UX/UI Design Case Study

Salad anyone?

The Challenge

Working people often don’t have time to prepare their own meals and end up eating out a lot. However, these individuals tend to find that there is a lack of affordable, fast, and healthy options available to satisfy their needs.

Purchasing pre-packaged meals and pre-made foods leaves little room for customization of ingredients to satisfy personal tastes and these are often unhealthy.

Client Specification

About Salad Design:

Salad Design is a small start-up in downtown Miami that delivers custom made (user-designed) and traditional salads to homes and offices.

Customers have the ability to select pre-made meals and add to them and also to create their own customized salad from scratch based on nutritional information, taste, and appearance.

Technical Specifications:

  • Native IOS or Android application
  • Credit card purchases
  • Ranking of recipes (option to add favorites)

Project Timeline and Budget:

  • 2 Months for ideation, design, and development handoff
  • $100,000 for research, design, and development budget
  • ROI within two (2) years of launch

My Role & The Ironhack Team

Salad design was a group project as part of the Ironhack cohort. The cohort was broken into four (4) rotating teams that changed each week. Teams conducted user-research, strategy research, information architecture, and UI design separately each week and then handed that work off to another team to iterate from.

As part of the Ironhack salad design team, I was Responsible for the user experience strategy, research, and design of the native iOS app during individual phases of the application design process.

Upon completing the group team work, I continued to iterate on the UX and UI design portions of the final design for this version of Salad Design App.

User Research

Good design is long lasting and in order for any design or product to become a daily fixture in user’s lives, it needs to be able to solve a problem (pain point) or resolve a need that they have. To align the product vision with the wants, needs, and desires of an end user, research and empathy for the user is needed in addition to the alignment of business goals with technology.

In the research phase for salad design the cohort conducted user interviews, anonymous surveys, mapped the customer journeys, and initiated a comparative / competitive market analysis.

This helped to:

  • Define project milestones
  • Review the competitor landscape
  • Understand the client’s vision
  • And begin research into user needs, behaviors and pain‐points

User Research Phase 1 (User Surveys & Interviews)

Understanding user needs, behaviors, and motivations is essential to creating a viable and long-lasting product. By conducting user surveys and interviews, the design team was able to gather both qualitative and quantitative in a way that informed who the users would be, the context in which they would use the product, and what the user’s needs were.

This early stage research also provided preliminary customer validation, directed the product design towards solving user problems, and revealed key insights into the actual features that would be of a benefit to the potential user.

  1. Individual interviews (or turning assumptions into testable hypotheses):

We hit the streets in downtown Brickell with each team interviewing approximately 5 individuals of various demographic and ethnographic backgrounds — for a total of about 20 user interviews. Using a generalized interview script and conversation model the team was able to gather a significant amount of data about potential users’ experiences with mobile food applications, the context in which they use them, and information regarding the validity of the salad design concept.

2. User Surveys:

To provide a greater level of quantitive information about potential users and the validity of the Salad Design concept, the cohort also conducted user surveys. Responses help to inform the design team about the user base for these types of product and about experiences/expectations associated with their use.

Selected Survey Response Data

User Personas:

User Personas created to represent the findings of the UX Research interviews & surveys. Generating empathy for the end user (and one negative persona)

Affinity Diagrams:

Affinity Diagrams, Mind Mapping, and some User Personas.


After combining the research data from this phase, the Salad Design concept was validated and the opportunity for such a product was realized. Building from the data and feedback from rapid user testing and interviews, the team decided to incorporate features that included meal/delivery scheduling, selections that included both standard and customizable salad options, and the incorporation of an allergies section to screen out ingredients (in addition to other features that would be a benefit to all users, but not essential, such as rewards). Nutrition and more detailed information about ingredients were also important to the end user and after discussion with the team, would be implemented in Version 2.0.

Information Architecture

Site Map:

Basic Site Map for Salad Design App.

User Flows:

Generalized User Flow for Salad Design App.

Concept Design

Hand Sketches:

Hand Sketches to illustrate screen design — concepts and layout

Lo-fi Wireframes:

Lo-fidelity wireframes created using Balsamiq

Hi-Fidelity Wireframes:

High-fidelity wireframes for Salad Design App showing the design layout with polished User Interface designed.


Interactive Invision Prototype video showing user flow through the application. The goal was to explore the app, create a custom salad, and schedule the delivery for another time.

What I learned:

  • UX — research is key and talking to individuals is essential for building out features that will be of value to the end user.
  • UI — iterate, iterate, iterate. Focus on leveraging the result of the UX research and design flows and features based on common sense design trends and patters.
  • Team work — there are many ideas and solutions to a problem. All of them have value and can be used in one way or another. Discussing ideas and the logic behind them is essential for creating a product that can be aligned with end-user goals.

Comments, question, suggestions? Feel free to reach out!

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