A Meal Planner for Waitrose

In the context of my UXDi (User Experience Design Immersive) course at General Assembly London I had to create a microsite for Waitrose.

Nowadays, people consume food differently. Our society is more and more conscious of quality control an food waste. We have rediscovered the pleasure of a home-cooked meal. It is a real trend, and if you are sceptical just looks at the numbers of cooking shows. People want to be able to cook their meals, and control their ingredients purchase in order to purchase quality and not to waste food.



We have identified 3 main user groups that allowed us to create 3 personas each representative of a user group.

The meal planner will cater the needs of all our personas but our golden user is Jackie and we will focus on her needs in this Case Study.

How the competition is answering to their needs?

After some visit to various shops and several user interviews I was able to identify 6 competitors:BBC Good FoodGoustoFresh DirectAbel & Cole and Ocado. Only BBC Good Food is a direct competitor, it is the website that cater to most of our users needs.

From this table we can see where Waitrose should focus to create and retain loyal users.

Waitrose meal planner needs to:

  • Have a wide variety of product category and menu choices.
  • Provide inspiration to its users as well as budget and health tips.
  • It needs to meet them on the social media
  • Finally, it needs to reduce the pain that comes with checkout and delivery.

A closer look to our Golden User Jackie

I had to identify Jackie’s current journey for choosing meals for given days and purchasing the ingredients. In order to do that I went back interviewing several users that represent Jackie Persona.

I asked them to walk me through their process for planning and purchasing their meals for the week step by steps. By asking them to describe their emotional state at each step I was able to clearly identify their pain points. Those pain points are crucial to the development of the project. The end goal is to make them disappear thanks to the micro site.

In the User Journey above, we can clearly identify 4 pain points:

  • Workout her week or how many lunches and dinners she needs. She isn’t in every night.
  • Search on Google for special ingredients or for more inspiration.
  • Decide where to shop, because of those special ingredients she might have to go to several shops for her groceries.
  • Finally, go shopping.

How can we put a smile on Jackie’s face?

Before I started sketching I had to finish the site map of the microsite. In order to make sure that the food categorisation was intuitive enough, I did a few sessions of the open and close cart sorting with representatives of all the personas.

I have asked them to sort a selection of product inventory and do piles of product that where similar according to them. After collecting the data of the open car sits on a large spreadsheet I was able to create preliminary categories. I, then asked them to do the same exercise but this time with preset categories. Thanks to the users feedbacks I was able to refine the categories names and finalised the sitemap.



Thanks to a design studio, we were able a quickly sketch the overall layout of the microsite.

From there we stopped being in the generative state of the project, each step helped to refine our vision and to get closer to the final project.

From Paper Prototype to Wireframes

Every single stage of the prototyping has been user tested. These user insights were really valuable. I had four rounds of iterations and mostly the feedback helped me to

  • Create an easier and clearer navigation.
  • Get rid of confusing graphics.
  • Refine the copy of certain call to action.
  • Create more intuitive buttons and place them correctly on the page. Changing a radio button for the tick might make the difference.
  • The user testing helped me a lot of my filter process. I had to reorganize the entire side filtering section because several users pointed out that it was not intuitive.

I would like to show you that process with a key screen of the microsite, the recipe page.

The Prototype

Here is the prototype of what the microsite would look like. There is still some room for improvement as it is only a wireframe prototype, but it gives a good idea of the concept. Try it here

Next steps and recommendations

Next Steps:

  • The weekly planning needs to be linked to iCal including preparation time.
  • The delivery times need to be synced with iCal too.
  • Link the micro site to Waitrose cooking school
  • Recipes card overview when hover on it in searches.


Before becoming a UX manager I was working in Marketing and Communication and most specifically in Social Media.

The food industry is one of the dominant industry on the social media and in my user interviews I have come across Pinterest and Instagram several times. The users currently use Pinterest and Instagram to look for inspiration. On both of these Social Platform food related Hashtags are the most popular.

We also saw in the comparative analysis that to be able to be ahead of the competition Waitrose need to meet its users on the Social Media.

It is why I recommend a Social media campaign around Instagram and Pinterest with a special Hashtag visible on the website and in stores.