LopesEat

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Product Overview

My friends and I started the company LopesEat from our dorm. I worked on conducting research and facilitating design. In addition, I corresponded with a team of engineers, delegated with multiple stakeholders, spearheaded an AI computer vision program, and helped bring the business from ideation to fruition.

Timeline

August 2019 - January 2020

Role

Lead Designer

Tools

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Results

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The Problem

How can we solve the problem of food insecurity among busy college students and provide hundreds of jobs?

 

College students live busy lives as they deal with constant stress due to exams, time management, lack of money, etc. There are multiple articles and studies that show how college students and their stress levels lead to bad eating habits and hunger. In addition, our school is private where outside entities such as DoorDash, UberEats, etc are not allowed into campus further paving a need for such a service to exist.

Challenges

As college students we needed to find a way to design, develop, and deploy a fully functional app with various personnel and funding constraints. In addition, we needed to delegate with multiple stakeholders in order to receive approval. 

  • Limited knowledge

  • Funding constrains

  • Security of student IDs

  • Stakeholder approval

  • Covid-19 pandemic

The Goal

Provide a product that offers a food delivery service, hundreds of jobs to students on campus, and work on groundbreaking tech that makes the life of college students better. This will enable students who are busy to order food quickly and allow students who need extra cash to work whenever they want.

  • Ability for hundreds of students to work on their schedule

  • Increase restaurant revenues

  • Increase time efficiency for students to order food

  • Allow students to order using campus dining by leveraging ID's

Understanding the User

To gain an understanding of student pain points, I led user research of 1000+ students to understand the current experience of ordering food. In addition, I also spoke to restaurants and other stakeholders.

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Observations

80%
of users said that they experienced hunger due to inability to receive food

60%

of users wanted to work but found it difficult to balance both school and a job

50%

of users said that busy schedules meant meals would be skipped

90%

of restaurants felt they were experiencing attrition due to outside delivery services

Insights Gained

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Features & Functionalities 

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User Flow

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Wireframe

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Prototype

After creating a high fidelity prototype I was able to hand off initial designs and help our team start development. This allowed us to get a beta test running quickly and start user testing, recap with out stakeholder, and gain knowledge on what needs to be iterated upon before public release.

 

 

 

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Usability Testing

Findings

After our initial beta test. We conducted usability testing and met up with stakeholders to determine what needed to be worked on and what features they would like to see. We communicated with stakeholders such: users, the campus IT department, finance, security, and restaurant owners.

Insights

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Covid

In addition, to the changes we needed based on usability testing insights we also needed to take into consideration of COVID restrictions. The health and safety aspects of students delivering to other students put the liability on us instead of the restaurants. So I decided we needed to pivot our business model into a safety first approach. We took the already built platform and incorporated the restaurants page as our home page to transition from food delivery to a convenience store and delivered snacks and other everyday necessities to students directly from our dorm. Changed home screen from list of restaurants to just the LopesEat convenience store due to COVID

Refining the Design - Solution

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Onboarding Screen

  • Users can understand the unique value proposition by ordering from our platform

  • Remove the need to create an account to order

  • Overview of ordering process 

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Student ID Payment (For Restaurants)

  • Added CSS and JS animation to barcode to discourage ID screenshots and theft

  • Removal of message and tracking bottom tab before placing an order

  • Buttons - Increased size of button text, rounded corners, and decreased saturation for better legibility 

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Item Detail

  • Giving a detailed description of individual items  

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Home Screen

  • Search Tab - Allows for easy item lookup

  • Categories - Pushed down popular items and increase number of categories on the bottom of screen to increase thumb reachability

  • Icons - Revamped to increase legibility and understanding

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Checkout Page

  • Added PayPal and Venmo integration

  • Simplification of UI - Easier to understand 

  • Removal of Tip due to data that vast majority of users only tip post delivery and are likely to tip more

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Cart

  • Ability to remove individual items 

  • Increase the quantity of items

 

App Testing and Deployment

After our first version was finished we validated our design decisions and we finally were able to create a native app for both iOS and Android devices. We launched our app and immediately gained over 500 users in a single day and continued this process as we gained eventually over 4,000 users. We then continued to iterated and add AI technologies to make our platform perform better for the user and stakeholders. We wanted the user experience to be flawless and amazing and adding new technologies would be key in doing so.

Impact

After successfully launching our service and transition our business due to Covid restrictions. We were able to make a lasting impact on our community by hiring real students, having +2000 orders, and helping out quarantined students during COVID.

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Conclusion

After all the iterations and pivoting our company finally was in revenue. I learned just how important it can be to understand the needs of the user and gain valuable feedback to iterate upon. And I also learned the process of brining an idea to life. Our next steps would have been to continue iterating designs by further usability testing's and add innovative technologies all while putting the user first.