PANTRYPREP • LEAN UX
PantryPrep is a productivity app to prevent overbuying food during times of stress. From the impromptu get-together to severe weather, PantryPrep helps users stay calm and organized while shopping for food.
Tasked with designing a product from ideation to prototype, PantryPrep goes through the entire user-centered design life cycle.
UX Strategy, UX Design
Two different methods of research - competitive and secondary - were used to validate the value of PantryPrep and identify traits of the target user.
SECONDARY RESEARCH • Does external data support the necessity of PantryPrep and validating that the app could fill a void?
“Panic hits when the stores are jammed with other shoppers and the shelves look a little bare...we are prewired to fight for food when we sense that resources are scarce.” - The Washington Post
"In one way or another, we spend a lot of time and energy trying to feel in control, and buying things you might throw out still gives the person a sense of control in an uncontrollable situation.”; “Buying perishables and doing the 'normal routine' makes us feel safe and comfortable..." - How Stuff Works
“When we see others streaming into stores and snatching up perishable goods by the cartload, we feel pressure to do the same. Perhaps, we think, these crazed shoppers all around us know something we don’t?”; “Shoppers are going to find that canned food in the back of their pantries someday and wonder what they were thinking...The fact is, they really weren’t thinking. Primal brain took over.” - Time
COMPETITIVE REVIEW • What is being done well, what could be refined, and where does PantryPrep fit in among its competitors?
- Highlights: Cloud synchronization to share your lists with family and friends, in-app food dictionary and color coding
- Pain points: Minimal personalization
- Highlights: Able to "favorite" stores, alerted when you are at a store that sells items on your list, auto-lock delay
- Pain points: Casts a large net by not focusing on a single area of commerce
- Highlights: Able to select preferred system of measurement, items are organized by category
- Pain points: No instruction/walk through upon download, very basic functionality
PERSONAS • Who are the target users of PantryPrep? What are their likes and needs?
MAPPING & STORYBOARDING
The next steps were to explore PantryPrep's key experiences visually and demonstrate their value for target users defined in the discovery phase.
Featuring a persona as the protagonist, the storyboard communicates PantryPrep's value in the given scenario using visual narrative to illustrate the product's key experience.
Highlighting the journey stages of the archetypal PantryPrep experience, the experience map iterates through prep, prompt, in-store experience, and reflection. Lead by guiding principles, each touch point explores the user's perspective - not only what they are doing, but what they are thinking and feeling.
Both of these deliverables were key in helping develop the MVP for PantryPrep and were referenced throughout the rest of the project.
USER FLOW & CONCEPT TESTING
After the customer journey was established, testing began for the app concept and user flow.
The user flow reflects the process outlined in the experience map and outlines pages, screens, and prompts required to support the product experience.
CONCEPT TESTING • How can the design and usability of PantryPrep's UI be improved?
BUTTONS WORK BETTER THAN LINKS
Due to the nature of the interface and the majority of the links being in the form of buttons, it is beneficial reformat all links as such.
TERMINOLOGY SHOULD BE CONSISTENT
Using words like “done” when it leads to a page that says “sync” can be confusing. Terminology should not only be consistent, but reflective of the processes that are happening within the app.
NAVIGATION POINTS NEED TO BE OVERT
Navigation for PantryPrep needs to be obvious. Formatting points into a menu that allows users to jump to specific screens will allow quick and easy movement to the most important pages.
GRIDS PROVIDE A CLEANER LOOK THAN THE TRADITIONAL LIST FORMAT
Testing feedback inspired grid layout for lists. A grid, while not only a clean presence, makes a more open environment for organization techniques such as color coding.
This process resulted in a cross-channel prototype for both mobile and tablet. Below, you can experience PantryPrep through both interfaces. Refined from the concept testing, these digital prototypes represent the product's MVP and cover the experience outlined in the user flow.
After a design critique of the product's first MVP, feedback was gained to improve the PantryPrep experience in further iterations of the app. Analyzed for both visual and functional pain points, the insights summarized below will be extremely helpful as more in-depth designs are explored.
- "Stock" has qualitative connotations and that should be reflected in the pantry design. As not to effect the current layout which was determined to be visually appealing, additional functionality such as tapping the square to see the amount of the item you have would be extremely useful.
- Sorting options would be helpful. This could include a few options such as number, type, or personal priority.
- The creation of lists can be a calming ritual if users are prompted to "check their pantry" after receiving alerts and going through the process of adding items to their list themselves.
- What is on the list can change depending on the situation - users can have a snow day list, party list, etc.