Role: Lead Designer and Researcher

In 2015, ChefsFeed went through a universal rebrand that included the launch of a new app. The goal was to increase user engagement while also presenting an “edgier” brand targeted toward millennials. Shortly after the release of the rebrand, the company experienced an increase in mobile app installations, but low user engagement. I was asked to get a better understanding of how our users dining habits impacted how they used the ChefsFeed app and determine what improvements could be made to maximize user engagement.


Understanding the User

To give us insight into our user base, the company sent a survey out to 10,000 ChefsFeed users. We received 1000 responses and selected 21 individuals to participate in a 45 minute interview, where we asked questions about their general dining habits as well as how they used the ChefsFeed app. I analyzed the responses and, from this research, I was able to understand how our users utilized the app and identified 3 areas of improvement.

  • Navigation and Terminology: Users had a hard time finding the navigation at the bottom of the screen - the app had a micro-interaction that users felt was unnecessary. In addition users had trouble understanding some of the terminology we used within the app.

  • Search: The search function needed further development to produce more relevant results - the “bread and butter” for users within the ChefsFeed app

  • Ability to create lists: A majority of our users were using other tools to create lists. Could the implementation of a list create a “sticky effect” for increased user engagement?


Creating a Vision

To address the issue with navigation and terminology, I suggested the app to more visibly expose the menu options which would lead to increased user engagement and satisfaction. In addition, I suggested a change in the app’s vocabulary that made its function easier for the user to understand.

While exposing the navigation, and changing the terminology was a quick win, we wanted to create the “right experience” for our users when it came to searching within our app in addition to creating lists. We looked at examples of user experiences within the food space as well as with other industries where we could draw parallels. Music apps like Spotify and Apple Music helped us better understand how to break down a wide range of content results into something easily digestible for the user.

Once we understood the direction we wanted to go, I was tasked with creating an MVP prototype. In partnership with the design team at Instrument, who designed of the original iteration of the redesigned app, we created an experience that allowed users to see relevant content, dive further into the information that interested them, and added the ability to create relevant lists to help them individually curate the content on our site.

Measuring Success and Impact

I completed the designs for this project shortly before I exited ChefsFeed. Even though I was unable to see the metrics that resulted from my ideas, I know they were successful because the concepts are still central to the app’s functionality today.