An app geared towards assisting users in discovering and preparing healthy meal recipes tailored to their dietary needs. The app’s primary focus is to curate a collection of recipes that align with users’ specific food intolerances, ensuring a seamless and enjoyable cooking experience.

The Problem

In today’s health-conscious era, individuals are increasingly mindful of their dietary choices, seeking not only nutrition but also a sense of well-being from what they consume. This awareness is particularly pronounced among those grappling with digestive issues, including conditions like Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Having personally experienced the challenges of managing IBS, I understand the complexities of tracking food ingredients and the creative effort required to eliminate intolerances from daily meals.

This realization prompted the development of a solution that goes beyond conventional approaches. Recognizing the need for a more personalized and user-friendly way to navigate dietary restrictions, I embarked on the creation of an app. 

The Goal

The app is designed to empower individuals, particularly those dealing with digestive concerns, by providing a comprehensive platform for discovering, planning, and preparing meals tailored to their specific food intolerances. It marks the beginning of a journey towards improved health, offering a tool that not only understands the challenges but also provides practical and creative solutions, transforming meals into a source of nourishment and joy.

Users can explore a diverse array of nutritious meal options aligned with their dietary preferences, making the path to healthier eating accessible and enjoyable. The app aims to streamline the process of finding, planning, and cooking meals that not only accommodate individual food intolerances but also contribute to overall well-being.

  1. Easy Recipe Exploration:
    • Users effortlessly find diverse, healthy recipes that fit their dietary needs.
  2. Personalised Intolerance Solutions:
    • Tailor recipe suggestions based on users’ specific food intolerances.
  3. Efficient Meal Planning:
    • Help users organize meals, generate shopping lists, and streamline cooking.
  4. Creative Recipe Offerings:
    • Provide a variety of appealing and creative recipes for an enjoyable eating experience.
  5. User-Friendly Cooking:
    • Guide users through cooking with clear step-by-step instructions and visuals.
  6. Comprehensive Intolerance Database:
    • Maintain an updated database of food intolerances for accurate information.

User Centered Business Canvas

To enhance the solution, my initial focus was on gaining a deeper understanding of the user and their challenges. I employed a Miro board to craft the User-Centered Business Canvas. This strategic tool allowed me to comprehensively analyze and document key aspects, including user needs, pain points, and potential solutions. The canvas served as a foundational framework, guiding the development process with a user-centric approach.

Provisional Persona

I started the project by creating a provisional persona for the app, even though it was based on assumptions rather than in-depth research. This simple user profile guided my design choices and project priorities throughout. Even though it was a basic starting point, regularly referring back to this outline helped keep the focus on the user’s needs and shaped the project in a user-friendly direction.

To start off, I created a provisional persona of a potential user for the app. This persona was created with the assumptions and not fully-research based but it was something I came back to throughout my project that helped guide my design decisions and priorities.

Digest Persona

Competitor Analysis

To kick off the project, I delved into the research phase, leveraging my past experience with similar apps to identify other products addressing my current challenge. This prompted me to conduct a Competitive Analysis, a crucial step in understanding the market landscape, refining product goals, assessing effectiveness, and gaining insights into the competition.

This strategic approach allowed me to gather valuable information on existing solutions, their strengths, and areas for improvement. By exploring competitor products, I aimed to discern industry standards and identify functionalities that users commonly expect. Recognising what works well in competitor offerings provided actionable insights to inform the development of a product that not only meets but exceeds user expectations. The Competitive Analysis thus served as a foundational step in shaping the direction and key features of my own solution.

User Research

Now equipped with my initial insights, I proceeded to conduct a survey to better understand people’s experiences with meal planning. The goal was to validate the provisional persona by posing a diverse set of questions. The key aspects I aimed to gather from the survey included:


  • Type of Diet/Diet Restrictions
  • How many people they feed a night and how many nights they cook
  • How often they meal plan and why
  • What they like and dislike about meal planning and where they get their ideas
  • How time spent and features they want in a meal planning service


  • Gather their experience with meal planning and their process
  • Openness to using a mobile app to meal plan and what feature they would like

Key Insights and Validating Value Proposition

Based on the insights gathered, it’s clear that users highly prioritize a variety of easy-to-make recipes with simple ingredients. The level of complexity in recipes is a crucial factor, and users tend to choose recipes that align with their cooking abilities.

When it comes to searching for recipes, Google emerges as a popular choice, especially for those with food intolerances, while YouTube videos also play a significant role.

Users make recipe selections based on practical considerations such as ingredient availability, preparation and cooking time, alignment with their schedule, and minimizing the need for multiple shopping trips. Simplicity is key in influencing their choices.

In terms of desirable features for a recipe app, users expressed a strong preference for the ability to customize recipes, including options to remove or replace ingredients. Additional features such as calorie information, prep time, the capability to exclude intolerances, and a checklist-style shopping list were identified as valuable.

These findings provide valuable guidance for shaping the value proposition of the diet app, emphasizing simplicity, customization, and practicality in recipe selection and planning.

User Stories and MVP

Following my research I was able to define my user stories and MVP. What can’t the app live without?

Sign-up / Login page

Users need to be able to sign-up and login quickly, easily and securely. Log-in email with password or social media login would be perfect for this. Once signed-up the users are directed towards a preference customisation profile page. When logging in, previously created preferences are already applied. When users logout they are automatically returned to the sign-up/login page the next time they open the app.

“As a user, I want to be able to sign-up/login, so that I can customise my experience”

Create profile with food preferences/limitations/loves and hates

This gut health recipe needs to be tailored to different users based on their preferences to make it a unique app that is aimed at a users personal gut health. Users need to be able to create a profile including food preference information, food intolerance and restrictions and love/hate foods. This will enable to app to work for each individual user. This process needs to be quick but detailed. It is important the user does not get bored entering the details.

“As a user, I want to add intolerances/restrictions to my profile quickly, so that they are removed from my recipe searches”
“As a user, I want to add love/hate foods to my profile, so that they appear/don’t appear in my searches”

Search for recipes

Perhaps the most important part of the app is to be able to search for recipes based on keywords such as recipe names and ingredients. This is needed as it will allow users to find recipes that they are searching for quickly by saving them time scrollling through numerous lists of recipes. It will narrow the recipe search down based on specific search term.

“As a user, I want to search for recipes with keywords/ingredients”

View recipe cooking instructions

The main purpose of a recipe app is that it contains recipes. Recipes are a set of instructions for preparing a particular dish, including a list of the ingredients required. Having instructions on how to cook meals is vital. Instructions must be clear and easy to follow. They could be separated into stages to make it more simple for the user. A video would be useful as well as images of the recipe at different stages.

“As a user, I want to follow cooking instructions of recipes”
“As a user, I want to view prep and cooking times of recipes”
“As a user, I want to see pictures of recipes being created in stages, so that I can visualise the process”
“As a user, I want to view an image of completed recipe, so that I can see the expected outcome”

View recipe ingredients

Recipe ingredients lists are a necessity. Users need to see a list of ingredients including measurements to be able to prepare the recipe. It is no good jumping to the cooking instructions before knowing the ingredients or it will make the app hard to follow and confuse the user. Users need to be able to view the ingredients list both at home and on the go (perhaps in a supermarket) – the list must be clear and readable.

“As a user, I want to read ingredients of recipes, so that I know what to shop for”

Save Recipe to favourites

It is essential a user can save a recipe to a favourites list. Assume a user finds a recipe they like while searching the app in the morning, and then in the evening they want to go back to the same recipe to prepare it, but now they have to search for the recipe again. It would be so much quicker and easier for the user if they could ‘favourite’ the recipe on first viewing so that they can almost instantly find it again at a later time. This removes any frustrations for the user and allows them to store their favourites recipes in one place.

“As a user, I want to save favourite recipes and collections, so that I can view them again”

Sitemap, Wireframes and Rapid Prototyping

In the iterative development process, I constructed a prototype to validate and refine the intended design. Using InVision, I tested the prototype with the public to assess user interactions and gather feedback. This dynamic testing environment allowed for real-time adjustments to design elements and facilitated the resolution of any issues that emerged. The prototype served as a crucial intermediary step, ensuring that the final design would be intuitive, user-friendly, and aligned with the expectations of the target audience. By actively involving users in the testing phase, I could iteratively enhance the design, resulting in a polished and effective solution.

To verify the effectiveness of my design proposals, I conducted prototype testing with a sample of 5 individuals. The testing process revealed valuable insights. While the overall design was noted for its cleanliness and simplicity, specific areas requiring ideation came to light. Notably, users encountered challenges with tasks such as adding items to the ‘loved list’ and adjusting the ingredients list based on serving sizes. These findings prompted a reassessment of those particular functionalities to enhance user experience and efficiency.

Typography and Colour

In crafting the user interface and experience, it was imperative to convey the core values of the brand. To resonate with the brand’s essence, I deliberately selected a minimalistic colour palette. The chosen hues encapsulate the values of ‘Fresh,’ ‘Friendly,’ and ‘Love.’ This intentional colour scheme aims to evoke a sense of simplicity, approachability, and warmth, aligning seamlessly with the brand’s identity and fostering a positive user perception.

Final designs

Presented below are the final designs for the Digest diet app. The colour palette, reflecting the brand values of ‘Fresh,’ ‘Friendly,’ and ‘Love,’ enhances the overall user experience, creating an inviting and positive atmosphere. The interface seamlessly integrates customisation options, nutritional information, and an intuitive shopping list feature. These final designs represent a holistic solution that prioritises user-centricity, ensuring a delightful and effective journey for individuals navigating their dietary choices with the Digest app.

To discuss more or ask any questions, please get in touch.