project prompt

to increment new features on the veggie kit app.

about veggie kit

The Veggie Kit app, promoted by the Vegetarian Association of Portugal, aims to promote vegetarian and vegan diets through a 15-challenge program. Users are encouraged to explore and embrace a diet without animal resources by participating in cooking and experiential activities. 

In addition to the challenges, the app offers a variety of supplementary content, including videos and recipes, all curated to actively promote vegetarian and vegan diets. 

the app also provides direct access to a nutritionist, allowing users to seek clarification on dietary-related questions and ensuring a comprehensive and supportive experience throughout their journey toward a plant-based lifestyle.

prompt

new features on
the veggie kit app.

Role
ux designer

Project Specifications
timeline: march to may ’23
duration: 7-8 weeks (non-straight)
client: vegetarian association of portugal

Tools
figma
whiteboard & figjam
hand-drawing
photoshop
illustrator
spotify

why is veggie kit important for the portuguese vegetarian association?

as a starter kit for a veggie/vegan diet, it is crucial for achieving the mission of promoting health, environmental sustainability, and animal welfare. 

The main goal of Veggie Kit is to demystify the fact that transitioning to a healthier and more conscious diet is difficult and requires immense dedication and investment (time and financial) by using a tool as accessible to everyone as an app.

downloads
+ 0 k
completed the
15-day challenge
+ 0 k
veggie/vegan recipes
+ 0

during our briefing, the stakeholder laid down some changes that users felt that should be deployed.

'Tip of the Day'
section

to Create a layout on the initial homepage for the display of different 'tips of the day' sequentially.

'Merits' Section
to Design a layout to summarize the impact a person has had in terms of animals saved, water saved, and CO² not emitted.

advanced
search filters

to design a layout for advanced recipe search filters: by recipe duration and difficulty.

push notification
Design a layout for the Push Notification asking if the person wants to change their diet, 'X' days after completing the challenge.

virtual
nutritionist

to add to the menu an external link section for requesting nutritionist support.

search button
to Design a layout for a search button within favorites.

add to cart
to Create an 'Add to Cart' button for ingredients on recipe pages."

grocery Checklist
to Create a layout where individuals can check off items they have already purchased using checkboxes.

...and we immediately organized them in terms of immediate impact and scale.

Due to a large number of tasks to be completed, I felt it was important to establish priorities using a Kanban-like board, based on their direct and immediate impact on the app’s usability.

Therefore, larger-scale changes were prioritized over more cosmetic changes.

Considering the sensitive nature of introducing new features to an app that has over 75k downloads, we felt that a more streamlined process than usual was necessary. In fact, we had a lot of fun thinking we were going to perform a transplant on Veggie Kit!

Just as there is sometimes the risk of an organ being rejected by the new body, we had the idea to create a careful new iteration loop for each feature introduced within the overall loop of redesigning an app.

This process was initially established as follows:

  1. Research
  2. Iteration loop
  3. Prototyping
  4. Testing

putting these new features on hold aside, i felt then it was important to become 'intimate' with the app first.

on enrolling at a in-depth exploration of the app’s functionalities and user flows – by visualizing through a windmap analysis of its architecture – facilitating important initial assumptions about potential impacts.

It was clear that both home page and footer menu have a big significance on the app’s architecture, organizing different features like ‘recipes’ (‘receitas’), video content (‘videos em destaque’) and specially the ’15-day challenge” (‘desafio de 15 dias’) have the most importance in the hierarchy of content.  

... so we could inform some initial assumptions.

bifolded information architecture
as all features are either on the homepage f-menu or the footer menu.

low feel of user belonging as there is not an user personal page, only a settings area.

hierarchy problems
accordingly to the windmap, 7 different app features are only presented in the homepage menu

what do the users feel about the app?

To support these assumptions, feedback was gathered in two ways: from user reviews taken from platforms such as the App Store and Google Play Store, and from moderated tests with 5 first-time users.

I had several recipes saved in my favorites that disappeared. I have to go to the general list to look for them; they are still marked as favorites but do not appear in the dedicated list.

User Review #1

google play store

The “buttons” for selecting recipe categories take up too much space, and you can only see one recipe at a time on the list, which is a shame.

user review #2

google play store

It would be good to be able to create a weekly menu and shopping list.

User Review #3

app store

i would like to keep up with the impact i am having in a daily basis

user review #4

moderated test #1

it’s really nice it has a lot of different and interactive content but there are too many features in the homepage, it feels a little overwhelming.

user review #5

moderated test #1

time to get to know users!

the user research process encompassed two personas: 

a) The first persona was derived from the association’s existing marketing plan, providing insights into the established target audience – before the app was created and developed. 

b) The second persona was developed by me, integrating insights from crafting the app’s information architecture and user feedback.

meet joana,
the law student

"i am studying currently my law degree, my dream is to become an environmentalist and human rights lawyer. i am working part time at the same time so i can afford rent, bills and accomodities. it's too really hard to maintain an active and healthy lifestyle nowadays.

i am an idealist and somehow moralist, because i strongly advocate my morals and values and i feel my routine defines my personality. i feel that the world is crumbling and i want to practice change and inspire others!

it would be so nice if an app could help me define my consumption metrics on what i do and what i consume!"

meet francisco,
the personal trainer

"i've just finished his studies and i'm ready to move with my vegan girlfriend sara.

i am worried because it is the first time i move out from my parents' place and i'll start to learn to cook in a daily basis... meals that fit both me and sara! although sara told me that a vegan diet can fit my active routine, it can be really challenging for someone like me who is so strict in terms of diet.

it would be so nice if there was an app that could help me in the whole process of finding the best recipes, to list ingredients and to help me measure the necessary nutrients i need!"

joana's goal
law student joana feels overwhelmed by external societal problems, including the climate crisis. she wants to keep track of her environmental & social impact.

francisco's goal
personal student francisco struggles to find time for meal planning and healthy cooking, leading to a reliance on quick but less nutritious food options.

we've decided to convert the settings area into a custom user area.

inspired by the previous data and assumptions, it seemed important to improve user engagement and to redistribute app’s features by converting the existent standard settings section into an interactive and customized user area.

In our ongoing efforts to refine the user experience, it was laid down a new information architecture windmap for veggie kit with the increment of the new features. A significant aspect of this update involves the incorporation of a dynamic user area (highlighted in green), consolidating functionalities from the previous settings section. 

customization
would allow users to create personalized profiles, enabling the app to tailor content and recommendations based on individual preferences, behaviors, and history.

engagement
would Foster a sense of belonging and engagement by enabling user to manage their info, stats and progress.

progress tracking
would facilitate goal tracking and achievement recognition (ex: how much co² was saved during the 15-day challenge), enhancing satisfaction and motivation .

organization and hierarchy
would allow to organize different purposes and functionalities within the user flow, instead of stacking all features at the user page.

SOME WIREFRAMES WERE LAID DOWN TO FIGURE HOW TO INTEGRATE THE 'SETTINGS' AND USER AREAS.

'grocery checklist' + add to 'cart'

in our exploration of the app’s diverse recipes, it was added a shopping checklist facilitate the easy access to them.

drawing inspiration from the intuitive design of google keep, it was intended to effortlessly compile ingredient lists within the app when users visit the recipes feature. this notepad-style feature streamlines a journey from planning meals to navigating the grocery store.

some wireframes were laid down to get to know how the shopping checklist could be translated from the google keep layout and flow.

merits section

This section not only serves as a means to gauge progress through insightful metrics like carbon and animal footprints but also plays a crucial role in reinforcing the previously-called sense of belonging and consequently user retention.

As a user, having this additional layer within the app not only enhances my ability to track personal sustainability milestones but also deepens my connection to the vegetarian community that shares common values and goals. 

Imagine watching short reels that visually capture the evolving progress charts of reduced carbon footprint and saved animals over time. 

wifeframes 'ux surgery'

In the iterative process of enhancing the app’s functionality, a pivotal step was undertaken, which i had fun on calling it “UX Surgery.” This strategic approach aimed to ensure a harmonious integration of the new features into the familiar user journey, promoting clarity and efficiency in the overall app interaction.

This basically involved the creation of wireframes for the new features and their integration within other wireframes from the existent user flow

By cutting and joining these wireframes, a cohesive and seamless user experience was crafted and puzzled altogether.

medium-fidelity prototypes

high-fidelity prototypes

home pages ►
first visit, during and after the 15-day challenge.

home pages
first visit, during and after the 15-day challenge.

user profile ►
a new sense of belonging is now present in the user flow.

user profile ▼
a new sense of belonging is now present in the user flow.

recipes flow ►
now it is possible to point down which ingredients are needed to learn new vegetarian recipes.

recipes flow ▼
now it is possible to point down which ingredients are needed to learn new vegetarian recipes.

advanced filters ►
in response to the exponentially growing number of new recipes, it is possible to funnel the ones the users prefer.

advanced filters ▼
in response to the exponentially growing number of new recipes, it is possible to funnel the ones the users prefer.

final considerations

next steps

The next steps in the development process involve a commitment to continuous improvement through consistent iteration driven by data analytics and user feedback. By closely monitoring user interactions and analyzing relevant data, we aim to make informed refinements that enhance the overall user experience. This iterative approach ensures that the app remains responsive to user needs and preferences, fostering a dynamic and user-centric environment.

Furthermore, our next goal is to introduce a gaming feature within the 15-day challenge, strategically designed to potentiate user engagement. This gamification element aims to make the challenge more interactive, enjoyable, and rewarding. Users will be encouraged to participate actively, fostering a sense of accomplishment and friendly competition. By incorporating gaming dynamics, we aim to not only enhance user engagement but also make the 15-day challenge a more immersive and enjoyable experience for our users.

what i learned

In the evolution of our vegetarian starter kit app, a profound insight emerged – the concept of the app as a living organism, mirroring the very planet it strives to save. Much like our ecosystem constantly adapts and evolves, the app undergoes a continuous transformation. The introduction of features, the user-centric design, and the iterative process all contribute to its dynamic nature, akin to the cycles of life within our planet.

Just as the app responds to user interactions, adapts to their needs, and evolves with each introduced feature, it becomes a living, breathing entity. The comparison draws a parallel between the app’s growth and the interconnectedness of life on Earth. This perspective instills a sense of responsibility and care, fostering a unique user-app relationship that transcends a mere tool – it becomes a companion in the collective journey towards sustainability, much like a living organism coexisting with its environment.

thank you!