Chef'd - Case Study
Chef’d is a meal kit company that leverages well known chefs and big brands like The New York Times, Atkins, Weight Watchers, and more. The challenge was to focus on increasing first time user conversion rates, increasing re-orders, as well as increasing the number of “power users” (10x per month) through habit forming UX strategies. Ultimately, the goal was to leverage the brand power of its chefs and companies to increase engagement. We also wanted to provide a unique personalized experience for every user to simplify the process of finding the right meal.
I was the lead designer on the project. I worked closely with the Chef’d team and my internal business strategy team. I came up with concepts, user flows and the overall visual tone.
Simplification was accomplished by creating a tailored experience. We prioritized smart suggestions and increased checkouts by removing friction from unnecessary forms.
Chef’d is a unique meal kit service that leverages brands and famous chefs, so we highlighted those value props early on. However, the personalization component was lacking. We came to the conclusion that requiring users to answer a few questions would improve their personalized experience.
Audience profiles and their journeys are an integral part in the design process for me. I needed to understand the psychology behind the target audiences’ behaviors and motivations, in order to inform the UX and visual design decisions made throughout development.
“As a resident of a small town, we simply don’t have access to exotic or exciting cuisine types. We have a few standard American chain restaurants but nothing exciting. I’d like to experience cuisine of the world, and perhaps along the way grow my own skill set and become a better cook.”
“My 60+ hr work week makes it difficult to find the time to locate new recipes or make it to the grocery store. If I do go to the grocery store I end up buying too much or too little. I tend to have the same things over and over, but I would like to learn how to cook for health reasons and also to impress my friends on the weekends.”
Sketch and Wire
I find it useful to do user testing at the wireframe stage to validate ideas and to detect problems early on. Through user testing, we were able to keep the home screen focused on the personalization aspect because that is what drove purchases.
The home page had to hit the mark. After deciding on the components, it was important to test various visual tones with users. Below are four variations of the home screen that were tested extensively with current Chef'd customers and the Chef'd stakeholders.
We wanted to make the home page feel personalized. When the app is launched, we provide a splash screen that tells the user that we are “finding the right meals just” for them. We decided not to give more than 5 options under a 'Just For You' tab to reduce the likelihood of overwhelming the user.
There are many ways to find the right meal so we decided to separate the browse path from the home screen. By doing this we kept the user’s intent focused. We allow the user to do a full search but also focused on browsing by category. We noticed that early users browsed most often by brands and chefs, while frequent users generally stayed in the home screen.
The product pages needed to be captivating and informative at the same time. Early user tests proved that people preferred reading product descriptions when they felt it came directly from the individual that created the meal. We also emphasisd photography to show the process of cooking the meal, not just the final product. For reviews, we elevated food critics to provide the most helpful information while still providing the ability to see all reviews.
Built For Speed
Data showed that users frequently re-ordered their favorites, so we introduced a favorites and wishlist category and elevated them to the home screen. We also gave the option of swipe-to-purchase, an instant buy method that has already seen an increase in purchases among beta users.
The End Result
The new Chef’d app is smarter and easier. By differentiating Chef’d and creating loyalty through personalization and user experience, gross sales increased by 30% within the first month.