such as lower blood sugar level, and reduced risk of heart disease. Giving up meat and dairy products consumption also decreases carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions.
 
The Problem
Nutrition: The level of misinformation and confusion is high. Vegan eating is often considered unhealthy, unable to supply the body with proteins and vitamin B12, for example.
Cooking: Searching a recipe online delivers a huge number of results. Especially inexperienced cooks or new vegans have difficulties recognising a good recipe. It’s time consuming and the outcome is unreliable. And, if the meal is disappointing it will discourage the cook.
 
The Idea
It’s the perfect opportunity to establish an application with vegan recipes, nutritional information, and qualified experts. Answering a few questions during onboarding customises the app to fit the needs of the users.
 
My Role
UX Design student at Career Foundry. I covered all aspects of the project: User Research, Interview, Information Architecture, Interaction Design, and UI Design.

Tools

  • Pen, Paper & Post-Its

  • Adobe XD

  • Usability Hub

  • Optimal Workshop

  • Marvel Prototyping App

  • Google Surveys

  • Zoom

  • Illustrator
  • Photoshop
  • InDesign
Tools UX Design

Design Thinking Process

This case study follows the Design Thinking Process. You can use the short cuts below to jump to the field of interest.

Empathise

Learning about the audience

Define

Identifiying the users’ needs

Ideate

Generating Ideas for design

Prototype

Turning ideas into concrete examples

Test

Evaluating the design

Implement


Design Process: Empathise


Business Hypothesis

Executive Summary

The app features information about vegan nutrition and vegan cooking. Premium members can also contact a qualified expert via video call for first hand advice.

 
Competitors
There are countless apps focusing on nutrition and cooking. Competitors are: “Kitchen Stories”, “Deliciously Ella” (vegan recipes and meal planning for 1,49 € mthly) and “Dr. Gregers Daily Dozen” (nutrition and diet plan) and “Peta veganstart” (for beginners). None of them offer this combination of vegan experts, recipes, and nutritional information.
 
Target Audience
We have a well-educated audience living in an upper-income household. They are set in an urban surrounding and focus on leading a healthy life. A smartphone is always within reach and they are open to use video calls.
The target audience is divided into two groups:
 

1. Curious and looking for reliable information, easy recipes, and advice.
 

2. Already following a plant-based diet and looking for new ideas, inspiration and expertise.
 
Risk
The application won’t stand out because the competition in this field (cooking) is high. The user isn’t willing to pay for the premium membership to video call an expert - a key feature and differentiator.
 
Opportunity
Vegan nutrition is a global trend. Current data shows that the number of vegans continues to rise, at an accelerated rate.

 

In Germany the number of vegans climbed from 0.8 million in 2016 to 1.13 million in 2020.

Hypothesis Statement

The users need a way to ask anything about vegan nutrition without endless searching because they want qualified answers from experts and cooking inspiration.

We will know this to be true when we see a high number of downloads and many users asking our experts for advice.

Competitive Analysis

I studied for apps from different fields, starting with the obvious cooking app and continuing with a veganism app. In the process I moved away from the topic and had a closer look at apps with similiar funcionalities.


Cooking:

Kitchen Stories
Kitchen Stories is an attractive app for experienced hobby cooks and greenhorns alike. The filters give you the possibility to filter the recipes to your liking. In case you need inspiration, it’s also taken care of.
 
Veganism:
Peta Veganstart focuses on leading a vegan life and giving information to newbies. The app delivers information in small daily portions, making it easy to navigate and let the information sink in over the day.
 
Filters:
Airbnb has put so much thought into giving precise search results. The users and their demands for accomodation are divers and Airbnb masters narrowing it down.
 


Video Call an Expert:
OBI
, a DIY based in Germany offers video calls with experts. I simply tested it myself and was able to collect valuable information about the flow of making an appointment for a video call.
Competitive Analysis

Survey

Conducting an online survey helped to find out if the idea is welcomed by the target audience. By posing general questions I got a first glimpse of the needs and goals.
The results are very reassuring: Not only does the vast majority already have cooking applications (81%), they are also open to vegan nutrition (71%).

Google Survey Results

Google Survey Results


 

52%

Use a food app at
least once a week

 

71%

would try vegan
nutrition

 

75%

Cook 30 min
or more daily


Interviews

Interviewees

Based on the results from the first survey we go into detail by interviewing four candidates with different life styles and cooking habits – from omnivore interested in healthly eating to longtime vegan. The interviews were held via video conference.

Insights

1. ezee Vegan Expert
s

There is so much information about vegan eating and anyone new to this field are insecure and timid. Qualified experts with a cooking or nutritionist background are a must. We need to prove that our expert is trustworthy and professional.


Feature Idea: Showing easy recipes, giving advice and special cooking sessions can help to build up trust. It reduces the barrier of contacting a stranger.

2. Behaviour Phone & Apps
The interviewees have concerns when it comes to video calls. This is mainly due to lack of trust and insecurity of video calling a stranger.

Communicating through WhatsApp is more popular than Video Calls. The advantages are that good reception isn’t as crucial, you can leave Voice Messages and text while you're on the go.


Feature Idea: Let the user choose a communication channel by adding an additional chat function. Providing a “Call Back” function could make the video call more appealing.

3. The Interviewees
All show great interest in vegan eating and are willing to try it or already cook vegan. They often use Google when they look for a new recipe which can be very frustrating.
Their aim is to be proud of the meal they created, to have reassurance the time and effort they invested was worth it. The motivation level is high, with “cooking laziness” popping up every now and then.


Feature Idea: Meal suggestions for a daily dose of inspiration. Additional online cooking sessions offer full guidance and include interaction. A friendly daily nudge to treat yourself with a home-cooked vegan meal could also be useful.


“I’m ready to try everything new if it’s presented to me.”

Stefano, Interviewee

Design Process: Define

User Personas

Next step to create the app was to create user personas. I took following information into account:

 


1. Statistics from Statista and ProVeg Organistation


2. Google Survey results for basic information i.e. age, household size and cooking habits
.

3. Interviews, especially the needs & goals, and fears I filtered from the dialogues.

 

The personas helped me develop the app throughout the process and keep my focus.


Lena, The Conscious Foodie


Lena is our main persona. Age, lifestyle, goals and needs completely fit to the apps aspect of vegan cooking. It is uncertain though that she will become a paying premium member.


Kati, The Creative Mom


This persona focuses on the experts and video call function. She has the willingness and ability to spend money for the experts support.

 

Kai, The Healthy Senior


This persona is health-conscious and focuses on the nutritional aspect. He also is willing and able to spend money for the experts support.

User Persona Lena, The Conscious Foodie
User Persona Kati, The Creative Mom
User Persona Kai, The Healthy Senior

Click on Image to enlarge


User Journeys

To understand how customers interact with the service I created User Journeys and narrowed each one down to one major pain point and possible solution.

 

1. Lena, The Conscious Foodie
Pain Point: The recipe will turn out as a fail
 Solution/Feature: Rating system



2. Kati, The Creative Mom

Pain Point: Her family won't like the meal

Solution/Feature: Rating system, Experts


3. Kai, The Healthy Senior

Pain Point: He feels intimidated by the huge variety at the supermarket

Solution/Feature: Expert Video Call



 

User Journey Lena, The Cosciuos Foodie
User Journey Kati, The Creative Mom
User Journey Kai, The Healthy Senior

Click on Image to enlarge


Design Process: Define

Now the cycle begins.

The next step after research is to create, test, observe and generate again and again to improve the application.


For me sketching is the best form of brainstorming. By visualising the application and creating mind maps I can spot weaknesses and connect loose ends.

Scribble Mind Map
Scribble User
Scribble Recipe

User Flows

Based on these insights (and a pressure to move on to the next feature), I felt good enough to move forward and define three essential User Flows.

 

1. Search Recipe and Save to Notebook
Presumably this is the most common action on the the app. It is essential that the user can search with ease and save a recipe for later.

2. Register, Save Recipe, Create Shopping List

3. Become Premium Member, and Arrange Appointment for Video Call
From an economical point of view, signing up for Premium membership is tremendously important. The app relies on paying members to keep the service running.

Design Process: Prototype

Low fidelity Prototype

After research, interviewing, creating user personas and stories I roughly visualise the app.

Design Process: Test

Usability Testing

With my mid fi prototype I conducted a moderated remote testing with six participants and the average duration was at 40 minutes. Each participant was asked to accomplish 3 tasks. 
All were successful and the overall feedback was very positive.
And some issues were uncovered, too.

Affinity Map

Issues

The usability test revealed one main issue. The testers couldn’t figure out how to upgrade to the premium function. All six of them failed at the first try.

Affinity Map, Issues

Negative Feedback

All participants wanted to freely choose their expert. They disagreed with the suggested path of first writing an email in order to find the ideal expert and then make an appointment.

 

Affinity Map, Negative Feedback

Positive Feedback

Overall the participants appreciated the concept of the app, its clarity and tone of voice.

Affinity Map, Positive Feedback

Behaviour and Attitude
The users welcomed the onboarding questions and rely on answering them to customise and improve the experience.
Some participants hestiate when it comes to paying for the service and suggest a free trial week.

Affinity Map, Behaviour and Attitude

Rainbow Spreadsheet

Rainbow sheets are ideal to order the feedback and prioritise my next steps. I can classify issues and pain points and think about solutions.

Rainbow Sheet
Usability Hub Preference Test

Preference Test

I admit that I lost my objectivity along the way and hesitated to make adjustments on the design.

 

With a preference test I got feeback from a bigger audience and the clear result ended in changing the green background to light grey.


UI Design

The mission of ezee Vegan is to simplify vegan eating and nutrition and to inspire people to explore all the possibilities. Using the app is of course easy and effortless.

The look and feel reflects this approach by using a handdrawn mascot, positive tone of voice. Some design choices were among the obvious i.e. choosing green (colour of nature and health). I added a set of modern sans serif fonts and authentic, state-of-the-art photography and icons for a vivid mix of fun and seriousness.

UI Design: Colours, Fonts and Appeal

Colours, Fonts and Appeal

UI Design: Mascot and Illustration-Style

Mascot and Illustration-Style

UI Design: Imagery

Imagery


UI Design Elements

UI Design Elements

Design Process: Implement

Hi Fi Prototype

Hi Fi Prototype

The Take Away

Throughout the process I revisited the brief along the way to check that I stay on track. The initial sitemap was adjusted as I was progressing and was a big help as soon as I began creating clickable prototypes.

Sticking to the motto “Fail often and early!“ was worthwile. I quickly created prototypes, tested them, and discovered weak spots.

 

After a few rounds I felt confident enough to move on to mid and high fidelity prototypes.

 

I enjoyed working and learning through every step, especially building the construction of the application made my heart jump.