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Simplifying Uber Eats for vegans

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Published on Medium! View it here.


Vegans have trouble searching and filtering for foods on Uber Eats that meet their strict dietary needs.

The Challenge

Through guerrilla usability testing, I found that users with dietary restrictions like vegans who were trying to buy food were discouraged and confused as to which items were vegan. I sought to redesign the flow to empower vegan users to confidently order food that fits their nutritional standards.

Pain points

How are vegan users struggling to order food?

  1. Users are unable to search for vegan food in menu

  2. Users have to browse a restaurant’s entire menu to find suitable vegan food

  3. Many restaurants have vegetarian submenu headings, but vegans are left in the dark

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 Increase in vegan users finding all vegan dishes in a restaurant as well as confidence in the dish

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The Process

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Guerrilla Usability Testing

I created tasks that allowed users to explore the entire ordering process from deciding what to eat to adding a dish to the bag

To discover pain points in the user experience of the Uber Eats iOS mobile app, I used guerrilla usability testing at various coffee shops in San Francisco. I wanted to capture how people with varying diets use and interact with the app so I was fairly broad when choosing people to interview. I interviewed five people in their 20s or 30s, some who used Uber Eats before and had dietary restrictions.

TASK SCENARIO 1 — Your friend is vegan, so as a good friend you guys only order Indian vegan food. Book an Indian vegan meal for two.

TASK SCENARIO 2— You won’t have time to cook dinner Tuesday night, schedule a delivery for Tuesday dinner.

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Provisional Personas 

Vegans need a seamless way to eat vegan and move on with their day

I created a provisional personas to help me communicate who I wanted my redesign to target by finding out their motivations, goals, and behaviors.

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Jobs to be done 

Vegan users want their physiological needs met impeccably

When I am busy and have no time to cook
I want to order delivery from Uber Eats from the comfort of my home
So that I can continue working while still sticking to my vegan diet


1. Vegans don’t have enough information to make quick decisions from item descriptions

2. There is an overload of information when deciding which restaurant to pick

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Key Quotes from User Interviews 

Users verbally expressed their frustrations in finding vegan food

“Maybe there is a vegan dish in there but I don’t want to have to sift through all and find out which ones don’t have diary or meat”

“Filtered for vegan but I still see chicken, chicken, cheese in the items in the menu. Alright this is a pain”

“Vegetarian with paneer (cheese) [for vegan] is kind of misleading”


Takeaways from Synthesis

  • Users have a greater chance in finding vegan categories if there was a sliding filter on top

  • Filtering in the main search doesn’t necessarily lead to seeing vegan menu items which is frustrating for users

2 x 2 Business needs vs User needs

Relevant search results are good for business as well as the end user

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Task Flow 

Redesign the user flow so that it minimizes the processing power for vegans

In order to improve the flow for vegan users we have to minimize the time spent deciding if a restaurant has vegan food or if a menu item is vegan.

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Current User Flow 

Filtering for Vegan food yields restaurants touting “vegan friendly” but the first 4 dishes all contain meat

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The Simplified Vegan Flow 

 After filtering for vegan food, the vegan user will now see vegan menu items and a vegan tab menu

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Interactive Prototype

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 Increase in vegan users successfully ordering food through the menu

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A big challenge with Uber Eats was designing for users who don’t fit my lens. I don’t identify as a vegan, yet I am creating solutions to problems for these sets of users. Airbnb has this wonderful research kit for conscientious creatives called “Another Lens” and it addresses the question, “how do we create solutions that don’t leave any community behind?”

By asking the right questions I was able to find out the particular pain points so that I could build inclusive, global solutions.

As humans we are biased. As designers we must balance our biases.