Product Design

Plant Magic

Case Study

Plant Magic: Vegan Recipes

Research, interaction, visual design, and prototyping
After watching The Game Changers in 2019, I only had vegetables, grains and fruits to eat. It’s amazing how they can be satisfying. You can pretty much do anything—sauté, boil, fry, mash, grill, roast, raw, and even make a sauce out of it! All this information—health benefits, sustainability and ethical reasons had me fully embraced this new lifestyle journey. My inspiration for this project is to create a community of conscious consumers without sacrificing their food cravings.

Problem space

I suspect is that with the lack of information, people don't like whole-foods, plant-based and vegan food because they perceive it as salad—bland and boring. Busy working couples need a way to effectively find popular delicious whole-foods, plant-based recipes as they don’t have time to dive deep into nutritious food recipes.


I've learned that they know a little about the facts, benefits, delicious dishes and nutrients of plant-based and vegan foods. They thought that:

  • Protein is just meat and not in plants
  • A lot of carbs in plant-based diet
  • Dairy and eggs are plant-based
  • It's complicated and ingredients are hard to find

They don't know how to incorporate it more into their diet as they feel it wouldn't satisfy their food cravings and it would require a big lifestyle change. Also, they like dining out on weekends for their favorite food and experiencing different cuisines. I also learned that they want to have food variety every 2–3 days and have weekly meal planning as well as supplement it with to-go meals.

Meet Nathan

He lives in San Francisco, CA and works as a creative director at Zara. He is health-conscious and runs five miles a day at a minimum. He loves to cook and dine out with his wife, Amy.

He usually searches through Google or Pinterest to find recipes for the upcoming week. They are mindful of what they eat and always go to Whole Foods for grocery shopping.

I love to cook and dine out but I believe it's important to be mindful on what we put in our bodies.

What's out there

These are good sources of vegan and plant-based recipes, but none of them meet what they need.

Current search journey

How might we provide a "one-place" for plant-based and vegan recipes, information, planning, and restaurants?


The low-fidelity wireframes show the key screens to help Nathan with popular recipes and information.

Usability testing

I used Maze and Zoom for usability testing. I've set up five "missions" to see how easy it is for users to accomplish basic tasks. For the first usability testing, I had five moderated and one unmoderated testers. I could get quantitative and qualitative data for my next design iteration.

For the second usability testing, I ran five unmoderated tests and found out there was a technical error where the users dropped off in the sign-up flow in Maze which can easily be fixed.


I learned a lot of valuable insights through user testing and made some improvements to continue iterating on the design.

The solution for Nathan

The Plant Magic app will be the "one-place" to search for popular vegan recipes, meal planning, read more information about plant-based lifestyles, and find local restaurants with vegan options.

Next steps

In this iterative cycle, the next items on my list:

  • Research if people are interested in linking Plant Magic to grocery services—Whole Foods, Instacart, and Amazon Fresh
  • Enable user to leave ratings on the recipes they have tried
  • Filter or search recipes by cuisine and their available ingredients in the pantry

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