Now it’s time to see what we have achieved after a month’s work on our app “Let’s Shop!”. Due to the practical reason that we do not have a programmer, we are not able to implement an up and running service. But, we can proudly say that we have tried our best and made a nice clickable prototype. This post will reflect on our design idea and present our latest design of the app.
Design idea and changes
The purpose of our service is to provide a shopping app that would make grocery shopping an easier and more social experience for the user. The functions of the app could be used for other shopping experiences too, but our focus is on food shopping. A lot of the ideas that were part of the original concept do highlight this function. However, some of them haven’t survived our development process. The major change is to remove certain functions from “must haves” in our idea stage to “should haves” or “could haves” in our design proposal. So what has changed then from our design proposal? Not too much actually. In our clickable prototype, we have included all of the functions in our design proposal except the “should haves” and “could haves”.
Our app can be used by anyone who goes grocery shopping. However, there are two main groups that we think will benefit the most from the app. The first group is “young adults” who have not yet created a new family of their own, but still live in a household that is separated from their family (real parents) home. They can be students, roomies or those belong to the same social circle. They can use this app to make shopping a more social experience by interacting with friends online and shopping together. They will benefit from functions that allow them to go food shopping together for a party and invite new people to join them. The other main category of users are what we call “families”, the ones where there are two adults cohabitating (majority also having kids in the household). We expect these users to have the same kind of benefits of the app, but they can use it slightly differently. The shopping list will be shared mostly between spouses, but the communication and the recommendation in the social functions to their friends in the app will still take place. We expect it to be where families can find good deals on dippers and food or share lists with relatives for holiday food shopping, for example “Christmas dinner”. The shared checklist will probably have a higher frequency of usage in the family category who will benefit more of the time-saving aspect and also will see each other at home and doesn’t have the social need of doing the entire shopping together side by side in the store as the first group might (assuming not all young adults are roomies with their friends).
(You’re welcome to check out our clickable prototype here! https://arieselvira.proto.io/share/?id=ebd924ac-fc8c-4fa7-8438-0e407dbce86a&v=4 🙂 And any comments or suggestions would be appreciated!)
1. Navigation design
The graph below shows how users will navigate our site as well as the main functions of the app:
As you may have noticed, our navigation design has not changed much compared to our last version of prototype. But we have added some new functions to make the app more social, such as “say sth” after “done shopping”, and “tag buddies” when “update status”. And this will be illustrated further in the next part.
2. Information and interaction design
The core functions of our app are Shopping, Newsfeed and Profile. We highlight the social factor in each function.
Shopping is the most important part of our app and Shopping Together is our highlight function. On the main page of Shopping, you can see lists of your own and lists shared to you. You can create a list and share it with friends to inspire them or to go shopping together with them. When going shopping together, not only the owner of the list but also those who are shared to can check the items on the list. And the image of the checker will show automatically on the right of the items, which makes it easy to see who has checked what. After done shopping, you can share the news on the Newsfeed, as well as tag friends you went shopping with and check in at the store in which you shop.
The Newsfeed function combines with Shopping Together to make shopping a new way of socializing with friends. The Newsfeed shows the activities of you and your friends, for instance, A just shared a list with B, C just done shopping at Willys, etc. You can comment or like the activities. You can also update your status, tag friends or check in at stores.
In the Profile, you can edit your profile and add buddies. If you find the app is really good (hopefully), you can also invite new friends to join.
Future Plan and business model
What we will do next is to test our clickable prototype with friends and finalize our design. Once we find a good programmer, we will make our app implemented and run. The app will be free to use at the first stage. When the app gains certain popularity, we will provide a paid premium version with more advanced features. To gain profit, we will also search for partnership with stores which are willing to put targeted advertisements on our app. If successful, we will develop the store function and cooperate with stores to provide special deals or discounts for our users.
We believe that the functions which make grocery shopping easier and more fun (and hopefully the next version also allows users to save money), will motivate people to start and continue using our service.