interaction design + illustration
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FIND is a store navigation system discussed and created in less than 24 hours that won Second Place at Hack-a-Startup 2015. FIND not only calculates the best, most efficient experience for shoppers everywhere, but also provides crucial data for aisle activity for the retailers. This navigation is made possible through iBeacon technology and Low-Energy bluetooth, which can be found in most smartphones. 

This was collaborated with seven other team members. I was responsible for the User Experience and User Interface of the app and website.





In collaboration with Alex PetreDanny seimLucas OchoaRenhao Hu, Stanley ZhangTaewan Kim, and Will Meng

2nd place winner at hack-a-startup 2015

Find is a service conceptualized and mocked-up in less than 24 hours during the Hack-a-Startup 2015 Hackathon. Our intention was to not only calculate the best, most efficient experience for shoppers everywhere, but also provide value through data for aisle activity for retailers and CPGs (Consumer Packaged Goods). My role in the team was to create the experience and the app interface for FIND. Our team was made up of MBAs and undergrads.



The Problem

Shoppers often waste time wandering through aisles looking for ingredients.

Our design initiative would be to create a system that would balance the stakeholders' (the shopper, retailer, and CPG(Consumer Packaged Goods)). This system would include at least an app, desktop interface to track consumer data, and iBeacon technology. 




In the beginning, we found ourselves a little lost. We asked ourselves a variety of questions: what could we offer that other aisle location trackers do not currently have? How can we make the shoppers use the app more than once? Would retailers be concerned that the customers would be looking at their phones more than the shelves? 



After half our team interviewed customers entering and leaving some grocery stores, we realized that retailers are already aware that people spend lots of time looking at their phones, so they would not be so concerned with an app that may have them do the same thing. Additionally, we found that customers care most about finding items quickly and finding discounts.

User Experience

From the research gathered, I concluded a couple things:

  • A balance between all three stakeholders must be found.
  • There must be an incentive for the shopper to use the app again.

As the designer of the team, I knew that these needed to be implemented.

  • An intuitive interface for the in-store experience
  • A flow for both active users--the shopper and the retailer. The CPGs would be in constant correspondence with the retailer, so the same interface for data wouldn't be necessary.

Below would be the flow of interaction for both users.

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The app interface to be as non-intrusive as possible, something simple that can be used with a quick glance. Although the experience needed to intuitive, I wanted this to be a fun experience as well--shopping can get stressful, so I wanted to make this app to be as uncluttered as possible to cause less anxiety.

On the login page, the user has an option to sign in with Facebook (for gender, age range, general region data), or use the guest option if they are in a rush. However, using the guest login will not show them as many discounts as the first option--which appeals to the retailers and CPGs. 

The shopping list is meant to be a quick and intuitive, something not overwhelming. If the user is in a rush, they can use a previously used list.

The map is a very simple floor plan using only primitive shapes--the colored open circles represent items that haven't been found yet and the aisles are depicted through rectangles. Photos of the items were necessary in order to appeal to the CPGs, who would want their products featured. I was inspired by Amazon's recommended items feature, since it feels friendly and not so forced. This was implemented--tapping on the plus adds the item to the user's list.

Featured brands (by the CPG) are also shown, some of which have discounts.

By the end of their experience, the user compiles all their discounts to the register. They can see the total of money saved, and each item discount, step by step. Afterwards, they have an option of naming their list and saving it for future use, since from our team members' experiences, it's common to have a routine grocery list. 



There are definitely some things I had in mind designing this--I didn't realize how much balance there had to be between all three stakeholders. To me, it almost felt like sometimes I was paying more attention to product promotion and the retailers and not the shoppers--even though all three are technically users. However, I have to remember that this hackathon was more business-related, so a good deal of focus had to be put into the profit in order to have a successful presentation (which we did!). 

If I were to do this differently (and/or had more than 24 hours to do this) I would dive deeper into the retailer interface. What kinds of data would be shown? How would they be displayed?