end-to-end app

food service

Spoonful

A food delivery app for seniors and family caregivers, catering to seniors' dietary needs while saving caregivers precious time.

TIMELINE

Q3 (2023)

ROLE

UX/ UI Designer

TOOLS

Figma, Figjam, Miro

PROJECT TYPE

Passion Project

BACKGROUND

As seniors age, they often experience difficulties with meal prepping and grocery shopping. For example, seniors may have specific dietary restrictions, may experience mobility issues and low energy levels, or may suffer from dementia that can lead to disorientation in the kitchen and skipped meals. That’s when family caregivers step in to assist the senior with their nutrition needs - but is that always possible?

the PROBLEM

Family caregivers struggle to take care of their elderly loved ones health and diet because they lack time and energy

Seniors often reach an age when they are unable to cook for themselves due to physical or mental disabilities. During that time, caregivers are usually the ones that step in to support them in receiving proper nutrition. Individuals that work and/or don’t live with their older loved ones struggle the most finding the time to care for their loved ones nutrition and ensuring their dietary needs are met.

solution explored

Spoonful, the food delivey app that offers time-saving meal options tailored to the senior’s dietary needs

The app helps alleviate the stress that comes with juggling the tasks of meal prepping and grocery shopping for family caregivers and seniors that need assistance in the kitchen.

How is it different from other food delivery apps?

Seniors can receive customized suggestions after completing a quiz about themselves

Option to choose between prepared meals and meal kits meant to serve people that are not able cook or those that still can and want to

A convenient auto-generative meal planning tool that takes into consideration the users’ quiz answers and order history and saves time and energy from planning

Customizable meals that adds a layer of flexibility for users with different dietary needs

Research

COMPetitive ANALYSIS

What other companies are focused on assisting seniors with receiving proper nutrition and preparing meals based on their needs?

Comparing all four competitors helped me find gaps and opportunities that my project would fill in. The main gap I found was the lack of meal customization (eg. substitutions for allergens and vegan alternatives) in delivery services like Mom’s Meals and Magic Kitchen.

SECONDARY RESEARCH

The emotional and financial toll on working family caregivers

60% of caregivers are working while also trying to provide care to loved ones and 40% of them report that their main challenge is the emotional stress of juggling caregiving with paid work.

Majority of caregivers help with meal prepping and grocery shopping

79% of US family caregivers provide assistance with grocery shopping and 64% with meal preparation. Knowing that caregivers provide an average 20 hours of care per week, it becomes increasingly hard for them to provide consistent care.

Providing care in the senior’s own home saves money and delays the need for long-term care placement

Seniors feel the most comfortable staying at home to receive help by familiar faces they love and trust, their family members. Despite the sacrifice it takes, family members are willing to grant the wish to their loved ones.

Key takeaways for maximum impact

My secondary research helped me:

  • Get a clear idea of my target audience, which is working family caregivers whose loved ones receive care at the comfort of their home.

  • Focus my project on optimizing the caregiver’s time in order for them to best care for their older loved ones.

USER INTERVIEWS

In order to understand the general experience that caregivers are going through, I conducted interviews to learn about the senior’s wants and needs, how their relationship with their caregivers is affected and what are their main concerns.

3 caregivers (ages 31-62) and 2 senior loves ones (75-85)

Unpaid, family caregivers that are currently provide care while working (or have done so in the past)

Seniors over 65 that live alone and cannot cook for themselves

Moderated remote user interviews via Zoom

45 minutes long

KEY FINDINGS FROM AFFINITY MAPPING

#1. Seniors do not want to accept help in order to not lose their independence.

Most caregivers mentioned that their older relatives would refuse to accept help or would not give up on certain activities, including cooking, in order to not lose their independence. Caregivers often worried about their safety whenever they were not there to supervise them.

#2. The senior’s dietary needs varied depending on the individual’s health conditions and cultural background.

Seniors with dementia eventually had to switch from regular food to soft foods. Special diets were also served for those that had undergone a stroke or had food sensitivities. Aside from the dietary needs, seniors preferred to eat only food that they were culturally familiar with.

#3. Caregivers main concern was to spend quality time with their loved ones instead of being drowned by their responsibilities.

Caregivers felt a relief when their seniors received help from external services, like in-home support or assisted living, because they were released by many responsibilities and now had the freedom to spend quality time with their loved ones.

Knowing what seniors and caregivers cared about the most, helped me brainstorm ideas that would address all the above key insights and turn them into solutions.

Define and ideate

user personas

Meet Kerry and Vea!

Kerry, the on-call caregiver, has been very active in her elderly parents journey of aging. She has been juggling her part-time job and her family obligations, while also helping her parents when they get sick or injured. Her main concerns are her parents safety and for her to spend as much quality time as she can at their old age.

Vea, the holistic approach grandma, has been battling with cancer and early-on stage dementia. She has been following a holistic treatment and a plant-based diet. She enjoys her independence and wants to occasionally cook and garden when she feels the energy to do so.

IDEATE

How might we streamline the grocery shopping and meal prepping experience for family caregivers and their elderly loved ones, in order to save them time and create space for connection?

I used analogous inspiration to compare two food delivery services. Hungryroot delivers groceries and meal kits, whereas Cook Unity delivers chef-created prepared meals. I also used a time constraint session to come up with additional ideas.

feature roadmap

I prioritized the most essential elements needed for the app to serve its purpose: securing meals that support the senior’s dietary needs in a cost-effective and time-saving manner. I also factored in the time constraints I had for the project, which helped me decide to focus on two main features - the quiz to provide a more personalized experience to users and a subscription plan that will allow users to decide on a budget and a delivery schedule.

Design

TASK flows

I created two task flows, one where users create an account and complete a quiz, and one where the user builds their first subscription box. It is important to create a quick onboarding process (including the quiz and checkout process) to engage caregivers and generate optimized suggestions for their meals.

My main goals for the flows were:

  • To place the sign up at a point where it feels more intuitive to the user - before taking the quiz, after taking the quiz or at the checkout process of building the first box?

  • To create a short quiz with the most necessary questions

  • Make the checkout process quick by using autofill functionalities

INITIAL SKETCHES

I explored different layouts for the quiz questions, as shown below, in order to pick the best layout and move forward with it on my mid fidelity wireframes.

LOW FIDELITY wireframes

In this stage, I set up my screens in an order that made sense for the user. I followed best practices to create a successful onboarding experience. The sign up comes first in order to inform the user about the first box discount and make him interested to create an account. The system then autofills the user’s information into the checkout process of building the first box to speed up the process.

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Sign Up

The sign up comes first in order to inform the user about the first box discount and make him interested to create an account. System checks to verify that the email has not been registered before and the company delivers to the specific zip code.

2

Option to complete the quiz

User has the option to skip the quiz, if he wants to access to start exploring the app right away. During the duration of the quiz, the user can exit and save the quiz answers in order to fill them out later.

3

Progress tracker

The user knows how far in the quiz they are, which keeps them motivated to keep going. Each question set is sectioned by theme so the user can know what to expect.

high fidelity wireframes

Sign Up and Complete Quiz

Testing and Iterations

TESTING

User testing was done to 6 interviewees that were caregivers. The interviews were conducted remotely through Zoom.

Tasks tested:

  • Signing up and completing the quiz

  • Building the first subscription box and checking out

I would like to know

  • Whether users feel that the quiz or the checkout is too lengthy

  • Whether users feel confident that the quiz will generate the appropriate suggestions

  • How likely are they to use the app for their loved one’s needs?

Success Metrics

100%

Completion Rate

100% of participants completed all tasks successfully.

67%

Confidence Level

67% of participants rated their confidence in the results generating appropriate meal suggestions with a 5 out of 5.

Rate of ease

100%

Signing up and completing the quiz

100% of participants rated the ease of completion of this task as a 5 out of 5.

83%

Building the first box and checking out

83% of participants rated the ease of completion of the task as a 5 out of 5.

REVISIONS

Prioritization

From the issues experienced by most participants, most of them were not frequent. After analyzing the user’s feedback on a matrix of severity vs frequency, I picked the issues that were of higher frequency and severity. I then placed them on a matrix to evaluate the impact vs effort. I focused on iterating on the outlined feedback, since they were the ones that were the least demanding technologically but would have a high impact.

Visual Design

Accesssibility

A big part of making the below UI kit selections was to enhance the accessibility of the app that is especially necessarily for elderly folks. To achieve that, I ensured that the buttons had big surface area to tap on, I checked for color contrast accessibility to cater to vision-impaired users and I chose Lato which is a very readable typeface.

UI Kit Library

FINAL PROTOTYPE

Clicking on each screen will start the prototype.

Signing up and completing the quiz

Building the first box and checking out

Key Takeaways

wHAT i LEARNED

Dividing the task flows into smaller sections

In this project, I had two relatively long flows. In order to ensure that users passed each part of the flow, I had to pause users and create new scenarios. This process helped in decreasing the user’s confusion and in setting a realistic scenario for the user to relate to.

Defining the target audience early on narrows down the scope

Even though my solution is relatively common, a food delivery app, I managed to design it in a way that it best serves the target users: seniors and their caregivers. Having the seniors in mind, I was able to focus my design on accessibility and design for their needs. Since caregivers manage a lot of tasks for their older loved ones, I ensured that I tested the prototype with caregivers first, which helped in validating the usefulness of the app content.

NEXT STEPS

  • Build all main screens of the app’s navigation bar

  • Test revisions during second round of usability testing with primarily seniors to ensure that the app is accessible for various disabilities

Let’s connect!

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