A Pinch of Soul

Blue Apron Add-on Feature

Image Blue Apron wants to launch this new feature: letting users to upload their own recipes and being rated by other users. And Blue Apron will sell the winners' recipes just like what they have now. How would the feature looks like?

Project Overview

Project Period

Two Weeks


​iOS Local App


UX Designer

Targeted User

​Blue Apron User​


Blue Apron User Chef Competition


How did we get there?

Step 1: User Interviews

In the interviews, we focused on discovering users’ opinions on recipes either on their own recipes or other people’s recipes. During the interviews, we asked about their experience using Blue Apron, their process of looking for new recipes, their own recipes, their interests on origins of the recipes, and their opinions on online polls.

Step 2: Synthesizing Data

Using Affinity Mapping, we have validated the fact that users would love to share their recipes and are interested in knowing the story behind the recipes. As Blue Apron users, they are usually open to new recipes; however, they often prefer recipes from trusted sources. When talking about online poll, most of the interviewees are fine with it, as long as it is secure.

Step 3: Defining the Problem

So what is the problem? Defining the problem and our targeted audience, which is also called personas, can help us stay on track.

From all the data we collect, we summarized two personas: one being the voter, which will be the majority of the two; the other being the recipe creators, who anticipates the contest.


For Eddie, he wants to see new recipes with stories and background. The recipes also need to be easy to follow and actually tastes good. We had the huge discussion about how we should run the system. Because we think there will be a lot people to attend the contest with different level of quality of recipes being submitted into the system, it is not good for voters to go through hundreds of recipes to vote. It is also not good for Blue Apron to control quality of the recipes.

Step 4: Design Studio

Now it is time to put our thoughts on to paper. We ran three full rounds of design studios to first brainstorming, then discussing, finally cleaning up thoughts and coming to an agreement.

In the first part of the process, we decided what problem or what screen we were going to focus on, then go wild and sketch out as many ideas as we have. In the next section, each of us talked about our ideas and got feedback from our group members. After that, we wrote down what we agreed upon, and worked towards one solution.

Step 5: Feature Prioritization

We used two methods to found out what are the important tasks needs to be done. One is called the MoSCoW method. We wrote down every feature and arrange them by “must-do”, “should-do”, “could-do”, and “won’t-do.” For example, “a function for voting” is a “must-do,” the whole thing will not be functional without it.On the other hand, “adding a tag for recipes” is a “could-do.”

The other method we used is the scale with the x-axis being “essential” and “nice-to-have,” y-axis being “high effort” and “low effort.” 

Step 6: Usability Tests & Iterating

We have created two task scenarios from the perspectives of the voters and anticipators, total five different tasks, trying to cover the experience of using the app as much as possible. From three rounds of usability tests, we got the chance to re-iterate our design based on feedbacks from our testers. 


Iterating based on usability tests

If you would like to see a full article about the process, please visit my Medium Blog.

©2020 by Nicole Song. 

  • linkedin
  • dribbble