Simplifying the food selection process to facilitate faster delivery by visually showcasing menu options to busy and indecisive users.
E3ats is a food delivery mobile app that I created as part of my Google UX Design Certificate course. As the sole UX designer, I designed this project from inception to final design through research, ideation, and UX design principles.
Duration: 1 Month
Methods: Locate and review pre-existing studies, interviews, wireframing, usability studies, affinity mapping, and prototyping
There is a growing problem in the US where an increasing percentage of the workforce does not take time for a lunch break. This has been linked to decreased productivity and employee satisfaction. The most common reasons employees give for not taking a lunch break include fear of employer judgment and feeling that they don't have enough time in their day to get their work done. In addition to avoiding taking time to eat, the process of ordering food delivery can be lengthy and can distract them from their work because there are many options to choose from. It can be overwhelming for a busy or indecisive user, who is more focused on their work than on deciding what to order for lunch
As humans, we eat with our eyes first, so presenting pictures of food dishes should lead to a faster decision from the user. Instead of having to browse individual restaurant text-based menus, one at a time, users will be shown suggested items from nearby restaurants based on their user preferences. Besides allowing a quicker decision on their selection, notifications can be set up to alert the user along every step of the delivery journey - so they can continue working as they wait for their order.
Create a platform that expedites the browsing and ordering processes. Users should be more likely to take their lunch if they can make the ordering decision and receive their items faster.
I searched and reviewed existing studies pertaining to employee lunches and lunch breaks. This research really shed light on a growing problem with the US workforce and helped me identify my primary user group - full-time professionals who are too busy to take a lunch break.
I then did a competitive analysis of both direct (other food delivery platforms) and indirect (frozen meal delivery/meal prep) competitors to understand what was currently available to users in the marketplace, and whether there were any opportunities to improve what is available.
Finally, I interviewed potential users who fit the characteristics of my primary user group to truly understand their pain points, empathize with them, and understand if they would utilize a new app to improve their experience.
Lunch breaks are getting shorter
Per a 2018 Robert Half Survey, more than half of workers take 30 minutes or less for lunch. The survey also mentioned that 29% of employees admit to working during their lunch breaks.
Employees fear being judged for taking their breaks
Per ezCater's "The Lunch Report":
1 in 10 people never takes a true lunch break.
1 in every 4 Gen Z workers are worried their employer won't look favorably on them if they take a lunch break.
There can be a lot of options to look through
Indecisive users have difficulty deciding what to order. Many similar apps show many restaurants' text-only menus, which can make it hard to visualize the final presentation.
User Persona: Lisa
Lisa is a very busy professional who needs an app that helps her choose lunch quickly because she does not have any time to browse restaurants' menus and needs to continue working.
Order lunch while maintaining productivity.
Spend as little time as possible picking a restaurant and which dish to order.
Deciding what to eat for lunch is time-consuming.
There are too many choices to look through.
Sometimes the menu descriptions are vague, and its unclear how the dish will be presented.
Education: BA Economics
Hometown: Atlanta, GA
Occupation: Sales Manager
Lisa recently graduated from college and moved for a job in Boston. She is very busy throughout the day and is unfamiliar with the available nearby lunch options. She often doesn't have time to go out for lunch and has had little available time to explore the nearby restaurant options. She relies on food delivery most days but has trouble at times deciding what to order. There are times that she wishes an app would just offer her suggestions of what to order to save time.
User Persona: Jimmy
Jimmy is an entrepreneur who travels a lot and needs an app that helps him find delicious food for delivery near his hotel, because he is often tired upon arrival. He enjoys trying local food and would benefit from an app that suggests dishes he might enjoy.
Wants to be able to conveniently find and try new, local restaurants while traveling.
Wants to utilize pictures of dishes to help him decide what to order.
Doesn't know what any popular dishes are at the local restaurants.
Doesn't know what to expect solely on reading the text-based menu descriptions.
Education: High School Grad
Hometown: Baton Rouge, LA
Family: 1 spouse & 3 children
Jimmy owns a business. Every few months he needs to travel for business, and he is generally too tired to go out to eat when he arrives. He enjoys finding new local restaurants to try to get a taste of the local flavor. Because he likes trying new things, he doesn't always know how to expect a dish will look without seeing a picture of it. Jimmy really likes using pictures to reassure him that he will enjoy what he orders.
I really enjoyed brainstorming concepts for the homepage. I knew that images would be important to have and ideated different ways for the navigation and what main features/elements are needed.
I started with the simple "How Can We" exercise, and then drafted some paper wireframes.
With my first rendition of the homepage, I envisioned an endless scroll of images - similar to users' experiences with social media applications. User expressed pleasure in the familiarity of the layout.
With my second rendition of the homepage, after completing the first usability study, I added a section showing popular dishes - per user's feedback.
Through feedback from users, the design for the high-fidelity prototype was solidified.
For users to truly get a feel for how this mobile app would function, it was important for me to ensure there were multiple paths a user could take - because not all users are going to follow the same path.
Prototype link available further below with the revised low-fidelity prototypes
Usability Study Research Questions
Are users willing to receive recommendations on what to order?
What are the things a user considers when ordering food in an app?
Do users think the app is easy to use and understand?
5 participants that:
Have full-time jobs
Have used a food delivery app before
Are aged 25-65
Length: 5-10 minutes
Location: United States, Remote
Type: Unmoderated Usability Study
Users were asked to follow a series of prompts and provide feedback in between some prompts.
Usability Study Results Affinity Map
Usability Study Findings
Users expressed trouble with the item selection and checkout process
100% of the participants commented that they wanted the option to be able to modify items and/or add notes on the item detail page.
Users also commented that they would like to confirm the item before finalizing.
"What if I don't want mushrooms or onions? There is no way to edit or modify the item." - Participant 2
Users were not provided with delivery expectations
40% of the participants expressed confusion after completing the checkout.
Participants were curious when they should expect the order, and if they could see any updates along the way.
"I see that the order went through, but how do I know when to expect it?" - Participant 5
Users were looking for additional filter options
60% of participants expressed that they would like to see additional filter options.
User suggested filters such as meal type (breakfast, lunch, or dinner) and distance.
"It would be nice to also filter distance to know what's closest nearby?" - Participant 1
"How about a filter to see breakfast or dinner items?" - Participant 2
Insight: Users expect the ability to modify dishes and confirm the updated dish before checkout.
Users have different tastes and preferences, so we need to be able to allow modifications to the dishes before checkout. Users also want to confirm the changes are in place before submitting the order.
Insight: Users want to track their order
Users want to understand when they can expect their orders to be delivered and would prefer a progress tracker.
Insight: Users want more filters
When users have the desire for a certain type of dish, they want to be able to easily narrow down the results to show them relevant items.
Low-Fidelity Prototype - Revised Based on Usability Study Findings
Priority 0 revisions:
I first modified the item detail page to accommodate restaurant-provided modifications and added an open text field if any further comment was needed.
I then added an order confirmation screen, and also a "Track Order" button AND time expectation copy to the completed order screen.
Priority 1 Revisions:
Add additional options to the filters page and additional dietary preferences on the profile page.
This project was particularly interesting for me due to my personal experience in the hospitality industry, and my experiences ordering from restaurants. I believe I created a viable solution to address the busy and indecisive users' problems leading to 'skipped' meals.
The next step for this project will be to create a version for the other half of the equation - the restaurants. One initial thought is that this app would require restauranteurs to create an account and add high-quality images of their available menu options. I would investigate to understand their current pain points around the following: acquiring customers online, establishing relationships with food ordering apps, receiving and fulfilling orders from apps, and ensuring quality data is available within the app.