Background: UX/UI Internship, 8 weeks
Team: Adam Huth, Jezell Lee
Role: Mobile UX/UI Design, User Research
Tools: Sketch, Adobe Suite, Principle
We make eating easy.
Let’s Eat! is 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, from a consumer's lens, 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.
1) Help college students eat inexpensively
2) Help college students seamlessly order food with friends
Help restaurants receive more profitable orders
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. This survey was meant to validate our consumer hypotheses by asking users how they felt about various value propositions. We also wanted to better understand the typical user’s group ordering experience. 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
Given this data our two consumer hypotheses, the desires to eat inexpensively and conveniently in a group, were validated. We found that our user sample felt more strongly about receiving discounts, but we did still find convenience to be incredibly important to them.
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 in comparison to individual ordering on the app.
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
Our user is accustomed to individual mobile ordering on competitor apps, so it will be a transition for them to use group mobile ordering on the Let's Eat! app. Our goal is to make this transition as intuitive as possible, so the user doesn't feel like they need to put in extra work to reap the benefits (discounts) of a group order.
SOLUTION #1: PRESERVED INDIVIDUALITY
SPLITTING A CART
Users don't have to compromise their individuality while ordering
Splitting a cart is simple
Each user can add items they want to a group order and pay for themselves
Users are also allowed to leave their group whenever they want
SOLUTION #2: COMMUNICATION WITHIN APP
THE COMMAND CENTER
Users can efficiently place their order in the app without the need for external coordination
Minimum level of communication is maintained from the "command center" page:
Can see other people's order status and what they're ordering
Can urge friends to "hurry up" so group can send in order
Invite and remove group members via link or code
Group leader is denoted by a red badge w/ a star
SOLUTION #3: DISCOUNTS OFFERED UPFRONT
PRESENTING GROUP DEALS
According to our research, the biggest incentive for a user to place a group order is price
Users can see generous group discounts, immediately, when choosing a restaurant, to help inform their order
Green group icon indicates how many people are needed in the order to obtain the discount ("3+"=3 or more people)
In addition to discounts, the user can also view menus of different restaurants directly from this page, before choosing the restaurant for their group order
The bright red Let's Eat! color is incorporated throughout the app to signify our bold 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", on-brand feel, so we used a variety of pastels, such as the light blue to create diverse graphics that would complement the existing colors. Finally, a neutral gray palette was used for type and headings to create easy readability.
We chose different thicknesses of the Avenir font to use for type, as it is clean and rounded, which contributes to our brand by keeping text simple and lighthearted.
Avenir Next-Demi Bold
On our home page, keeping our unique content scalable was a challenge. To make the "trending categories" graphics scalable, we stuck with a palette of eight pastels for background colors, that are repeated throughout the section and also throughout the app. Each category graphic contains a simple illustration to represent a different type of cuisine. Additionally, we drew inspiration from our mood board to create the "San Jose State Staples" section which consists of cards that portray creative, restaurant-specific content, for promotional purposes. The cards help illustrate the cheerfulness of Let's Eat!, while staying within the bounds of our mood board theme for scalability.
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 weekly basis to get input on the plausibility of our work. This exposed me to the technical barriers one constantly faces, and must account for, in design.
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.