Uber Eats: Support Small Local Restaurants

Role: Sole UI/UX Designer & Researcher

Tools: Figma, Principle

Designing the Uber Eats app in order to encourage users to buy from small local restaurants during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Disclaimer: I do not work for Uber Eats. This was a personal project I decided to pursue in order to explore how to help small businesses.

How might we design the Uber Eats app to encourage users to support local restaurants during the COVID-19 pandemic?


Small Local Restaurants are struggling due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

During the pandemic, I have been trying to support small local restaurants by only ordering food from them. As I was using Uber Eats, I found myself having trouble learning more about local restaurants. It made me think - what about those who are not as aware of the struggles of small businesses? There may be individuals using food delivery apps, not aware of the importance of ordering from small restaurants. This problem inspired me to create a design that would highlight small local restaurants and their stories.


The impact on businesses

As stay-at-home orders prevent people from eating in at restaurants, many small local restaurants face an economic struggle. Small restaurants are dependent on business in order to survive, so they are experiencing a hard hit due to the pandemic.


I wanted to learn more about people what people thought of supporting small local businesses and how they interact with the Uber Eats app, so I conducted interviews. I listed below the main takeaways from the interviews.



Special deals/discounts grab attention


Learning more about the story of small restaurants would make users more empathetic towards the businesses


Participants are somewhat aware of the struggles of small local restaurants

The Original Design


The Home Screen

On the original design, users could only access a page of local restaurants by clicking the banner at the top.


One participant could not find the option to buy from local restaurants at all.

Their first instinct was to look at the tabs at the top of the screen.


Participants did not like the sliding banner because it made it hard to focus on one banner.

This brought attention away from supporting local restaurants.


Focus is on $0 Delivery fee.

Instead of supporting local spots.


Local Restaurants Screen

On the top of the page of local restaurants, Uber Eats included text to emphasize how local restaurants need business and to explain the $0 delivery fee.


Top paragraphs are a lot of plain text and unappealing.

Participants did not read the information.


There is no sort and filter for local restaurants.

A participant mentioned that they would like to filter the restaurants so that the results would cater more to what they want.


There is a lack of multiple access points to the local restaurants page.

The only access point for the page is through the sliding banner.

Design Goals

Before moving on to designing new screens, I established design goals based on the interviews I conducted and my analysis of the app's design.


Allow users to learn more about small local restaurants.



Create empathy for small local restaurants.



Make it easy and simple to buy from local spots.


The Final Design


The Home Screen



Local Restaurants Screen



Single Restaurant Screen


Opening a single restaurant page.


The Restaurant's Story



Buy a Meal for a Healthcare Worker


Buying a meal for a healthcare worker.


The Search Page



This was a project I decided to go back to and redo using what I learned from Design Collective(a fellowship where you receive mentorship while working on a personal project). It was an interesting experience to be able to look back on my old design work. I was able to reflect on how much I have improved as a designer and be able to apply my new skills to an old project. The mentorship from Design Collective taught me how to redesign my screens so that they strictly followed Uber Eats' design system, make important design decisions that contributed to my goals, and create animations in order to showcase realistic interactions.

As for the next steps, I would like to be able to test out my designs with users in order to improve the user flow and gain feedback on the new concepts I introduced to the Uber Eats app. I would also like to be able to interview small restaurant owners in order to make sure that my designs address their needs and concerns.

Made with 💖 by Katherine Ngo.

katherinengo13@gmail.com  LinkedIn