Recipe for Digital Product success  | Recipe for Digital Product success

Recipe for Digital Product Success

ABOUT

How a film sparked up a movement and inspired a digital solution

Forks Over Knives is a brand that promotes and facilitates plant-based eating. It started in 2011 with a documentary of the same name. From there, the movement sparked five books, a mobile recipe app, a cooking course, a line of food products, a meal planner, a magazine, and a comprehensive website that hosts research, recipes, and tools to help people wherever they happen to be on their plant-based journey.  

The company is dedicated to transforming the way people see and approach nutrition. Through research-backed content and savvy technical tools, Forks Over Knives delivers value and insight to its audience, encouraging people down a plant-based nutritional path. 

One of the cornerstones of their business is their Forks Meal Planner application. Offered as a 14-day free trial, the platform onboards users by having them answer a few simple questions about their habits, allergies, and other food-related preferences so that the application can then build a personalized meal plan for them. After the trial period, the user can purchase the premium membership to continue accessing the Meal Planner functionality. As of the start of 2022, the Forks Meal Planner has 267,000 active users.

CHALLENGE

Improving & scaling an already big product

Before Uruit’s involvement, the Forks Meal Planner was functional but stagnant, struggling to attract and maintain users. Forks Over Knives knew they had to partner with the right software development company – a business with a track record for scaling and improving existing digital products. That company was Uruit: an LA Digital Product agency dedicated to transform bold ideas into reality, with a dedicated team of UX/UI designers, engineers, and product managers that are passionate about helping our clients plan, design, and build digital products. 

Our expertise sees us custom-build digital products that are immaculately designed, technically robust, and that deliver an experience that users go crazy for. We help our clients disrupt their industries through targeted innovation, partnering with them to change the digital world for the better. 

Forks Over Knives approached us with a product that was operational, but which they were struggling to scale. They needed a strategy to boost new signups and help them convert existing users to premium accounts. As digital product experts, we at Uruit jumped at the chance to take Forks Over Knives’ existing application to the next level. 

It became apparent early in the discovery phase that Forks Over Knives' existing platform wasn't built in a manner that would facilitate easy integration and expansion. The company’s previous development team had used a technology that wasn’t widely used, resulting in the platform being hard to scale, difficult to maintain, and suffering from performance issues. The Forks Over Knives team were being forced to navigate a platform that was unnecessarily blowing out the time needed to do basic tasks such as promotional campaigns. 

We also highlighted issues with the Forks Meal Planner user registration funnel, conversion rates, and user retention strategies. It was necessary to shore up the existing infrastructure and user experience while also encouraging the migration of the platform to a more versatile, robust technology.

SOLUTION

Product strategy, design & development

Our solution to Forks Over Knives’ problem was three-fold. We started with classic product strategy before moving into product design and development. Through a rigorous best-practice approach and a lot of teamwork, we were able to take the floundering Fork Meal Planner and see it reach its full potential. 

Here’s how we approached the problem: 

Product strategy 

Our approach to product strategy is a simple one: we define the product’s goals and ensure meeting those goals will solve users’ problems. 

The Forks Over Knives project began with a discovery phase. This allowed us to better understand their business model, get to know our new client better, and align the expectations of both parties. 

We drilled down into the Forks Meal Planner in depth. We confirmed its product-market fit, defining what drives the Forks Over Knives userbase and how that drive connects with the company’s business goals. 

By the end of the discovery phase, we had developed a project roadmap with a comprehensive list of tasks that were split into three main goals: 

  1. Improve the user registration funnel 
  2. Boost the user conversion rates 
  3. Improve the user retention 

With this roadmap, we were able to formulate our product design approach. 

Product design 

The product design stage of our solution saw us prioritize the Forks Meal Planner features that would have the most positive impact on our agreed-upon goals. We defined how we would solve Forks Over Knives’ problems and made sure to acquire the knowledge necessary for a successful product development process. 

This is also the stage at which we worked with Forks Over Knives to develop high-level documentation including wireframes and mockups of the planned feature expansions. We made sure that all our planned additions and changes to the Forks Meal Planner were analyzed, documented, and vetted before we moved forward with our development phase. 

Product development 

The product development stage is where the magic happens. Once we’d developed a comprehensive roadmap and thoroughly planned, documented, and vetted our approved amends, we got to work implementing the changes to the Forks Meal Planner that would improve their user registration, conversion, and retention. 

Our first task was to improve the platform itself through integrations intended to boost the user experience. We added payment platforms to make the checkout process simpler for the users. We also integrated the Forks Meal Planner with Amazon Fresh, allowing users to seamlessly shop for the ingredients the meal planner application suggested to them. Finally, we are adding comprehensive filters to the platform that can improve the users’ ability to personalize their results (eg: filtering out recipes that include specific allergens or including recipes that kids can help the user cook). 

We also addressed the issue of the promotional campaign complexity. Forks Over Knives launches around four promotions per year, all of which are essential for drawing in new users. We made these launches both faster and less stressful for the Forks Over Knives team by improving the notifications process and the way in which users are filtered – ensuring each campaign is able to be properly personalized and targeted. 

As we worked on the Forks Over Knives project, we’ve dedicated ourselves to continuously work on the Forks Meal Plan platform with professional suggestions and tailored advice designed to help our client improve their digital product offering. This included implementing a migration from a lesser-supported technology to a more versatile and robust framework. 

Our work with Forks Over Knives has been dynamic, changing course as the scope of the project and our involvement shifted over time. This has resulted in a solid relationship being built between Forks Over Knives and Uruit.

RESULTS

Building new ways to deliver a great user experience

Going forward, Uruit is dedicated to helping Forks Over Knives continue to expand and develop their Forks Meal Planner platform for the benefit of their users. We’ll be providing ongoing support and advice on how to improve their users’ experience into the future. 

The Forks Meal Planner project was such a success that Forks Over Knives have invited us to work with them again on another project going forward. As an umbrella brand with a lot of digital projects, we jumped at the chance to help Forks Over Knives expand its offering and draw more customers to its base. 

The new project involves creating a coaching platform that will attend to users’ specific needs and questions as they transition to a plant-based lifestyle. So far, we’ve undertaken market validation and user analysis to ensure this new platform would be viable. As this involved research into their existing userbase, the information gleaned has already proven beneficial to Forks Over Knives as they strive to better understand their customer base. 

We look forward to working with Forks Over Knives on this new project as well as helping them maintain the Forks Meal Planner into the future.