project

A digital application that allows suburban parents to quickly find items and reserve orders for pickup at a Twindow convenience store location. While the product’s development was in its infancy, the ask was to produce a research-driven design.

client
TOOLS
Deliverables
timeframe

Twindow

Sketch
Axure

Wireframes
Interactive Prototype

4 Weeks

phase 01. discovery

The Challenge

what it is

The new company’s proposed mobile application allows customers to create orders at any time, any place, and pick up at their convenience from any Twindow store location. They aim to offer an efficient solution for busy suburban families struggling to find time within their work and home life schedules. Twindow plans to offer products such as essential grocery items, over-the-counter medications, prepared meals, and meal kits. Their goal is to put customers first by reducing waiting time, removing minimum order requirements, and eliminating hidden service fees.

how it works
reserve order
scan QR code
order processed
grab n' go

Build order through the Twindow mobile application

Scan the auto-generated QR code at the Twindow store

Automated picker quickly assembles the order

Pick up order from the drive-through window and continue on

where we come in

Our team was tasked with building an intuitive mobile application that helps Twindow users quickly find items and reserve orders for pickup.

Jumping into research

UNDERSTANDING THE COMPETITION

We analyzed several competitors that offered similar services to identify strengths and weaknesses in their offerings.

walmart

Ubiquitous throughout the country, Walmart is a big box store with a large variety of inventory products that routinely provides cheap prices.

+
-

Curbside pickup at no cost

Pickup time restrictions
Minimum purchase amount

amazon go

Using advanced technology with no checkout required, Amazon Go is a “Just Walk Out Shopping” experience where shoppers never have to wait in line.

Higher product cost
Walk-in physical store

+
-

Quick check out process

postmates

A mobile application allowing users to request delivery from any merchant in their city.

+
-

Convenient delivery service

Delivery time restrictions
Delivery cost

Based on our analysis, Twindow sets itself apart from its direct and indirect competitors by offering decreased wait time, no minimum order requirements, and no necessary walk-ins. Additionally, our research into the competitors’ digital applications gave us inspiration for efficient product searching, saving, and order building opportunities.

understanding the user

To meet the needs of our potential users, we conducted interviews to understand their shopping/errand-running behaviors, goals, and frustrations.

10 mothers
live in suburbs
smartphone user
depends on car

phase 02. defining

Empathize and define

In order to make sense of the raw takeaways, we produced an affinity map that aimed to find connections and trends from our user interviews.

identifying the trends
01. planning

Most prospective users described themselves as planners in order to maintain a structured lifestyle for their families.

Prior to visiting the grocery store, they consistently created an itemized list at the beginning of the week and visited 2-3 stores as a part of their shopping routine. 

02. Time

All prospective users wanted to complete their weekly shopping trips as quickly as possible- hence their shopping lists.

All of those who shopped with children shared that their presence prolonged the shopping experience.

03. Delivery

Though convenient not to physically enter a store, many prospective users felt that getting groceries delivered was too costly.

Those who tried shopping apps like Instacart in hopes to save time felt like it wasn’t worth the effort it took to search for products.

04. unexpected trips

Prospective users ran to places like Walgreens or Target to purchase last-minute, forgotten, or emergency items left off their weekly grocery list.

They also communicated and coordinated with significant others to pick up on their way home from work.

Empathizing with our user

We created a persona that embodied the common behavior, goals, and frustration patterns from our user interviews.

Molly

Introducing Molly, a busy 31-year-old, full-time attorney commuting to the city from her hometown of Arlington Heights. A mother of two and married to her husband Matthew, her schedule is filled with family and professional responsibilities. 

Molly is dependent on her car for commuting to work and running weekly errands - including purchasing groceries. Every week, she creates a grocery list on her iPhone to reference while shopping. Despite her best planning efforts, there are times in which Molly or Matthew need to make an extra trip to the store for last-minute, forgotten, or emergency items. 

Demographics

Age: 31

Occupation: Attorney

Salary: $100K annually

Household: Married, 2 children

Residence: Arlington Heights

GOALS

Purchase weekly groceries as quickly as possible

Simply and efficiently purchase last-minute unexpected items 

Effectively communicate with her partner about last-minute purchases and pickup

FRUSTRATIONS

Grocery shopping with her children prolongs the experience

Forgotten or missed items that disrupt their schedule

Defining the problem

The working suburban family needs a digital tool that allows them to efficiently purchase and receive last-minute shopping items so that they can successfully balance a hectic work schedule while maintaining a family life.

defining the guidelines

Considering our research, we created principles to follow in order to guide our design decisions along the way.

put users in charge

Give users the ability to personalize the service and incorporate preferences, so that they can have a familiar, relatable experience while using our tool.

Be Accessible

Our intention is to create a direct, transparent interface that our users can quickly learn and easily interact with.

Inspire Confidence

Our design will always incorporate ways to let our users feel confident about the costand time benefits of using Twindow.

phase 03. developing

Trying, failing, improving

Concepting our solutions and testing them with users

After analyzing the major trends we saw with prospective users and keeping our problem statement and design principles at the forefront of our minds, we produced ideas that aimed to solve their goals and needs.

Our initial concepts

We interviewed six working mothers that lived in the suburbs and were smartphone users. We were able to identify some of the stronger concepts that our team deemed worthy of further exploration.

ideas to further explore
Shopping Assistant

A personalized Twindow shopping assistant tool that provides purchasing reminders and suggestions based on the user’s order history and account preferences.

Location

A shopping application where users unable to travel far can quickly find items immediately available at Twindow stores close to their current location.

Voice Assistant

A hands-free ordering platform that allows people en route to the store easily access their most urgent/pressing purchases.

shopping list

Immediate product suggestions based on the ingredients being added to the shopping list.

ideas to drop
Car Console

A touch screen car console dashboard app that allows users to purchase items from Twindow stores.

“I typically try not to interact with too many things when I’m driving - especially when my child is in the car.”

Situation vs. item

A Twindow mobile shopping app where users can select items either by looking through categories or based on their situational needs.

“I wouldn’t know what buttons to choose…”

Though we gained some interesting insights from our initial round of ideation, we felt our produced ideas were either too narrow or were simply features that would not be able to stand alone. As a team, we needed to dive deeper and create more robust concepts.

back to the drawing board

We took some of the positive elements of our initial testing and did further brainstorming to develop stronger concepts. We then did another round of testing with four working mothers that lived in the suburbs and were smartphone users.

01. map inventory

Real-time inventory search of Twindow within a designated area

Direct search > browsing and
useful navigation feature

Went against the user’s mental model of a home screen

02. categories

Category building for quick order creation and checkout

Direct search > browsing and
product info influences purchase

Users could only see themselves using “Past Pick-Up” category

03. Chat orders

A tool that uses text message and voice command to make quick product selection decisions and build orders for users

Text of link for navigating to store

Opportunity for additional product info

04. Shared list

A collaborative shopping list that multiple users can edit and pick-up

Helps communication & budget and text of QR code convenient

Opportunity to remove items and invite users

converging

This round of testing provided stronger results that allowed us to move forward. Based on the feedback from our concept and usability testing, we converged the positive concepts and design elements into one final design.

map inventory

Users liked the idea of a map feature and/or navigation element within the tool

shared list

This concept was the most well-received and offered the highest level of convenience 

Other positive design elements to include:

Intentional item searching

Users preferred to use a direct search over category browsing in order to save time and effort when shopping at a convenience store for a specific item.

System Confirmation

Users wanted to see confirmations when adding new items and placing an order so they were confident their task was completed.

Order Flexibility

Users wanted to have the ability to edit their orders from multiple points within the app and to have easy access to their previously purchased history.

phase 04. implementation

Final design

twindow

A collaborative shopping application that allows multiple users to edit orders and coordinate with each other for a streamlined pickup process.

Home & product search
01.

The home screen provides an option to create a new order or a quick link to an existing one.

Users appreciated the simplicity of the Home screen and thought it was easy to comprehend, however, some would have liked to have easy access to past order history and product suggestions for quick purchase.

Some users didn’t see the purpose of creating an order for the future like, “Tomorrow’s Office Order.” Said they’d most likely use it for quick, immediate trips.

02.

We didn't want to overwhelm our user with category browsing but allow them to directly find items immediately using the search bar.

Users liked the intuitive and ease of the search auto-populating function.

product
01.

Once an item is selected, the user is brought to the product screen. They are presented with product image, description, and price. The size and quantity can be adjusted based on users’ needs.

Adding ingredients description would be helpful to users that need to be conscious of allergen information.

02.

Users can also view recommended products.

Users liked “Goes well with” for further purchasing and product pairing.

03.

Users can “Add to Order” if they have an existing order or reserving multiple items. Also, they have the option to “Get Now” which essentially means quick reservation of just one product.

Users slightly confused with difference between “Add to Order” & “Get Now."

View order, add member & Assign pickup
01.

Today’s Order screen shows the user the products they've added to their order. Users can manage and edit their order from here.

Liked the efficiency of the product editing capabilities.

In general, there were suggestions about how to change the content labeling of various screens. Specifically, users found the word “Reserve” to be confusing.

02.

The screen also allows users to invite other members to their order, adjust the pickup location and even assign someone for pick up. By clicking the members icon the user can see other users in their contacts and add them - creating a shared order.

Some users wanted the option to create a username or handle similar to Venmo instead of granting direct access to contacts because they worried about data breaching.

03.

Once a user has been added, they have visibility into the items and can even add and edit. By building out sharing capabilities, we aimed to avoid miscommunication or double purchasing experiences that could ultimately help with budgeting among users. Additionally, the user can assign a member for pickup.

Users liked the convenience and collaborative elements of of adding and delegating.

set location
01.

Once a member is set for pickup the user is brought to this screen where they can adjust the location to what is most convenient. User can put in their location and the map then populates the closest Twindow stores.

Liked that the application had the ability to find nearest Twindow location

02.

User could also utilize navigation once ready for pickup.

For actual navigation, users would prefer to have a linked 3rd party like google maps or apple maps.

confirmation & notification
01.

Once an order is reserved, users can view the Order reservation screen. This allows a visual into the users itemized order, payment information and the QR code needed for pick up. Users are also able to edit their order from here in case they'd like to make any last minute changes.

Liked to the ability to edit on the Order Reserved screen.

02.

The user who has been assigned pickup will receive a notification from the app asking to accept the responsibility. Once they accept and are ready to pick up, they can go to the shared order to access the QR code.

Users found the text notification a unique and convenient feature.

Future considerations

Based on users' feedback, future research and considerations are highly recommended to further design development.

01. location

In order to further improve collaboration and communication, we recommend conducting further research into increasing visibility among members through location sharing opportunities.

02. Business Model & User

Rather than settling in just suburban settings, we recommend exploring additional areas for Twindow locations to potentially appeal to a more diverse set of users - Perhaps those who reside in the city without cars.