A UX Case Study
User Research
User Interviews
Journey Mapping
Visual Design
Web / App
Weijie Fu
MealPal is a subscription service that provides members with affordable daily lunch/dinner options from restaurants near where they live or work. As a startup and a growing product, Mealpal is faced with lots of challenges, with user acquisition being a very important one. Our redesign focuses on the question "how to get more new users on board and keep the existing users" by creating better user experiences and optimizing user journey from onboarding to meal pickup.

01. Intro

Design Question

1. How to create a better onboarding experience for new customers to subscribe
2. How to improve current user’s flow on “order to pick-up”


1. Identify potential user’s confusion on website landing page
2. Identify user’s frustration/confusion on using existing app
3. Find solution to advance product and user experience on both website and app

Our Process

During the research phase, we are looking at user needs by conducting interviews and reading comments from the app store. After identifying the user needs and pain points, we map out the user journey to pin down the key moments for optimization. Through sketching, we brainstorm on solutions to improve the issues discovered during research. By looking at existing app frame by frame, we are able to pin point the specific issue on the wireframe and create a better wireframe app that improves the experience. We rebranded the product with a color-coded visual design and incorporate into the final design of the app.

02. Research

Customer Review Analysis

Through reading reviews on app store, we can get the first-hand information from the customers who are using mealpal. We found that customers are annoyed by subscribing plans before they see the map of food and restaurants and also lack of control over canceling and make changes to their accounts once enrolled.

Qualitative Research + Interviews

We interviewed four people who have different experiences on Mealpal (below are not real names):
1. Alice heard about Mealpal from her colleague but after looking into Mealpal’s website she doesn’t feel like signing up.
2. Brian learned about Mealpal from promotion flyers and is still using Mealpal.
3. Cathy downloaded Mealpal App after she saw the QR code at restaurants.
4. David got his app after knowing Mealpal for months since he didn’t know if there are restaurants near him.

See detailed inteview questions here

Key Findings

1. First-time user can’t find the restaurants around them before they hand in their credit card information. Also the website is false leading people to sign up. The website's landing page is confusing and users don’t trust signing up before exploring the restaurants, thus causing loss of subscribers.

2. The scan-to-pickup doesn’t work when users have no access to the internet. Some restaurants have bad signals thus causing the users can’t scan or even open the app.

3. Users have needs to transfer their meal to their workpal to help pick up. Users can’t really interact with their workpals on apps except that they know what people are ordering.

4. First-time dinner user can’t find switch button to book dinner since the default interface is based on lunch booking.

Journey Mapping

Based on data from our user interviews and our observation, we laid out the journey map to understand the user flow and pain points. Overall, the meal order and pick-up experience is relatively smooth for customers. However, the mobile onboarding experience is complicated and require credit card information before even showing the map for restaurant choices. This adds up to the uncertain and skeptical feeling the customers are experiencing.

03. Ideation

User needs

We wanted to scope our ideation phase to directly address our qualitative research findings. To do so, we translated the research findings into user needs and we brainstormed around these.

"I want to see meals and restaurants prior to signing up."
"I want to be able to pick up my lunch without internet access."
"I want to pick up my lunch with my pals or have them help me to pick up."
"I want to know how much I am paying for my plan and be able to cancel it or put on hold on my phone."
"I want to switch between lunch and dinner plans easily. "


Using the user needs for inspiration, we sketched potential solutions that would improve or enhance the user experience.

Setting up the structure

After mapping out user journey and identifying the pain point, we start to setting up structure of the user flows that we are interfering with. Then we categorised them into four areas that we are focusing on: onboarding experience, lunch/dinner switch, scan to pickup, and pal pickup.

04. Low Fidelity Prototyping

04. High Fidelity Prototype

05. Reflections + Next Steps

Prioritize Onboarding Experience

With our understanding on the current status of Mealpal as a fairly young startup company, this redesign prioritizes optimizing onboarding experience both on website and mobile to help with user acquisition. For the next step, we would focus on retention and optimizing the product user experience.

Conduct Usability Test

For the next step, we would write our usability test script and conduct usability testing to see how the redesign is satisfying user needs and validate our initial thinking on new features. We would also learn about the design flaws and redesign based on both qualitative and quantitative data from usability testing.