A Case Study for HelloFresh

Jamie Whiffen
5 min readAug 25, 2020

by: Jamie Whiffen

HelloFresh: Get cooking

HelloFresh is a meal prep delivery service that provides fresh ingredients to households all over America. With a wide variety of meal options, there is a recipe to fit anyone’s palette and budget. Jamie Whiffen approached the challenge of improving HelloFresh’s customer service feature within the app.

Getting dinner on the table can be a challenge, especially when life gets in the way.

It can be difficult running around finding ingredients for recipes that may or may not be delicious. Bouncing around from store to store can be exhausting and disheartening. After all the chaos of scouring through shelf labels and finding the shortest line for checkout, the actual task of cooking seems daunting.

Exhausted shopper in store

HelloFresh solves that problem by packaging everything you need into a box and delivering it right to your door. They have many options that take the leg work out of cooking, making dinner approachable and easier for you after a busy day.

Now imagine, coming home after a long day, awaiting your box at your doorstep. Your family eager to have a delicious meal on the table. You open the box, read your recipe while taking out each precious ingredient. Uh-oh. No garlic. The recipe calls for garlic though. What do you do? You raid your pantry in a panic, looking for any forgotten cloves desperately. No. Garlic. HelloFresh has failed you.

When researching possible solutions for improving HelloFresh’s app, I came across an unsightly theme — missing ingredients. How could I, as a UX Designer, solve this conundrum?. Home chefs were looking for a solution to easily let HelloFresh know that they were missing ingredients or receiving sub-quality ingredients.

This is where my journey embarks…

I had a plan ‘a research plan’ to tackle the issue of missing or sub-par ingredients. App users were finding it difficult to report their issues in a streamlined way. I had some ideas, but I knew I had to let the people speak.

How can the app be improved to provide a more effective and efficient experience for those with complaints?


I asked and I listened. I interviewed 3 young mothers and 3 busy professionals. I asked them a series of questions ranging from cooking skill levels to bad customer service experiences. I gave them the opportunity to share their voices and experiences with an empathetic ear. This was eye-opening.

First, I asked some background questions, such as “When and why did you start cooking?”, “What was your first meal you prepared?”, “What is your favorite cooking memory?”. These questions helped me humanize the user and provide them with a softer approach to the interview.

Next, I asked about their home life. This was shocking. None of my users cooked as a family. Only one household member tended to cook for the entire household. When I asked them why, they mentioned a variety of reasons ranging from cooking skill levels to lack of interest. This lead me to ask, “Who are my users?”

I created two user type personas to help put their experiences into perspective…

Mama Mary: the hard-working entrepreneurial mother
Busy Barry: the time-crunched, corporate father

With two very different lives, they both wanted the same thing — a streamlined process to voice their concerns. Neither of them have time to call a number, be placed on hold, and explain their sub-par experiences, all while tending to their families. Having to call customer service was not what they expected when receiving their boxes.

How could I create an efficient, in app customer service experience that was quick and to the point?

Competitive Analysis

While searching for a solution, I looked to HelloFresh’s competitors to see how they were doing it right.

Meal prep delivery service competitive analysis

I dug through the competitors’ app reviews and pried through every mobile screen. While all excelling in their own way, I found it interesting that you couldn’t simply report a missing or “not so fresh” ingredient in an efficient way. Many of them required pictures or a summary of what happened.

I needed to think of what the user wanted to accomplish…

Give ’em what they want

After listening and thinking thoroughly about my users, I nailed down what they wanted…

“As a busy mother, I want to report a missing or sub-quality ingredient so that I can bring attention to HelloFresh’s customer service.”

This would entail…

“As a mother, I want to simply check off an ingredient from a list that was missing or sub-par so that I can receive credit towards my next box.”


“As a mother, I want to quickly complain so that I can move on with my day.”

The acceptance criteria for this would be a simple checklist format of the ingredients in the recipe to pick from. The user would choose, in a two column fashion, whether the item was missing or sub-quality.

Customer service ingredient checklist

For the busy, working father…

“As a busy working father, I want to bypass calling customer service so that I can spend more time with my family.”

This means specifically,

“As a father, I want to select my complaints quickly so I don’t have to type out a long-winded experience.”


“As a father, I want to be given complaint options so I can breeze through the process and enjoy the rest of my day.”

The acceptance criteria for this story would be a digital complaint process that involves selecting keywords to formulate a complaint. This would generate more sub-options to choose from the original selection to further explain into more detail.

Notes: There would need to be a custom option for those with more unique complaints.

Complaint bubble process


After all said and done, my findings were relevant and useful towards my next steps in the future. My findings concluded that HelloFresh’s app has many opportunities to create a streamlined and productive complaint process in their mobile app to satisfy the busy user. To further my research, I intend to create wireframes and conduct usability testings to test my designs. All in all, I learned the importance of having an empathetic ear and keeping the user in mind when finding solutions. In the end — they know what is best.

Thank you for reading!