Introduction

Team:  Ken Chew, Matthew Lee, Alice Pang, Scott Wun, Leon Zhang, Luke Zhang

Duration: 10 weeks

Role: UI/UX Designer

Context: TouchCart is a class project from Product Management Essentials (IEOR 186). Over the course of a semester, my team of 6 learned and applied agile product management skills to our product. Save time in the grocery store with TouchCart’s search and scan functions, so you can find your groceries faster and pre-scan your groceries before you checkout.

Out of 13 teams, my team of 6 won People’s Choice Award during a final presentation to a panel of 4 Product Management judges from Chegg.

Goal: Design a mobile app that is desirable, feasible, and viable.

Defining the Problem

Grocery store visits on average take a long time, from finding groceries to waiting in line at checkout. Recent innovations take away from in-store shopping and advocate delivery. As supermarkets lose customer relationships to third party delivery services, how might we make the grocery shopping experience more convenient and more enjoyable?

We found two ways to address this:

  1. Provide shoppers a tool to improve their experience
  2. Provide supermarkets a tool to enable shoppers to have a better experience

Research

Quantitative

User Research

Not Chanaya. Photo by Tracey Taylor.

Interview with Chanaya
Safeway Store Manager on College Avenue

  • There are two types of Customers:
  1. People who care about friendliness
  2. People who care about time
  • Introducing tools to improve labor efficiency may cut jobs
  • Decreasing time in-store may mean less compulsive purchases and revenue

Not Steven. Photo by Getty Images.

Interview with Steven
Mid-20s Working Professional
Bi-weekly shopper

  • Often goes to the same grocery store, knows general layout
  • Time conscious, most time spent in checkout line

Secondary Research

Self Checkout

  • Saves labor by passing work to consumers
  • Limited by shopper’s speed, willingness, and competency

Instacart

  • Delivery takes care off all the shopping for you
  • In-store experience removed; no picking best fruit

Product Opportunity Assessment

As part of the course, we consolidated all our research into a 9-page Product Opportunity Assessment.

Here are a few important points:

  • Our minimal viable product has only two features, the scanning and the search features.
  • Reused smartphones are affordable at around $25 each (from Sprint)
  • Though customers use the app, the product is targeted at supermarkets, who would purchase TouchCart pre-installed on reused smartphones on a subscription model. This is because data on every shops’ layout and inventory within a location would need to be stored within the app, and it is not feasible for a customer to store that much data on their personal smartphones.

Ideation

Once we finished brainstorming, I approached the chalkboard and began to work out the core experience flow with basic wireframing from search to checkout.

The greatest challenge we faced was considering the priority of what the first landing screen should look like and how navigation would tie into that.

Some Design Decisions

What does onboarding look like? How do we accommodate for first and returning users?

Upon launch, onboarding would include a prompt for the user to opt-in or out of onboarding pop-up notifications. This will happen each time until a user decides to opt-out. However, to ensure help is present at each screen, assistance at the top navigation bar will be present.

What should we prioritize the first screen be? 

Priority goes to the main functions of the app, to search for groceries and to scan. In this fashion, the landing screen should be as simple as possible to convey the purpose of the app clearly. However, a tab bar along the bottom will still be needed to ensure complete navigation from any point within the app so there are no dead ends or confusion in the user experience flow.

Low-Fidelity Prototyping

High-Fidelity Prototyping

Experience Flow

Screens

Reflection

One major shortcoming: our team had an idea of what we wanted to work on before beginning the project, a mobile app. This constrained the Ideation process to solely what the app would look like and do, rather than exploring other potential ideas to solve the same issue. Although I do think I designed a potentially successful solution, I also don’t ignore the idea that better solutions potentially exist.

Iteration. Iteration allowed me to constantly improve and build towards a final product, rather than making the final product from scratch. In short, the human-centered design process works because you constantly test, learn, and improve. Even starting with the earliest sketches of the user experience, several iterations were done to make the process as simple and intuitive as possible.

Nothing beats talking to users. I like to think I know a lot of things, but bringing user perspective adds so much value to a product and reveals problems I overlooked. Human-centered design is all about designing for the needs of the user. Engaging and empathizing with users make everyone happy; it not only makes your product successful but it also addresses real needs.

Design is all about addressing real needs; you want to make antidotes, not vitamins. As a designer, desirability is one of my priorities when thinking about a Product Manager’s trinity of desirability, feasibility, and viability.