Background: UX/UI Internship, 8 weeks
Team: Adam Huth, Jezell Lee
Role: Mobile UX/UI Design, User Research
Tools: Sketch, Adobe Suite
We make eating easy.
Let’s Eat!: an app where college students can place group orders at restaurants, ahead of time, at discounted rates
After I joined Let’s Eat!, my team was tasked with designing a MVP that would be launched Fall 2019, at San Jose State University. Designing the app’s group ordering process is the focus of this case study and was one of a few different sprints that I tackled during my internship.
We have recognized:
The desire for college students to eat inexpensively and conveniently with friends
The desire for restaurants to obtain larger orders from their customers
Therefore, Let’s Eat! sees benefit in providing college students with a discounted social experience and restaurants with more profitable mobile orders, through this group ordering model.
Help college students seamlessly order food in groups
note: group ordering is a relatively unfamiliar feature to the mobile food ordering market
In order to get data inexpensively and quickly, we produced an online survey through Typeform to better understand the typical user’s group ordering experience. This survey was also meant to validate past in-depth research the Let’s Eat! team had conducted. We got 91 responses from college aged students, our target audience.
Features that respondents said would be most useful if they were to place a mobile group order:
Other Statistics From Survey:
97% of respondents said they ate out w/ friends at least once a week, on average
61% of respondents said money prevented them from eating out with friends as much as they'd like
25% of respondents said discussing with friends what to order, before ordering with a group, was apart of their usual experience
1) Price is the most important factor for users when they eat out
2) Users in groups still want to be able to order and pay as they would individually
3) Some degree of communication, before ordering with a group, is important to the user experience
User: College Students (ages 18-22)
Name: Tristan P
Tristan is new to San Jose State University and hopes to explore good eats around campus as a freshman. He spends the majority of his free time with his dorm mates, and makes an effort to eat most of his meals with friends.
Name: Ellie M.
Ellie is a junior at San Jose, and has 3-4 spots she’ll generally go to when she eats out. She doesn’t mind eating alone, and will eat out with friends only if it’s convenient. Ellie saves money everywhere she can.
We saw the greatest differences between our two personas in the following areas of the app: communication + browsing
communicates with his group in-person, as he’s with his friends when placing his group order on Let’s Eat!
browses restaurants thoroughly, within the app, and chooses a spot to eat at based on menu items
communicates with friends solely through mobile when they place their group order on Let’s Eat!
her group doesn’t need to browse for restaurants as they are know the restaurants in the area pretty well
instead chooses restaurant to eat at based on discounts offered
After researching a multitude of food ordering apps, we came to understand that DoorDash was the only competitor that offered a relevant group ordering feature*. We conducted usability testing and found that DoorDash’s feature had poor user experience; the only real incentive to place a group order was discounted delivery fees.
No way to pay for your own item
Group creator has to pay
Singular way to join group is to be sent a link and be redirected to join group
Little internal app communication
*Postmates came out with a group ordering feature, in late August 2019, soon after we finished our sprint
users have individuality in the group ordering process
splitting a cart is simple: each user pays for any item they add to their group order
allowed to leave group whenever they want
COMMUNICATION WITHIN APP
Users can maintain a minimum level of communication with each other, within the app
allows them to effectively place their order without external communication
Features: invite/remove friends to group via link and code, urge friends to "hurry up" so group can send in order, see what other members are ordering/their order status
DISCOUNTS OFFERED UPFRONT
user encounters group discounts immediately on first two group ordering pages
data shows that discounts are the biggest incentive for users to make a purchase
Color Choice: We incorporated the bright red Let's Eat! color throughout the app to signify our branding. For discounts, we chose a bright green to draw in the user's eye. Additionally we wanted to differentiate content and provide a "fun" feel, so we used a variety of pastels, to create diverse content that would fit well with existing colors. Finally, we used neutral gray colors for type.
Avenir Next-Demi Bold
My internship unfortunately ended as my team was beginning to conduct usability tests on the developed group ordering process.
Overall, Let's Eat! taught me two major lessons in design:
1) The importance of collaborating with the frontend/backend teams: Since our whole team was relatively small and we had little time to develop the app, design had to meet with frontend/backend on a bi-weekly basis to get input on the plausibility of our work. This exposed me to some of the barriers one faces in design and how you have to always consider the bigger picture.
2) The importance of comprehensive user research: At Let's Eat!, user research set the basis for everything, as we were developing a new feature in mobile ordering: the group order. When in doubt, we'd always go back to the user experience and thorough insights we found in our research.