Design, UI, UX, Inspiration

The Pocket Guide to a Successful Food App Design

Seriving Practical Tips and Many Delicious Examples

Sustaining a business in 2023 requires allowing people to use your services and order your products online. This new shift to online shopping affects all industries, including the food industry. People ordering food, beverages, and even groceries from their favorite restaurants, coffee shops, and grocery stores, has become the new norm. However, along with the demand for online delivery options, comes the heated competition amongst food apps making food-ordering and grocery companies turn to experienced UI/UX design experts to craft attractive and functional applications that will win loyal customers. This is why, in this blog post, we’ll have a look at some practical food app design practices as well as some great food app design concepts by expert UI/UX designers from all over the web.

The Importance of Design Principles

Implementing the design principles can significantly enhance the user experience of your food app and increase customer satisfaction, and ultimately, customer loyalty. In general, adhering to design principles will:

  • Provide users with a seamless user experience, making searching for their preferred items and ordering them easy and with fewer clicks possible.
  • Help you establish a brand identity that will make your services memorable and create a sense of trust and reliability between your brand and your customers.
  • Make the design process much easier which will save designers time and will help you focus on delivering high-quality products.

So let’s take a look at some of the design principles by relating them to practical food app design tips you can implement.

Foodei by Ali Husni


Deliver an Intuitive Ordering Process

Users will want to order food quickly and easily, especially when they’re hungry. Make sure they need go through as few steps as possible in order to find the food they want and order it.

Coffee House UX case study by Zahra Ali Product Screen Anatomy

Navigation Menu

Good mobile navigation is key for a great user experience, especially on limited mobile screens. To help your users navigate through your app or website, make it straightforward with minimum options that include only the priority tasks for the user, not everything that you have on your app or website. Also, consider making it sticky and accessible at all times.

Online Food-App by batoul boudra


The search bar is one of the most important elements of your food app design as it allows users to communicate with it in the form of searching keywords and receiving accurate and useful information in return.

Allow users quick access to your search by making it part of the Navigation since this is the first place they’ll look for it.

Mobile App Food Recipe Application by Fadli Iman

Call to Action

Clear calls to action are a crucial part of the ordering process. They should be logical and visible as well as stand out from the overall screen design.

Food Ordering App by Sumit Choudhary

When you design your calls to action, make sure they are short and clear and help users quickly choose an item and find the checkout process.

Simple Food Delivery App Concept by Giorgi


Make a Great First Impression

People tend to randomly download food apps and try the out to see which one is a good fit. If a user installs your app and keeps using it, this means your UX game is strong. Take the opportunity to benefit from the power of efficient UX design and make a great first impression to compel users to stick to your app. After all, when you impress users with great user experience, why would they even want to try another food app?

Tacoda Mobile app design by Mufidul

You can also take advantage of using a splash screen. It will be the first thing your users see while the app is ready to run. During that time, it will build brand awareness and perception.

Kaiten App UI Design by tubik UX


Create User-First Design

User flows focus on the user and their behaviors rather than the most recent design trends. Because it is data-driven rather than preference-driven, make sure to give your potential users the best experience possible where functionality beats flashy visuals.

Coffee House UX case study by Zahra Ali User Flow

When creating the user flow, here’s where to start:

  • What happens when the user opens the app?
  • How does the feed behave when users are scrolling?
  • How will the user find the items they are interested in?
  • What is the experience when users add that item to their cart and navigate to the cart page?
  • How do users navigate to the checkout page?
  • What it will look like typing the address and payment information?
  • Will there be a confirmation page?
  • What will the route tracking and delivery time look like?

Coffee House UX case study by Zahra Ali High Fidelity Prototypes

The easiest way to create the best user flow for your app is to find the answers to these questions:

  • What does the user wish to accomplish on your app?
  • Is there anything that will make users feel confident about keeping on using your app? What would that be?
  • Is there anything that could prevent users from accomplishing their goals on your app?
  • What does the user need to get things done as smoothly as possible?

Coffee House UX case study by Zahra Ali User Journey


Provide Clear Information

Nothing makes users exit an app quicker like obfuscated information about prices, delivery options, and vague product descriptions. Users need to be confident that all the info they receive is accurate, which includes all the ingredients, nutrition value, and allergens.

Coffee House application Product Options by Sonya Masukevich

It’s also important for users to know the exact price of the items they will order as well as all possible fees and delivery charges. To prevent your users from having a bad experience, make sure you include the delivery area and minimum order requirements and explain all your delivery options.


Provide Users with Payment Options

This doesn’t refer just to the food delivery technology, but also to the online shopping experience as a whole. Providing customers with a good range of mobile payments and online payment systems, as well as traditional methods such as credit and debit cards will make ordering food much more convenient for users. Having this level of flexibility will not only reduce the risk of abandoned cards but ultimately increase user satisfaction and loyalty.

Recipe App Checkout & Payment Screen by Illiyin Studio


Personalize User Experience

Personalization helps because it humanizes a brand and shows it understands its users. It’s a good practice to invest time in tracking and predicting user patterns to offer implicit personalization in the form of recommendations based on your users’ patterns, such as past orders and preferences.

Food delivery – Mobile app by Anastasia Golovko

This will not only help users discover new food items they wouldn’t normally consider but will also make the process more enjoyable for them and make them feel valued and appreciated.


Go Minimalistic

Capturing the user’s attention with design doesn’t mean striking with amazing visuals and animations. Although your choice of fonts, color scheme, icons, transition effects, and other graphic elements all contribute to the experience, making your app comfortable to use is half the work. Especially when it comes to food apps where the priority is its functionality, using clear lines and lots of white space will decrease the cognitive load for your users and make it easier for them to browse and order items.

Sushi App Concept by Yoğa Pratama

Of course, keeping your app design clean, doesn’t mean keeping the content to a minimum. It just means the content needs to be well-structured and optimized for an engaging user experience. The key to minimalism is to keep things as simple as possible and avoid using too many visual elements, especially ones that suit no purpose.

Healthy Food App by Kristina Taskaeva

Minimalism is part of the 10 Golden UI Design Principles and includes simplicity, functionality, visual hierarchy, proportions, simple typefaces, a limited color scheme, and the use of white space.


Use Color Theory to Make Users Hungry

Colors have the power to evoke different emotions, responses, and even physical reactions. We can talk more in-depth about specific colors and their general psychology, meaning, and usage for websites and products, however, for food apps, we’ll stick to colors that make us think of food.

ReserveEase Restaurant Reservation App by Vladyslava Orlon UI Kit

Naturally, the colors that we associate with food are the ones most food we see has.

Red is easily the emotional and passionate color that fast food chains usually combine with yellow and orange.

Pink is a calming color associated with love, kindness, and femininity. In the food industry, however, is often used to give people an appetite for sweets.

Bunny Baker Food Delivery UI App Concept by Duc Anh Phuong Linh and Minh Trang Payment Checkout Screens

Green in combination with other earthy tones, works well for eco-friendly, natural, organic, and healthy food brands.

Coffee House UX case study by Zahra Ali

Coffee Order App by Yi Li

Yellow and orange are colors that make people feel hungry. While Yellow stimulates the logical side of the brain and mental activity, orange vitalizes, inspires, and stimulates appetite and social conversation.

Sushi Food App by Hasnur Alam Ujjol

Blue, on the other hand, has the opposite effect of red, yellow, and orange. Since very little few natural foods grow with that color, we subconsciously lose appetite when we see the color blue. This is why most weight loss apps use blue color schemes.


Make the Onboarding Process Easy

Your app would benefit a lot from a simple and easy onboarding process. Users want to order and get their food delivered as soon as possible, so they will expect a quick signup and login process.

Your onboard screen should do the following:

  • Make users aware of the benefits of your food app.
  • Encourage users to register with login details.
  • Gather that info for personalized content.

and most importantly:

  • Ask only for the information you really need.

According to a survey by Pew Research Center, 60% of people said they decided not to install an app after finding out how much personal information it would use. In the meantime, another 43 percent said they have previously uninstalled apps for that same reason.

With this in mind, require just the email address for registration so users can enter and explore the app. Give them the option to add their physical address and phone number later in the process, or simply include location tracking.

In the meantime, you could also check out 50 login design examples that mix creativity with efficiency to bring users convenient UX and security.

See Eat by Fadhilah Rizky


Include Location Tracking

Whether you own a delivery service, a restaurant, a coffee shop, or a grocery store, location tracking is a UX necessity. It’s also important to assess the approximate delivery time, which reflects on the delivery charge calculation.

Food Delivery App Concept by Conceptzilla

Mobile app by Anastasia Golovko

Bunny Baker Food Delivery UI App Concept by Duc Anh Phuong Linh and Minh Trang Order and Shipping


Make Searching and Finding Iteams As Easy as Possible

One of the most important aspects of a food app is its search functionality. Users will want to find their items and order them as soon as possible. If they can’t find what they’re looking for, they’ll move on to another app.

Sweets Ordering App by Illona Vallerievna

On one hand, make your inventory/ menu easily accessible and organized by categories.

Coffee Delivery App Design by Happy Tri Milliarta

On the other, use a predictive search that displays the necessary info: thumbnail, title, grams, quantity, price, and an Add button. Especially for grocery store apps, a good third of users will add the items straight from the search bar.


Serve Users with Great UI/UX to Give Them an Appetite

When working on a project to create a food app design, it’s crucial to conduct UX research. Without conducting user research, we might consider our own eating habits while designing. However, our habits might not be similar to a big portion of users.

Donut Mobile Food iOS App by Tanuj agarwal

Nowadays, a hungry customer can nearly always order anything online, from cereal from the grocery store to dinner from a top-rated restaurant. Given the fierce competition in the online meal ordering market, designers should concentrate on presenting compelling stories, offering individualized experiences, and producing simple, straightforward, and intuitive designs that will pique users’ interests.

Using the design principles, you can improve your food app design by implementing:

  • Intuitive ordering process
  • Excellent first impression
  • Accurate info
  • Payment options
  • Personalized user experience
  • Clean and functional design
  • The right colors
  • Convenient onboarding process
  • Location tracking
  • Predictive search

Feeling motivated and inspired to roll up your sleeves? Awesome. In case you need a web development partner for your current and future projects, here at htmlBurger, we are more than glad to discuss your needs. Wanna talk?


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