Project 1 — Case study


  • Interviews, Participatory Design, User Flows, Sketching, Paper Prototyping, Marvel
  • Paper, pen, scissors.


  • Find a partner to work with for the rest of the week (found Maia)
  • Quiz your partner about their interests and find a problem that could be solved with a design of a simple mobile app (done that).


After a long conversation we reached to the conclusion that Maia would like to:

  • Spend less time figuring out how to cook and what to cook
  • Learn how to cook simple recipes
  • Do grocery shopping in a very efficient manner
  • Connect the recipes with the grocery list
  • Have a resource that can help her prepare some easy meals for more than one day per week.


I thought that an app with a very simple streamlined process offering key relevant customisations (budget, ingredients, number of recipes and time to cook) will help motivate and engage Maia to cook more often.


A prototype of an easy to use mobile app meeting Maia’s requirements.


After the first interview with Maia (which consisted in general questions about her — age, education, routine etc), without having enough answers, I started with the idea that I know exactly what Maia’s needs are. Afterwards (after doing the map concept) I realised that this is not the case so I had to conduct another interview more focused on how or where she would like to improve on her daily routine. That was when I realised the cooking/shopping process is where she would like to be better/more efficient at.


The first user flows were way too complicated and confusing, far from what I initially thought of. Maybe that was because I was trying to make one user flow for the whole process. After a few discussions with Maia, agreeing that there are ways to make things simpler, I started to split the flows in possible screens/steps. This was the point where everything started looking more clear and easy to follow.

The sketching part started with a rough idea about the first screens of the app and because I was always able to check things up with the user it was easy to improve and develop new ideas about how they actually have to look like. During the process of sketching I changed a few options in the app (e.g. from having tabs to just a scrolling list in the recipe details, removed the sharing button, added a menu option to logout at any time and another to reset the recipes and shopping list) making the flow through the screens easier.


  • Paper prototype

Using paper prototyping made it very easy for Maia to see and experience the ideas and changes I had. It was very simple for me to draw new things or change screens and being able to show them immediately meant we could do iterations quickly.

  • Marvel

Using Marvel helped me to see more clearly how the user interacts with the app compared to the paper prototype and to see if the app navigation is smooth and intuitive.


  • Make the app more social

Add a share button to share the recipes or the shopping list (in case someone else has to do the grocery shopping for you), add an option to invite friends and/or create an event for people to join (for lunch, dinner, etc)

  • Add on option where you can specify what type of meals you want to cook (breakfast, lunch, dinner)
  • Send recipes/shopping list via email.
Like what you read? Give Anca Nita a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.