MealPal iOS App


MealPal is a monthly subscription lunch service that allows users to save time by ordering ahead and skipping the line, and to save money – each meal averages to about $6.

The Problem

While functional, the MealPal app was not built by product or design folks. Given MealPal's exponential growth, for v2.0 of the app, not only did we need to upgrade the look + feel, we also identified the following goals that were core to our user experience:

  • allow users to reserve a meal quickly

  • retrieve order number at pickup easily

  • decrease overall load time of the app

  • increase brand awareness + opportunities

What I Did...

UX Design
UX Research
 Visual Design

The Team

 Jenna Davis, PM
Lee Pollard, Developer

Home Screen

Previously, the app had no home screen or navigation, and loaded every single pin on the map, causing load time to be up to 10+ seconds.

Splitting the home screen and the map allows users to login and jump to the map quickly to find a meal, or find their current order number they need for pickup. The peekaboo of the map only loads 15 meals, exponentially decreasing load time.

 reserve a meal quickly
retrieve order number 
decrease load time

Surfacing order history on the home screen prompts users to rate previous meals and to start saving their favorite meals. This increased engagement allows MealPal to collect information and make better meal recommendations.

MealPal adds popular new partners every week and also runs a robust referral program. Utilizing the home screen for these announcements will build loyalty with the brand and increase referrals.

 increase brand awareness + opportunities

In 2017, MealPal launched dinner for the New York City market. A majority of dinner users are also lunch users, so they need an easy way to switch between the two offerings to find their evening meal.

If an NYC user doesn't have a dinner plan, selecting "dinner" brings up an upsell page, usually containing a promotion to convert them to dinner.

 reserve a meal quickly
 increase brand awareness + opportunities


Using a .3 mile radius, the app will only display the 30 closest meals, rather than seeing hundreds of overwhelming pins.

Users can tap on a pin to view a meal tile, and from there swipe horizontally to see more meals. Swiping up seamlessly transitions to list view.

 reserve a meal quickly
decrease load time

The percentage of users reserving their meals at the office vs. at home was comparable.

Since browsing a map on your mobile device is typically based on your current location, we developed a "Default Location" feature under My Account.

This allows users to control where they want to execute their searches.

 reserve a meal quickly


A majority of users are passive map browsers that don't execute searches, so we opted to make minor improvements to search and filters.

Search improvement: users can *star* a search term or address that they frequently input, saving time.

Filter improvements: users can hide sold out meals since they can't reserve those meals, and to reduce clutter on the map. Users can also clear all filters in one tap.

 reserve a meal quickly


When a user taps a meal tile for the map or search results, they're brought to the meal details screen. 

Users reserve and receive their order number/confirmation on this screen.

New action: users can update their pickup time. Previously, a user had to cancel their order completely and re-reserve with the correct time.

 reserve a meal quickly
retrieve order number 

After a meal has been reserved, a user is free to keep browsing the map. Meal details for the reserved meal is pinned to the bottom of the map to indicate they already have a meal reserved.

New feature: a user can share their order number via text, email, or message, in case they need a friend to pick up their meal.

 reserve a meal quickly
retrieve order number 


MealPal's growth + acquisition thrives on referrals. The new referral tracker allows users to invite friends to MealPal by pulling in their contacts, and auto-populating copy and their personal URL.

Referral awards require certain criteria to be met, and this tracker grants visibility to where referrals are in the process. This also reduces the volume of referral inquiries to CX.

 increase brand awareness + opportunities

"The kitchen is closed."

A user must reserve their lunch between 5pm the night before and 9:30am of that day. Between the hours of 9:30am–5pm, a user cannot reserve a meal.

Lead generation: while the kitchen is closed, a user can refer a friend via email to MealPal and gain access to the kitchen to reserve their meal early.

This helps fill the top of the funnel with new leads, contributing to growth + acquisition of new users.

 increase brand awareness + opportunities