Simplifying Uber Eats for vegans

Dennis Xing
Apr 4, 2019 · 5 min read
Role: Individual product designer (not affiliated with Uber Eats) Timeline: 2 weeks

Overview—Vegans have trouble searching and filtering for foods on Uber Eats that meet their strict dietary needs.

Through guerrilla usability testing, I found that users with dietary restrictions like vegans who were trying to buy food were discouraged and confused as to which items were vegan. I sought to redesign the flow to empower vegan users to confidently order food that fits their nutritional standards.

Pain points—How vegan users are struggling to order food

Results — Increase in vegan users finding all vegan dishes in a restaurant as well as confidence if the dish is vegan


Guerrilla Usability Testing —I created tasks that allowed users to explore the entire ordering process from deciding what to eat to adding a dish to the bag

To discover pain points in the user experience of the Uber Eats iOS mobile app, I used guerrilla usability testing at various coffee shops in San Francisco. I wanted to capture how people with varying diets use and interact with the app so I was fairly broad when choosing people to interview. I interviewed five people in their 20s or 30s, some who used Uber Eats before and had dietary restrictions.

Provisional Personas — Vegans need a seamless way to eat vegan and move on with their day

I created a provisional personas to help me communicate who I wanted my redesign to target by finding out their motivations, goals, and behaviors.

Jobs to be done — Vegan users want their physiological needs met impeccably

Synthesis — Two Main themes:

1. Vegans don’t have enough information to make quick decisions from item descriptions

2. There is an overload of information when deciding which restaurant to pick

Key Quotes from User Interviews — Users verbally expressed their frustrations in finding vegan food

Takeaways from Synthesis

  • Users have a greater chance in finding vegan categories if there was a sliding filter on top
  • Filtering in the main search doesn’t necessarily lead to seeing vegan menu items which is frustrating for users

2 x 2 Business needs vs User needs—Relevant search results are good for business as well as the end user

Task Flow — Redesign the user flow so that it minimizes the processing power for vegans

In order to improve the flow for vegan users we have to minimize the time spent deciding if a restaurant has vegan food or if a menu item is vegan.

Current User Flow — Filtering for Vegan food yields restaurants touting “vegan friendly” but the first 4 dishes all contain meat

The Simplified Vegan Flow — After filtering for vegan food, the vegan user will now see vegan menu items and a vegan tab menu

Interactive Prototype:

Results — Increase in vegan users successfully ordering food through the menu

In Closing:

A big challenge with Uber Eats was designing for users who don’t fit my lens. I don’t identify as a vegan, yet I am creating solutions to problems for these sets of users. Airbnb has this wonderful research kit for conscientious creatives called “Another Lens” and it addresses the question, “how do we create solutions that don’t leave any community behind?”

By asking the right questions I was able to find out the particular pain points so that I could build inclusive, global solutions.

As humans we are biased. As designers we must balance our biases!

Feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn or Twitter.


Stories about startups, technology, traction, and design from Tradecraft members

Dennis Xing

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Stories about startups, technology, traction, and design from Tradecraft members

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