Sainsbury’s — the meal planner website

UX case study. (Sprint 2) uxdi-ldn-17

A website that inspires you to plan your meals without any food waste

Project 2 General Assembly (concept website)
Team: individual project
Client: Sainsbury’s
My role: Ux Researcher / Ux Designer
Duration: 2 weeks
Methods: 121 interview, card sorting, user flows, user journey, site map, sketching, clickable prototype using Omnigrafle and Invision.

The Brief

Sainsbury’s provided a contextual brief explaining they want to create a microsite to help their costumers to plan and manage their meals ahead. The goal is to encourage people to buy more efficiently without wasting any unnecessary food. 
They also provide me a list of hundred products to investigate how people organise/categorise food. For this, I used an open and closed card sorting method to find out the best way to display my architecture information on listing the products.

User research

Upfront was given 3 personas that Sainsbury’s sees as representatives of their clients.

32 Jackie, Marketing Manager

32 Jackie, 32 years old is a Marketing manager and enjoys browsing meals but when comes the time to plan she feels overwhelmed and doesn’t do it. Which means Jackie ends up having similar dishes ever now and then and because she doesn’t plan she buys more food than she actually needs.

22 Johnnie Developer

Johnnie is an enthusiastic gamer on his free time and is very active on social media. Johnie doesn’t know much about cooking but his willing to eat more often at home.

50 Jack, Doctor

Meet Jane, she’s a 50-year-old doctor that prioritises her career. She’s very passionate about food and she confesses how much she misses cooking for herself and loved ones. Unfortunately, Jane struggles to find time to plan grocery shopping and cook.
 After revisiting this information I try to find similar people that I know with a similar lifestyle. I prepared a questionnaire to find out more details about their shopping habits and how often they do their grocery shopping. If they slip this duty with someone else. Or if they like to buy online or go down to a shop.

Interesting enough after my interviews, come across that people do their shopping after work on their way home and they rarely plan a full weekly meal plan. Mostly because they don’t like to stick to a dish that might not feel having on the day they plan for. Also on peoples’ minds they think that planning takes a lot effort to do it so. Most of the people are happy to do their shopping online, especially to benefit from the home delivery feature. Costumes that buy online they boost their shelves with cupboard food but prefer to go weekly to pick up their fresh ingredients at the store.
 In a way to prioritise the features of the website, I choose Jackie as my main customer to persuade with my investigation.

Problem statement

Jackie goal is to stop wasting unnecessary food. At the same time, we can tackle this problem by planning a perfect meal plan that can be built without much time and effort.

Jackie’s experience

It’s important to walk in the user’s shoes and take note of all the feelings and thoughts during their step by step process of planning a meal and shop for all the necessary ingredients.

Jackie — Experience journey

Market research

After looking for Sainsbury’s clients needs was important to do a little market research to understand what gaps and services the market have to offer. 
 From my market research, I found out that supermarkets do not inspire their costumers with meals. Just one supermarket already has a microsite to help costumers planning their meals, Tesco real food. As an indirect competitor, Hello Fresh and similar services that delivered fresh ingredients to your door weekly was considered to not have a free option to pick up what meals to choose and also highly reported that is very hard to pause the service if you wanna go on holiday for instances.

Ideation / Time for exploration

Team up with 4 people to bounce some ideas. Based on our listed pain points from our users we selected one to focus each time. The aim is to time box ourselves to come up with 4 ideas under 5 minutes. Could be the impossible crazy ideas that drive to a more concrete and feasibly ones.


Time to go to my bubble and think about my main screens of this planner website. I quick off just drawing some mains features on paper. My thought was to shrink that time of planning that users were mostly concern about. So my thinking was if I could find out that person taste I could generate the ideal meal plan for Jackie.

Initial sketchs


Early testing showed that people can not choose one preferable cuisine. Was really hard to only pick one. And also they thought the meal plan would just generate a plan based on that cuisine type. In response to this users can now use up to 5 cuisines. 
 Users also thought that they would have to select each individual meal. I addressed this issue by giving more clues to the user about what was happening for them before the planning view.
Most users didn’t notice that they could adapt their prepared plan to match they final taste and weekly meal plan.

User Flow and site Navigation

My main goals was to design a website that Jackie could achieve her goal with few steps as possible.

The user flow

Jackie starts by selecting her tastes and preferences. Afterward, a weekly plan is displayed and she can edit the plan if she doesn’t fancy one or two meals. The ingredients from the meals are added to the shopping cart so she can proceed to the checkout process. The ingredients added to the shopping cart will be optimised to avoid waste, taking into account ingredients used in multiple recipes.

Next steps

From testing, I could list some features that people showed some interest in having them. As per living in London is quite common to live with flatmates some people asked me if I could integrate a feature to slip the cost among people and also share the weekly plan with them. Another feature would be to set up a special meal as hosting a special meal for friends or family the quantities would be different for that specific day.

Try my clickable prototype here:

That’s the end of the third week. If you have any suggestions please write down below.

I encourage you to check my job hunting app that I designed on week 1.