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Role / 

UX Designer

Duration / 

3 weeks

Year / 


Tools Used / 

Adobe XD

Adobe Illustrator

After Effects

HelloFresh™ App Research and Product Exploration

What’s this? Food delivered straight to my doorstep with step-by-step instructions on how to prepare! You’re game – you download the app, order your meals and sit by the door waiting for your food to arrive. When it does, you tear open the box to prepare your first meal using the corresponding recipe card. What a great app for ordering these thought out recipes, right?

HelloFresh™ is a meal-kit delivery service providing great tasting meals and recipes. Each meal comes with pre-portioned ingredients and easy-to-follow recipe cards.

The Problem: By my calculations, printing costs are exceeding $100 million annually (based on the HelloFresh 2018 annual report). If HelloFresh is looking to cut their total cost per meal without sacrificing quality of food or service – there is value in solutions that encourage users to prepare meals without printed materials.


How might I design solutions that encourage users to use the in app step-by-step feature?


My Role: For this 5-week school research project I conducted research, provided recommendations and design concepts for an iOS app feature. I provided the following deliverables:


  • Data from user interviews

  • Heuristic evaluation  

  • Personas

  • Hi-Fi comps

  • A list of priorities, recommendations, and next-steps

Let’s Get Cookin’ (Competitive Analysis)


Upon review of six different competitors, I learned every company uses recipe cards. When reviewing their in-app recipes, 4/6 apps provided variations of simple text walkthroughs. Two of those used a “start cooking” feature (an instructional walkthrough that keeps your phone awake).


Meal-kit delivery services are a semi-recent development. Recipe websites, on the other hand, have been around for over a decade. Recipe sites provide easy-to-make meals with quick access to printable recipes.


Is it reasonable to ask users to print their own recipes?


4/5 of my interviewees print recipes from a variety of sources and keep a catalog of the recipes they’ve enjoyed.

Missed Opportunities

When interviewing all 5 meal-kit users felt positive about their experience with the service. 4/5 of users mentioned a desire to use the app while cooking but 0/5 users noticed the “start cooking” feature.

What about the user’s journey doesn’t trigger a habit to open the app when cooking?

Opening the app when cooking never even occurred to the users. The one sheet provided is readily available. When asked, would you prefer to use the app over the one sheet – majority of users mentioned feelings of remorse when throwing the one sheet away.

If Hello Fresh removes the recipe card does it create a pain point that causes users to drop off?

Hand Holding Clean Smartphone Mockup.jpg

The What?

To familiarize myself I used the HelloFresh for about a month. Using the in-app walk through never occurred to me either. In fact, I didn't notice it at all until my audit. To understand the user's journey, I had my user's track habits (when, where and for what). I also, monitored a few users as they walked me through their process.


A couple of different issues are likely happening with the "Start Cooking" feature:


  • HelloFresh's flat design could be causing a blind spot for users.


  • The feature surfaces when users are making unrelated decisions (the "what looks good to me" ordering phase).


After the ordering phase, your meals arrive days later. You haven't been using the app and there's no cue telling the user to hop back into the app.


I saw an opportunity in the in app walkthrough. I looked at the user's journey and thought of ways they could discover the feature and ways to remind them. I also wanted to provided them with a way to opt out of receiving the recipes altogether.

User's are prompted when they select their meal plan.
If the user decides they want recipe cards, they are made aware that they can opt out in their notifications. 

I designed a couple of different options for the user's settings. Option one (left) provides more flexibility for the user. They can opt out of individual recipe cards. Option 2 (right) is an all-or-nothing mindset. Either way, the design would also initiate an online date base for users to login and print recipes on-demand 

For active users, I designed a popup notifying users of a new feature that creates a work-back schedule for meal prep. User's have the ability to setup the feature or choose to still receive the cards. 


The mealtime reminder feature turns on notifications. You can set the day and time you are planning to eat selected meals. This will trigger push notification based on prep time. The notification sends users straight to the in-app recipe walkthrough.

Next Steps

Initially, this was just a research project. I was interesting in exploring the different solutions and how effective they could be. My next steps are to run user testing on the solutions I've designed and to evaluate their level of failure/success, address the problem areas and then refine.  

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