Good design is about process, not product.
Food Talk Privilege is a beautiful app to avail great deals on fine dining. It’s a hyperlocal app starting with a presence in the capital city of India, New Delhi. With a strong focus on the discovery of new places & experiences, Privilege is more like a membership program for food enthusiasts and casual diners alike.
As the second app from food talk, the project started with an idea for a side (companion) app for our already existing social platform. Little did we knew, it will turn into one of our most successful product. It has now taken a center stage and we’re focusing on it full time.
Food Talk attracts a wide range of food lovers. On the very first talk with our existing user base, the reactions were not positive. Many deals & discount apps have been out there for a while now.
There are many platforms which are providing many deals and offers already just for signing-up or for free. The second big problem was a lot of our target audience didn’t felt “cool” about using coupons to avail discounts (though they love saving money).
One accurate measurement is worth more than a thousand expert opinions.
After asking the first set of open ended questions to our users, we switched to a more structured, organized and planned research to bring more clarity to the product and process. We focused not only on the need/goals of users but also created empathy maps and emotional requirements of users (using an app to avail a discount at a high-end restaurant was something most of the user’s felt awkward about).
Interviews, forms/surveys, community polls & one-to-one interaction during few specially organized food talk events were our main source of gathering information about our users. Once we had that, we also focused on industry trends, our competitors (both globally and locally), business dynamics etc.
The detailed research, analysis and discoveries are not published here due to the non-discoluser agreement with the compnay.
ANALYSIS & DISCOVERIES
With all the research data at hand, we started with analyzing this information to discover meaningful insights. We considered a wide range of stats to categorize our user base and understand their needs. From standard indexes like age and gender distribution to their frequency of dining out and their spending habits.
We visualized all this data and started seeing the big picture. The discoveries were a great success. We understood a lot more about the community & their needs. This helped us with following as well:
- Creating a crystal clear distribution of our user base.
- We were able to identify needs of each user category and map them to user groups.
- For each user group, we figured pain-points, expectations and desired features.
- For handling social acceptance issue, we created an index and associated with user groups.
To keep the entire research in context with app features and functionality, We started creating a prioritized list of features.
EPICS & DESIGN STORIES
To create & provide a tightly focused & relevant user experience, we have to bind all our discoveries with individual features (and indirectly mapping them to screens) in the app. Epics are a great way to do the same. We created separate design stories based on all the actions our user’s can (want to or expect to) take in the solution app.
In our case, we created epics for each possible action user can take while using the app. A Prioritized list of all the epics was the foundation for building the product further.
All the user segmentation information retrieved from our research was used to create personas. Each persona represented particular target group.
These personas helped us to understand possible scenarios and to see which functions could be useful. Combined with epics we created in the previous stage with persons gave us a combination of most of the hypothetical situations the app was supposed to focus on.
User Task Flow
With our stories and characters in the place, we started converting the key actions into a flow-chart. user task flows are basically flowing charts of each user activity. Priotarized, linked with persona’s and covering all the epics – the task flow contained all the information we needed to start brainstorming with visualizing the app in action, the next step in the process: ie wireframing.
We started with very low fidelity, hand-drawn wireframes and worked our way until we met most of the requirements. Since we were planning to test & validate our UI concepts at the wireframing stage, we converted selected rough wireframes and created a sketch based high-fidelity wireframes.
We ran two major tests with our concepts. Since it was a low-fidelity test, we focused on observing users and document our finding during our events. It was a very low budget testing but we still managed to achieve a significantly good amount of information from it. The two tests we ran went like this:
The participants were shown with multiple choices for exploring, redemption & browsing. We measured the success & conversion rates of different choices and selected the best performing options.
To find and tune all usability related tight corners, we created a basic set of tasks. We tested selected UI options by giving the basic task lists to our users. For these tests, we measured task completion rate & time spent completing the tasks. The results were really surprising and helped us fine tune our app a bit more.
The final set of wireframes were then converted into high fidelity, detailed mockups with actual content. We also created a Marvel mockup of the app to test out the flow end to end. Here is what the final output looked like:
We decided to use fabric as our choice of app analytics, mainly due to the team’s previous experience with the platform. After the launch, we kept a close eye on various vital stats like onboarding, time spent completing the redemption flow, task completion rates, etc.
After the public launch, the app got great feedback, here are the snippets of a few kind words our users have left on the app store.
App sales were better than we expected and that forced us to develop into a better & faster platform.
The app is still constantly improving, we are moving forward towards introducing multiple cities and a great new experience feature, which gives the privilege users the ability to access food experiences through the app.
Since you know the whole story of how food talk privilege came to be, It’d wise to place shameless sales plug here. You can check out the food talk privilege website, or download the app from Apple App-store and/or Google Play store.