food app design

Food App Design: Best Practices

Design, Product
10 min
Sep 05, 2023

The demand for food applications has been growing rapidly since the outbreak of COVID-19. In the year 2022, the statistics showed that 2.5 billion people were using online food delivery platforms. And in 5 years, this number will reach 3.8 billion users.

While the market is welcoming every eager to start a food delivery business, only those who completely satisfy user needs, stay on top. And before users meet couriers and try a piece of the meal, they come through all the stages of delivering food. That is why creating a high-quality food app design is essential to be successful in the market.

Go on and learn more about the aspects that form a first-rate UI/UX design for food apps and get inspiration from the examples of the best-on-the-market services.

Why UI/UX Design is of High Importance for Food Delivery Apps?

Imagine being hungry and wishing to treat yourself to delicious dishes. You either decide to order prepared meals or just ingredients for making food at home. What would be your level of satisfaction when you enter the platform and the products are scattered in illogical places, the “Order” button is barely noticeable among other functions, and the photos are rather trying to convince you to run away from this service faster? No matter how great your food is, until people come to the final stage, they also notice what your application is and whether it is easy to use. Here is why food delivery apps should be properly designed.

  • Good design attracts more users. Consumers choose functionality and easiness when it comes to the food delivery industry. The more trouble-free it is to order food and receive it in time, the more customers your application will gather.
  • Well-built food app UI/UX makes customers loyal. If users had a seamless experience with utilizing the application, they could easily get the needed information, and everything was simple yet comprehensive — they will come to your platform again. In the fast-living world, a few clicks might be such time-saving.
  • The easy-to-use application helps to stand out from the competitors. Since there are countless services that offer food delivery, gaining popularity becomes a challenge. But with the right UX for food app design, it will be easier to gain trust and be recognizable.

What Are the Design Components of a Food App?

The design of a food delivery app consists of various components. In general, it should serve the following features:

Food App Design Components

  1. Search. This is the most crucial function of every food app. Depending on how easy it is to locate meals and products on the platform, purchases will be made. Customers have to find what they are looking for fast. Thus, in the design part, everything should be clear and concise. Designers actively use the advantages of white space that not only creates a clean image but displays the information in the most understandable way.
  2. Order tracking. People use food applications because they are running out of time for cooking. Thus, incorporating a GPS card with a courier moving to your destination is a must.
  3. Dynamic lists. Not every restaurant is available to take orders 24/7. The same goes for the food: sometimes some of them can not be served at the moment. Thus, users have to easily find that information which is possible to accomplish with well-designed dynamic lists.
  4. Ratings and reviews. No customer will deny the opportunity to what other clients think about the restaurant or a grocery store. And instead of posting the pure text of testimonials, with the interactive widgets, the rating section will look much more attractive.

Why User Research Is Essential in Building a Food App UI/UX?

The first stage of the designing process for a food ordering app always starts with user research. You might have your own vision of the design, however, investigating what your users need will lead you towards the right decisions. User research also helps For instance, you might think that the menu lists are of the most interest to customers. However, after going through the user interviews, you will find out that food tracking is what users care about more. Accordingly, your focus will shift to making an advanced design for order tracking.

Designers can use prototyping for gathering users’ feedback and deciding what to improve. Whether you build low-fidelity or high-fidelity drafts, inviting real people to test them will give you valuable insights on how to form your design.

What Is the Role of Emotions: Color and Typography in Food Apps Design?

Designing for emotions has become a recent trend in UI/UX design. The research showed that customers for which the platform evoked positive emotions were more predisposed to place an order. While those who experienced neutral or zero emotional connection were often leaving the site. The feelings users have toward the product can make them memorize the service. In the food app design, color is the first aspect with which you can elicit emotions. Have you ever wondered why many food delivery apps like Yelp or UrbanSpoon are designed in red color? This is because the red color scheme can increase a hunger feeling while calm colors on the contrary lead to calmness.

Along with the visuality, food applications contain a lot of information. To set the right focus, the typography should be well-planned. For example, for the main text and headings, food platforms use Clarkson or Bujole fonts. They are modern and catchy. For the secondary text, such fonts as Cuciniere or Baskerville can be a great fit. The key point in typography is that the information should be easy to read so that users don’t waste time when they are hungry.

How to Use Images and Videos for an Attractive Food App Design?

Making the visual connection through professional images on food apps can generate 30% more sales. And this is obvious. When you are in the ordering process, the first criterion of the choice always falls toward how the final result will look like. People first notice the image and then the ingredients or nutritional value. Thus, making a photo-supported menu will make your app more engaging.

The secret of making professional photos is in the fact that they should represent how indeed the food looks like. No doubt designers can spend hours retouching every single detail of the image but when customers get a cardboard container and the food inside is not that perfect, it creates disconnection with the service.

Along with static images, videos also engage the customers. And especially when it comes to the food industry, people want to know how their meals are being prepared, what ingredients are used, or what is going on behind the scene. In the food app design, video elements can create a strong connection between your brand and customers and make your service more memorable.

What Are the Recent Tendencies to Include in the Food App UI/UX Design?

The recent trends in food application design are dictating a way of standing out among others. The following are the modern practices in food app UI that are focused on creativity and innovation.

  • Brutalism. One of the outstanding principles in modern user interface design is brutalism. To implement this practice, you will have to play with contrasting colors, overlapping lines, large titles, and extraordinary fonts. The main concept here is to add brutal elements in moderation.
  • 3D. 3D illustrations and elements are discovering their potential in the food delivery industry as well. In the food app, 3D design can be achieved by adding 3D icons or building the whole app in a three-dimensional image. For example, you can make 3D food items for the section: a hamburger for fast food meals, broccoli for vegetarian dishes, and a Coca-Cola bottle for beverages.
  • UI food cards. Very popular nowadays are also food cards: these are cards on which there are different elements that refer to one subject. For example, you can create food cards for every meal. The users will be able to see on the card the ingredients, nutritional value, price, and other details.

In the UX food app, the new practices are solving many users’ pains. Here they are:

UX food app: new practices

  • Increased loading speed. For a user of a food app, the speed of the page loading is crucial. Thus, modern UX trends offer page speed prioritization. To implement it into the design, you have to first run your app through the speed analyzing services and then improve it, for instance, by compressing visual elements that interfere with the loading time.
  • Accessibility. In 2023, it is not a privilege to adjust the application so that every person could use it. On the food ordering platform, you can increase accessibility by adding speech recognition tools, smart contrast, bug cursor, light spacing, virtual assistant, and so on.
  • Compatibility with different devices. Someone might be ordering dinner from a mobile phone while being in the underground, and someone might be purchasing lunch from a desktop being at the office. The application should be available in both formats with the same functionality tailored to every platform.

How to Create a Visually Attractive and Functional Food App UI/UX?

When building a design for the food order application, try to adhere to the following principles.

food app UI/UX principles

The User Interface Should Be Clear and Concise

While it is important to provide customers with a lot of details regarding the food, ratings, and other things, it is also essential to make them organized in a concise manner. Posting too much information or adding an animation on every corner might be overwhelming and interfere with the ordering process.

The Images and Videos Should Be of the High Quality

Once you decide to implement images and videos into your design, you have to take care of the quality of this material. However, this doesn’t mean that every image should be an unrealistic representation of the meals or products. While being professionally shot and edited, they have to demonstrate a real picture of what customers will get.

Every User Should Get a Personalized Experience

Even in the food industry, customers expect to be treated with personal attention. And once you achieve that in your platform, your users will feel differently, as they are appreciated and heard. Personalization in food apps refers to offering selected meal choices based on users’ preferences, sending customized letters or receipts, and making every ordering process tailored to the customers’ needs.

The Ordering Procedure Should be Quick and Easy

Nothing can make a user angry more than a food app that is not intuitive and complicated. Especially in this industry, customers should not be waiting. Thus, your task is to create an easy-to-follow ordering process with the tracking option and various payment methods available.

There Should Always Be a Customer Support Team

And even better a live customer support team. Let’s suppose a client got the wrong order. This is a customer’s fault but the time is clicking. For that matter, the user should always be able to reach out to someone from your side to resolve the issue. The support team should also be quick and responsive as based on the resolution, the customers will form their impression of the service.

What Are the Real Examples of Well-Designed Food Apps?

Let’s see the examples of the leading food application and how they built their UI/UX design.

Uber Eats

The food application from Uber Eats has revolutionized the food ordering industry. The main characteristic with which it is catching customers is the simplicity and intuitiveness of the design. Uber Eats homepage meets users with the restaurant choices and menu. It makes the customer experience personalized as the app displays the nearby restaurants. And also, clients of Uber Eats can customize their orders by adding or removing some ingredients from the meals.

What brings this app popularity is the real-time order tracking and estimated time for delivery. With these features, customers see a transparent picture of when to expect an order and can plan their time as well.


Another example of a sophisticated food app design is the DoorDash application. Its designers definitely studied the color connection with people’s emotions and that is why the platform is in red. On DoorDash, you can scroll and navigate but the searching process can be accelerated with the sections like “Dinner” or “Appetizers” that divide meals into categories.

The feature that makes DoorDash users’ experience great is the comprehensive support via chat, phone, and FAQ page. This makes customers feel secure that even if something is wrong they can get help.


Grubhub food app is designed in a minimalistic manner, however, it offers a lot to its customers. This platform allows users to see a comprehensive list of information about the restaurant, its location, and its rating. Grubhub also offers an advanced filtering feature that can sort tons of offers by cuisine, delivery time, price, and rating.

If you want to reorder the food, you can easily go to your previous orders as they are saved in your account and spend 30 seconds placing a new order. A combination of red and white color gives more attention to the vibrant images of the food and evokes emotions.

Final Words

The design of the food app defines its success. In the competitive market, it is no longer enough to provide exquisite dishes and products. The way how customers get them is way more important.

Designing a food ordering app covers various aspects. The first one is the user research that will shape your vision of how your platform should look like. Among other aspects, there is investigating the color and typography, adding images and videos, and incorporating the recent tendencies for food app design.

But the main rule of the successful food application design is in its functionality and intuitiveness. The quicker and easier users order food, the happier they are.

by Ivan Klyzhenko
UX Startup Advisor, Uitop


Why focus on UI/UX design in food app development?

Even if your application has various cutting-edge features, they won’t bring any value to users if they are not properly designed. A good UI/UX design turns an app into a functional and easy-to-use instrument in the hands of the customers. Thus, they become satisfied, attract more clients, and stay loyal to your brand.

What is the first step in the design process?

Before starting to design, it is essential to make user research. Your team might have one vision of the app, but in reality, users might need something else. Thus, dedicating type to interviewing customers, doing prototypes, and gathering results will save you in the long run as you will not have to redesign the app.

What aspects are crucial in the food app design?

The main rule of a good design is that it has to create an emotional connection. When users feel positive about your brand, they will remember it. To elicit emotions, designers study color schemes and typography. These elements are responsible for creating the first impression. Also, a concise manner of providing information is valuable for customers so they don’t have to spend time clarifying the content.

What are the trends in food ordering app UI/UX design?

While design should help users to operate the application more comfortably, the recent trends spicy things up and add a note of extraordinary. In UI, modern practices are connected with brutalism, playing with fonts, 3D illustrations, and animations. In UX, the trends dictate increasing the speed loading time, improving accessibility, and compatibility with different devices.

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