top of page

Maru Sushi

I made an app for Detroit's sushi restaurant, Maru, to deliver meals directly to customers.

View Figma Prototype


Project Overview

The Product:
Detroit sushi restaurant needs an app for delivery orders.

Project Duration:

January - March 2022

The Problem:
During the pandemic, people are ordering delivery more often. This app helps fill that need by delivering on demand.

The Goal:
The objective of this project is to have sushi
delivered on demand, no matter where.

My Role:
Lead UX designer and UX researcher.


User research, Wireframing, Design, Prototyping

User Research


I used an in person moderated usability testing with 5 users in Detroit. The participants shed light on areas for improvement in the user journey and usability of the app.

User Pain Points

Inexperienced sushi consumers wanted photos of the food to improve decisions.Users wanted a way to log into the app, so that previous orders and card info are saved. After a user finishes ordering, there was no way to go back and place another order.Users wanted an in-app way to solve issues with orders, without having to call the restaurant.

Maru 2.jpg


Problem Statement
Jacky is a lawyer who needs a quick and easy way to get dinner because she has no time nor energy to cook. If she can give herself one small joy in life, it's take-out. The stressful nature of the job makes it difficult to deal with meals and the subsequent clean up. Ordering meals is her solution to that problem, and an app to her favorite sushi restaurant in Detroit would make that easier.

Persona Details

Age: 28

Education Level: Doctoral

Hometown: El Paso, Texas

Family: 1 dog

Occupation: Lawyer

Personal Quote:

"Anytime I get a grey hair, I imagine that one of my stem cells was like, 'The working conditions are awful & I'm done.' I respect that."



  • Needs an easy way to obtain meals while keeping up with the demands of the busy work day, that often extends past 8 hours.

  • She loves sushi, and Maru is her not-so-guilty pleasure.


  • ADHD gives her issues with executive dysfunction, so her ideal app would involve as few steps as possible.

  • DoorDash drivers keep eating her orders.

User Journey Map



  • Customer is hungry

  • Too busy + tired to cook

  • No time to pickup order


  • "What to order?"

  • "Should I get my usual?"

  • "Try something new?"


  • Tired from the work day

  • Craves comfort food

  • Rather someone else cook 



  • Searches menu

  • Views recommendations

  • Considers today’s specials


  • Tempted by sushi photos

  • Considers their keto diet

  • Fantasizes about meal


  • Overwhelmed by options

  • Decision fatigue takes hold

  • Goes with usual order



  • Selects usual order in app

  • Reviews order for errors

  • Checkout w/ PayPal


  • Anticipates meal

  • Thinks of work they can catch up on while waiting


  • Relieved dinner is handled

  • Excited for comfort food

  • Feels good about efficiency



  • Checks progress of order

  • Catches up on work

  • Cyber loafs on TikTok


  • “Can the driver find me?”

  • Vigilant for delivery

  • Wonders about traffic


  • Anxious about if they   accidentally miss the driver

  • Hungry + stressed



  • Enjoys comfort food

  • Leaves a tip for driver

  • Cleans up after meal


  • Food was delicious

  • Enjoying after taste

  • Service was fantastic


  • Grateful for convenience

  • Dopamine is boosted

  • Post-food coma ensues

wireframe copy.jpg

Paper Wireframes

Drawing out a physical rough draft ahead of time affords me time to think. It also helps me de-risk certain factors that would have been time consuming to alter had I went straight into developing the high fidelity prototype. 

I studied other food delivery apps to help me figure out what to include in my own app. After doing so, I realized the importance for users to have the ability to create an account to reorder their favorite meals, get help on previous orders that require customer support, track their orders, and customize their preferences.

Digital Wireframes

As the design proceeded to digital, I ensured that my designs were based on the feedback from my research. I created a digital version of the wireframes in Figma and proceeded to test it with users.

The lo-fi prototype depicts an early version of the app.

wireframe2 copy.jpg

Usability Study

I recruited participants in Detroit to an in person moderated usability test for the lo-fi prototype. I asked users to think out loud so that I can understand their thought process. This way, I was able to identify problems early on.

The following is what I looked out for while observing users:

  • How long does it take for users to order their meals?

  • Are there any parts where the users are getting stuck?

  • Is the payment process easy and intuitive for the customer?


  • Requested ability to save favorite meals

  • Further personalize preferences

  • Happy with ability to sort menu

  • Ability to confirm successful completion of task

Hi-Fi Prototype

Taking into account the usability issues in the lo-fi prototype, I then created the 1st version of the hi-fi prototype. Once that was completed, I did a second round of usability testing.



Keeping in mind the needs of those with different abilities and needs, you'll end up finding solutions that help a wide range of the diverse human population.

  • To overcome language barriers, I made the app more focused on photos and be less text heavy. This also helps users who rarely eat sushi decide what they want.

  • I used high contrast in my design to help the colorblind.

  • For those with executive dysfunction, I made the ordering process involve as few steps as possible. There's also a way to save favorite orders and access previous orders to facilitate future sessions and make for a faster checkout.


Users found it easy and straightforward to place orders. Both experienced and novice sushi enthusiasts found the menu easy to browse, since it includes photos of the food to help users better understand what they’re ordering.

What I learned:

  • How to conduct a usability study

  • How to build an app from start to finish

  • How to empathize with users

  • How to plan a study

bottom of page