Online Grocery Shopping:
Research - Analysis - Ideation
Conceptual Academic Project
Challenge: Many users are not utilizing grocery shopping apps. Present an idea for a grocery shopping application users will want to use.
Solution: Conduct research to better understand the customer journey, user pain points, and ideate ways to improve the online grocery shopping experience.
Throughout the semester, students individually conducted research on grocery shopping applications. Students interviewed users who had experience grocery shopping, online or in person. Looking to understand what motivates people grocery shop.
During midterm students were grouped together to present user research and data collected. The application envisioned was based on the data from the midterm project and improved upon based on survey results.
Vision is that of a smartphone application with paring ability to smart home devices, like Alexa, Google, or Siri.
The main activities addressed within the application are easy list creation, store selection and shopping navigation, and scheduling.
Interviews conducted gave insights on the unique shopping pattern of users. One example during the contextual interview, the participant's child helped with her shopping. The child would ask for products that were often not on her mental list. It was a unique experience to see how children affect the grocery shopping experience.
These interviews brought up pain points, motivations and strategies that influence grocery shopping habits. One insight gained pertained to the strategy of shoppers, when seeing less stock of one brand over other brands caused the shopper to choose the brand with less stock on the shelves. The shopper assumed the brand was better than those brands with full stock.
This information was added into an affinity diagram. Over the course of a week, we found that navigation (in store and online), motivations (lists and meal plans), and sensation (how I feel statements) engaged most users. Using this data we created personas, journey maps, and collected requirements in order to create the online grocery application.
Contextual and Traditional Interviews
Each student conducted two interviews, one contextual and one traditional.
The traditional interview was founded on questions concerning grocery shopping habits based on experience and research data found before the interview. The goal of the interview was to understand the user's grocery shopping journey and identify pain points in the online shopping process.
The contextual interview was conducted before the traditional interview due to the participant's personal shopping habits. Questions asked during the contextual interview mimicked the traditional interview to give an insight into the participant's shopping habits. The interview itself was conducted through Facetime, and I joined the participant and her son virtually in their grocery shopping expedition.
What was learned:
The in-store grocery shopping EXPERIENCE
Overall online grocery shopping lacks in these experiences and control for users.
Users cannot choose exactly the right color bananas, the exact softness of an avocado, these sensations play a large part in how shoppers select their food.
Notes taken from classic contextual and traditional interviews shared among classmates, we then discussed commonalities by separating notes into different groups; once we had our groups, we decided to create "I" statements, these "I" statements had commonalities between them which also had commonalities among a larger theme—building upon each to develop groups.
The findings among myself and my classmates shed light on frustrations, pain points, user experiences, and thought processes.
Navigation, Motivations, and Sensations proved to be the most influential for grocery shoppers.
Each student created one persona based on the interviews that they conducted.
We used personas to keep the user in mind throughout the design process, create an idea of the types of user that you may encounter when starting a project and "emphasize goals and key tasks" (Holtzblatt & Hugh, 2016, p 227)
Important characteristics of this persona is that "Sophie" has multiple identities and aspects of her daily life. This person has a busy lifestyle, balancing career, family, and relationship, but she's also an individual who cares about environmental and social issues, which affect her shopping trends.
To better understand what motivates the user to what frustrates the user, I created a sequence model. This really helped to understand what goes into the grocery shopping process.
The activities portrayed within this model present a consolidated look from the research on how users approach grocery shopping. Many of the methods intermingle and are not singular; the end goal for this activity is to purchase items needed. The key aspects here are how their motivations influence users to make a list, how the user creates their lists may be designed further when developing a grocery shopping app.
Other aspects lie in grocery shopping activity and how users utilize the store's presentation when shopping. These aspects are important in the way the user can conduct their shopping because it impacts decisions and items presented when shopping.
The purpose of requirements is to design a grocery shopping app with users in mind by utilizing the consolidated data collected through user interviews.
Looking at the data, I put together requirements based on users' needs, behaviors, attitudes, and pain points within the grocery shopping process within the store and online.
Create shopping lists, build upon lists, and act as a shopping cart
Find coupons or sales based on items added to the cart or list
Easy search functions and browsing abilities that function similarly to an in-store experience without overwhelming user
Quick and simple delivery and pick-up settings for users, allow users to edit without removing items from their cart
Allow users to have control over items that are fresh, weight derived like deli products, meats, and certain produce
Exploring the requirements based on the user research done a concept for an online grocery shopping application called "Vision" was finally created.
Vision shows how users may interact with the potential product as well as hurdles in its development and creation for designers.
V assistant acts as a helpful tool
Prompt Items, reducing search and navigation (bringing items to user)
Offers stores based on listed items
V assistant may be an overarching goal
Not enough story
May be confusing to use
Issues arise at the schedule time
May be difficult to find stores based on generic items
The design of the application attempted to build upon what currently works within online shopping and ease pain points of current processes.
One of the pain points were navigation issues within certain online grocery shopping websites/apps and built upon survey answers about what participants found most important in their current grocery shopping experience. The design spotlight was on a smart list application that used the list to navigate through shopping experience but also allow intuitive thinking. What works well within this application is the list to cart and the biggest struggle in the design is when the user moves from the cart to the grocery store.
Had there been more time in the semester, it would be interesting to see how the process would change from its current vision.