Designing a social chat application that helps users transition to a plant-based diet.

Research, Product, UX, UI


Social Application, Health nutrition, Foodtech


Create a web application that allows direct access to experts.


Identify an addressable market that benefits from the chat application, that has not yet been served and develop a product that is more than a feature.

My Role

Market and user research, user experience design (UX), interface design (UI)


Human-centred design: Understand (discover & define), Explore (design, prototype & test), Realise (plan & implement) 


4 month (2020/21)

Concept Overview

What are the users trying to accomplish while transitioning to a plant-based diet?

User Job Story 

Changing habits is hard - users are seeking an easy and reliable way to transition into a plant-based diet that suits their need.

What do they gain from it?

- Improve personal health
- Learn more about ingredients
- Learn how to cook plant based
- Get inspiring recipe ideas

What pain/friction do they experience?

- Overwhelming amount of content on the www
- Hard to find the right information
- Lack of trustworthiness
- Not tailored to the users' situation 

Product Solution Statement

A social chat application to meet with and talk to nutrition experts who help with tailored advice and inspiration on plant-based cooking.

Meet, talk, eat

The users can talk to experts, meet peers and get inspired.

Phase 1: Understand
Research findings reveal an information allocation dilemma

First, users are not sure where to get trustworthy information on plant-based cooking and search on the www.
Second, they get overwhelmed by the endless information on plant-based nutrition, which can leave them unsatisfied or even confused.

Studies show

Consumers frequently fail to stick to a plant-based diet for more than a few days. In Germany more than half of the 25-34 years old and 37% of the 55-65 years old of those who tried already failed.

User group segmentation
Main user group

Liz, the teacher, represents the most promising user group based on her high affinity for social applications.

Affinity hypothesis

We believe that, to Liz, speaking to a nutritionist, chef or cook, can create an experience similar to chatting with her peers and establish a connection, which is vital to her trust in the app.

Research methods

Insights were drawn from secondary research studies and primary research: a survey with 24 participants and semi-structured interviews with 4 interviewees as well as a competitive analysis.

In addition, to identify usage scenarios, we undertook an AI-based data scrapping on Twitter to pull from conversations potential users were having online. This semantic analysis has been put together with

Scenario based user flows

From sign up to personalising the experience and talking to experts. 

Phase 2: Explore

The user research frames the concept ideation

The target users seek tailored information from experts they trust.

Defining the app concept

A social chat application to meet with and talk to nutrition experts helping with tailored advice and inspiration on plant-based cooking.

Users get the information tailored to their need from a reliable source. They can talk to experts, meet peers and get inspired by their ideas.

Concept validation

77% are (very) likely to use the app

What is the app’s main benefit?

- Customised content for a given situation/need
- Reliable information
- Access to professional knowledge
- Time saving
- Motivation & inspiration

Direct & professional feedback

on more complex questions, something
Google cannot answer right away.
 - Anna, 32

Research method: Online survey (n=26) and interviews (n=4)

Low to mid fidelity prototyping

Iterating towards a usable and functional app design for a lasting social experience.

Card sorting and sitemap

Creating a friction free experience.

Pen and paper sketching

Rapid creation of the first main feature screens.

Evolving fidelity

Functions become usable.

Connecting the dots

Prototyping & Usability testing with Figma.

Phase 3: Materialise

High fidelity prototyping - ready to meet experts, talk about and cook plant-based food.


Meet, talk, eat - functional UI design for a social experience


Visual design language


Brand design

Logo creation

Talking to food experts like chefs visualised in one element.

Look & feel

The user interface design is inspired by a mix of sage and pine forest - both relatable to people who love to eat delicious plant-based food.

Now it is your turn, move the portion slider on the screen to adjust the portion size from 1 to 4 and back. 

Photos: Unsplash

Reach out.

In case you like what you see and want to talk about project collaboration. 

I am happy to hear from you. 

Selected work

Uni Bremen Web AppUX Concept and Design

COOK HOUSE Web AppResearch, UX & UI Design

Kate & Carl - food ecommerceUser Research & Business Design


© 2022 Jan-Willem Böttjer