EatEasy

Improving cooking skills with meal kit delivery service

Project

Solo project

My role

User Research & Analysis, Wireframes, UI Design, Usability testing, Prototyping

Tools

Paper, Pencil, Sketch, InVision, Illustrator, Photoshop, Mural Board, Keynote

Project Overview

When we all got stuck at home back in March 2020 lots of people had to change their cooking habits drastically.  Those who aren’t really good with cooking got bored of repeated meals very fast.

Meal kit delivery services came to their rescue but none of those services have ever offered to educate users on how to actually enhance cooking skills and increase meals satisfaction.  

The goal was to have a mobile app that combines both meal kit delivery service and cooking skills improvement concepts.

The Challenge

Problem

Despite there are lots of Meal Kit Delivery Services available on the market people still face trouble finding a clear path to improve their cooking skills using those services.

Solution

The final design offers users to improve their cooking skills by moving through defined levels with the goal to become a better cook.

Design process

Empathize

Market Research

To understand the market's condition and identify key competitors I began by researching how Covid-19 impacted the Meal Kit Delivery market, who key competitors are, and how people feel about cooking at home.

I studied research conducted by Packaged Facts (PF) and Acosta which are leading marketing research firms in the food sector. The numbers below helped me to understand how big that problem was even before the pandemic begung.

That problem became much more important during pandemic time because people are forced to stay at home and miss opportunities to enjoy tasty food if they don’t know how to cook.

> Packaged Facts Research> Acosta report

Meal kit delivery services

Competitive Analysis

To compare and contrast main competitors I downloaded Hello Fresh and Blue Apron mobile apps. Both companies own 80% of the market together so I was looking to see what expectations were set and see if there is any educational concept was implemented.

I found out that both companies are focused on making the cooking process easier at home by delivering portioned and packed ingredients of the meal to the customers doorstep. But none of them offer cooking education along with cook-it-yourself delivery.

Culinary Schools

Competitive Analysis

To understand how learning process structured and identify list of most important topics culinary schools cover I decided to take a look at online program curriculums.

All curriculums I’ve reviewed showed 'skill by skill' learning approach. 'Skill by skill' means working on one skill at a time and moving forward only when current skill is mastered.

I started thinking how to pair this type of learning approach with meal kit delivery service.

Infant brain development

Literature Review

Looking for learning concept options I started thinking what happens in how the brain learne new skills.

Some time ago I read the research based book about infant brain development. It concludes that babies make 10 major age-linked leaps during the first 20 months of their lives. Babies don't fully master all skills the previous leap made feasible; they keep mastering skills while going through next stages.

This gave me an idea about level based learning approach. Meaning users master skills they acquire on previous levels while going through next levels.

> Science behind infant brain development

Define

User Interviews

To ensure I understand the audience's needs and existing pain points I recruited 3 participants. I conducted interviews via Zoom using an experience diagramming method.

Main questions:
1) How are they currently using existing/similar products?
2) What are their goals using those products?
3) What are their pain points?

Goals

To consolidate information I have reviewed during the research and be able to have real life constraints while designing I listed  main business and customers goals for this project. This step allowed me to have somethings I can use to look back in later stages to ensure that I am on track.

Business Goals:

  • Create a service to replace grocery shopping
  • Increase number of active customers
    * The growth in active customers correlates closely with a revenue growth
  • Increase adoption rate

User Goals:

  • Cook delicious meals at home
  • Improve cooking skills
  • Get all ingredients delivered to the doorstep

Meet the target users

To narrow down the users I was designing for, based on user interviews I identified 3 key target personas.

CREATE

Testing concept with users

To provide valuable information beyond the visuals I paper sketched two concept options and quickly tested it with users.

My initial focus was on the learning process and how to integrate it within the much familiar meal kit delivery service. I began with the assumption that creating a playful and engaging learning process will help facilitate cooking skills improvement. 

Main questions:
1) What approach would make it easier and more fun to learn?
2) What approach will feel more natural when combined with meal kit delivery service?

Skill based concept

Users focus on learning a few skills at a time. Skill set includes chopping, seasoning, bath cooking, etc.. When particular skill is mastered users move on to learn about the next one. Every meal in the menu ains to improve particular skill.

Level based concept

Users move from level to level learning different kitchen areas. Kitchen areas include roasting, grilling, baking, etc.. Users receive points for each cooked meal, a certain amount of points promotes them to the next level. Users keep mastering skills while going through next stages.

Information Architecture

To organize information I learnt from competitive analysis and concept testing.  I created Site Map to prioritize the content and functions that need to be included.

Wireframes

As I was creating the wireframes, I had a lot of trouble naming levels. Based on results from concept testing ‘level to level’ approach was an absolute winner.

I originally pictured ‘skill by skill’ concept so after realizing that concept wouldn’t keep users engaged, I decided to use  kitchen chef’s hierarchy where lowest level is 'Junior Chef' and highest level is “Executive Chef’.

VALIDATE

Usability Testing

I recruited total of 5 users from my social channels. Through use of a screener, I screened for users who are current meal kit delivery services users and have taken cooking lessons at least once in the past 7 years.

Sessions were conducted via Zoom. Each session lasted around 30 minutes.

Key Finding #1: Users need more progress related information on the landing page

In the test, users mentioned that they would like to see more progress related information on the landing page. Things like # of meals left to move to the next level and progress in % might help. In addition users also pointed that they had a hard time to understand what is behind the CTA ‘Manage’ button.

Solution - Replace progress bar with progress dashboard

Instead I used progres dashboard with a circle chart in it. This type of chart is more suitable for displaying information that has to be quickly scanned and understood. I also added text explaining how many meals cooked on the current level and how many need to be cooked to move to the next level.

Key Finding #2: Users were confused to understand what is behind CTA “Manage” on the landing page.

All the participants were confused with the copy “‘Manage‘ this week box”. One participant sad “It’s weird manage something that is going the be delivered”

Solution - Change wording and call to action copy

Therefore, I tried to make the CTA more clear by replacing copy, changing cta copy to ‘Edit’ and making it secondary cta, so it’s clear that users don't have to take any actions unless they desire to.

Key Finding #3: Users don’t always watch videos with tips before they start cooking

Solution - Moving section up and adding 'found it helpful' tag

Increase trustability to videos by adding ‘how many people found it helpful’ and Added video status - 3 options: Red dot - ‘ready for you’ is marked by red dot to attract users attention to the video that has never been watched. Yellow dot - ‘in progress’ to make sure the user can take it where it was left off. Green - ‘watched’

Key Finding #4: Users found overlap between Progress and Profile menus

Some users mentioned that they see some overlap between Progress and Profile. “When I click the "Progress" tab, the screen shows me something that looks like a profile.”

Solution - Renaming the tabs

Final Design

The EatEasy app is designed for people who want to improve cooking skills and replace in-store grocery shopping.

The app offers level based learning.Every new user, despite current cooking skills level, begins the journey as Junior Chef. Every level is an equivalent to a different type of chefs, each with specific tasks and responsibilities. The goal is to reach last level and become an Executive Chef.

Discovery

Users can customize each delivery according to their current needs and wants. Before users start cooking they are offered to get extra help by watching video tips on cooking techniques improvement.

Engagement

Users check ingredients needed for each step and use timer to be able to focus on other stuff without having to check their watch every two seconds or, even worse, forget about something and ruin it.

Gamification

Users get points for each cooked meal, a certain amount of points promotes them to the next level. Every level is an equivalent to a different type of chefs, each with specific tasks and responsibilities.

Learn

Reflections

Keep looking - this project has shown me that ideas can come from very unexpected ways. I saw how thinking out of the box can help to define different approaches to one problem.

Talk to users -
I saw how research can help to understand but not fully empathize. knowing all data in the world never gets us closer to understanding of the problem better than talking to real people, real users.

Real impact -
The pandemic has caused mental strain for many people across the world. It's too easy to slip into watching endless hours of TV while stuck at home. Creating something that people can regularly look forward to, something that potentially can help to cope with challenges and calm anxiety was a great experience.

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