Personalized Nutrition Recommendations

AUG 2016 - MAR 2017


LemonBox is a Chinese health startup that provides personalized nutrition recommendations based on users’ personal health data, goals and lifestyle with the help of the algorithm built with insights from professional nutritionists.


I joined the team as the design lead and designed the brand, UI system as well as overall UX in collaboration with a design intern. I also lead the user research and analysis for design iteration.

Understand the Problem: Finding Nutrition That Fits

There’s a growing enthusiasm for health and nutrition products among Chinese consumers, either for themselves or the family. However, they are generally struggling in finding the right vitamins, dietary, and supplements products, due to the lack of knowledge and sources to seek professional advice. Many of them blindly trust in bad word of mouth in social media without actually knowing if the product really fits their health conditions, goals and lifestyle.

How might we help Chinese consumers find the nutrition products and advice that fits?

Seeing the problem and opportunity in the growing nutrition market, the team came up with the idea LemonBox, a service that provides personalized nutrition recommendations based on user’s health data, goals and lifestyle.

Mapping Out the Experience

Together with a team of nutritionists, data scientists and MBA graduates, we mapped out the overall user experience into 3 simple steps:

1. Users come to us and fill out a short survey telling us their health conditions, goals and lifestyle.
2. Based on these information, we’ll generate a nutrition report with suggested elements and nutrition products recommendation.
3. Users can get to know more about the recommended nutrition products and even buy it from reliable sources.

With these 3 steps, we hope to provide a better education on the effectiveness of different nutrition elements, help user understand what they actually need, and recommend the most relevant nutrition products that they can actually purchase.

Based on the core experience, I collaborated with our design intern and we develop the structure and wireframes for the website.

Creating the Brand and Design System

To set the table, I created the brand and UI system to build the foundation for design as well as marketing use.

Iteration 1

We delivered our first iteration of design and worked with our engineer to build the first version.

User Research

We gathered 50 users to test the beta version of the site and captured their feedback through live chat as well as survey. Since the team work remotely, I started a Trello board to analyze the data collected from the research.

As we’re sorting out the data, some key issues became clear:

The nutrition report doesn’t seem convincing enough
"Why is this useful to me?"
"Can I mix and match these product and take them together?"
"Among these products, which one should I choose?"
The professionality in nutrition is not well communicated
"Why should I trust this results?"
"Are you just trying to sell the products?"
Personalization is not well communicated
"Not personalized enough"
"I wish to have a one-on-one conversation with a nutritionist."

Iteration 2

Based on the feedback from research, we started second round of design addressing the key issues. By setting up a remote workshop including design, product, engineering, nutritionists and data scientists, we worked together and developed a new experience map:

1. Users come to us and fill out a refined survey telling us their health conditions, goals, lifestyle.
2. Based on these information, we’ll generate an in-depth overview suggesting a list of nutrition elements that satisfy their daily needs.
3. If interested, user can see the recommended nutrition packages
4. For users looking for professional advice, they’ll have access to 1-on-1 nutrition consulting service

After the workshop, I lead the redesign of the site and delivered the new design.

Key Improvement 1: Emphasize on Education

Instead of putting the suggested nutrition elements section on the top right corner, we decided to put this section into a separate page to give user an in-depth overview of what nutrition elements do they need to achieve their health goal, why do they need them, how effective are the elements and what type of food are rich in these elements.

Key Improvement 2: Scientific Mix and Match

We also worked with the data scientists and improved our algorithm. Instead of recommend an endless list of nutrition product in the same category, we came up with the idea of “nutrition package”, which select the most effective product and group them scientifically so it satisfy the daily nutrition needs that showed in the suggested nutrition elements page. This update addressed the concern of mixing different types of nutrition supplements together not knowing if it’s effective. This also reduce the cognitive load of browsing many similar products and choose the best one.

Key Improvement 3: One-on-one Consulting Service

To provide truly personalized experience, we came up with a new premium 1-on-1 nutrition consulting service, which connect users who are seeking professional advice with our nutritionists team.

Thanks for reading :)