Reimagine an AI-Powered Recipe Ingredient Substitution UX

Overview

Plant Jammer, a vegetarian recipe creation app that combines AI in both unique and functional to substitute ingredients. The app is also promoted AI to create a recipe from the ingredients that we have on our fridge. It promotes healthy eating, learning in the kitchen, and reducing food waste. This four-year-old Danish start-up got a 4 million euro investment in its AI algorithm and platform. Its application is already used by 10,000 households in Europe. This portfolio was made to join uxdesigncontest.com sponsored by Plant Jammer.

Users and Scenarios

Before we get into a solution, it’s important to communicate for whom we are designing. A solution for someone who has allergies can look very different for someone who has not. Creating a persona can help us to have a better understanding of our users. Here some important data to include in your persona are their demographics, motivators, constraints, and scenario.

Users Persona

“As a digital nomad, Daniella work from home with multiple clients overseas. Today is Sunday, time to shopping raw foods to cook at home for next week. She is having digestive problems and the doctor suggested her to eat more veggies. But Daniella is not a vegetarian, she’s a meat-eater. So she opens Plant Jammer Application to find the recipe. She clicks the button “do you want to cook some veggies” then inputs her allergies. She finds the avocado egg toasts recipe looks tempting but she wants to reduce egg consumption in her diet. She’s choosing the option “pescatarian vegan”. The recipe changes and can be substituted with salmon, tofu, or soy yogurt. She very happy with the ingredient’s substitution.”

Empathize

Early data shows lower-than-expected user engagement with the current ingredient substitution experience. Increasing user engagement is important because it can be measured and leveraged to help Plant Jammer sell its solution. Affinity wall analysis was conduct to understanding what makes them unsatisfied with products.

Affinity wall diagram

Define

Based on the affinity diagram, it was found that the app for some users consider as a strict vegetarian app while there are four types of vegetarian:

· Lacto-vegetarian diets exclude meat, fish, poultry, and eggs, as well as foods that contain them. Dairy products, such as milk, cheese, yogurt, and butter, are included.

· Ovo-vegetarian diets exclude meat, poultry, seafood, and dairy products, but allow eggs.

· Lacto-Ovo vegetarian diets exclude meat, fish, and poultry, but allow dairy products and eggs.

· Pescatarian diets exclude meat and poultry, dairy, and eggs, but allow fish.

· Vegan diets exclude meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and dairy products and foods that contain these products. (source: mayoclinic.org)

Not all users were always eating vegetarian food, some of them want to include meat in their consumption occasionally, so they give the app 3 out of 5 ratings. Some of the users also mention that the app looks less aesthetic. The measurement also confusing for some users.

Ideate

The portfolio-building challenge is to go from zero to one and rethink the experience of substituting recipe ingredients and share the ideas through 2 unique design concepts. Due to Plant Jammer is a vegetarian app, additional types of vegetarian are needed. If Plant Jammer wants to take a look at the non-vegetarian niche, the additional meat recipe can be included.

A measuring cup, teaspoon, and tablespoon are common kitchen utility which everyone has. For suggestion, better we use measurement in cup, teaspoon, and tablespoon rather than ml or grams unless it cannot be measure using those tools.

Aesthetic design is an important factor. It’s needed to make a first impression and increase user engagement. It influences how much pleasure users feel and think about the product.

Prototype

Prototyping is part of the design process which helps UX designers show stakeholders how the final product would look and function. Prototypes can generate feedback from users, team members, and other stakeholders. Glass morphism design was used in this product for a better aesthetic with the hope can contribute to user engagement.

Workflow design concept no.1
Workflow design concept no.2
Workflow of AI generate recipe & substitution ingredients
Design concept no.1
Design concept no.2

Test

A test is needed to get feedback received from this phase to redefine some of the problems and continue iterating the designs. If the prototypes do not work, we should find the problems by doing empathize. After finding problems, we can start to define why is it important then solve them by doing ideation. Brainstorm ideas good & bad and do not stop at the obvious. We need to build the prototypes again after the ideation.

Source: The 5 Stages of Design Thinking and Specific Techniques by Soledad Mary

Conclusion and Recommendation

Based on the research, additional types of vegetarian are needed. If Plant Jammer wants to take a look at the non-vegetarian niche, the additional meat recipe can be included. It also suggested, better we use measurement in cup, teaspoon, and tablespoon rather than ml or gram unless it cannot be measure using those tools.

Glass morphism design can be implemented in this product for a better aesthetic with the hope can contribute to user engagement.

Test recommended getting the feedback received from this phase to redefine some of the problems and continue iterating the designs.

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