Tangoo Usability Update

During weeks 5–8 of RED Academy’s User Experience Design course, we were introduced to digital product stakeholders and challenged to coordinate all aspects of a User Experience Design project. This included establishing deliverables and managing the client relationship. Our group was introduced to Paul and Chris, the founder and Product Manager of social concierge app, Tangoo.

Tangoo founder Paul Davidescu thinks of his app as “Songza for Restaurants” and received funding money from Vancouver restauranter Vikram Vij shortly after this appearance on “Dragons Den”

Project Kickoff

Establishing Goals, Scope, and Deliverables

Our project kickoff meeting was with Tangoo’s product manager Chris Zakos. We moved through a list of prepared questions and had a lengthy discussion about the history of the app, their perceived pain points for users, and their current priorities as a company. We identified two areas where we all felt User Experience research would be beneficial:

  1. Improve User Engagement: Chris indicated that they would like to drive more user engagement from Tangoo’s landing page, as many user’s were abandoning the app right after opening it.
  2. Drive Increase in KPI’s: Tangoo’s business model is built around the sale of “Vendor Subscriptions”. In order for restaurant’s to be listed in the curated service, they need to pay a monthly subscription fee. Tangoo justifies this service’s value for vendors through in-app performance indicators: calling, checking-in, and voting on the restaurant experience. Chris asked to look at how we might boost these KPI’s through an improved user flow.
Tangoo’s functionality included the ability to vote to validate restaurant categorization, and the ability to check-in & receive rewards. These actions serve as key performance indicators for vendors, who pay $200 a month to appear in Tangoo’s listing. Increasing these KPI’s was a priority for Tangoo.

With Tangoo’s objectives in mind, we established the following project deliverables, intended as a foundation for targeted usability updates:

  1. Research Materials: An organized collection of research materials including survey and user interview results.
  2. KPI Oriented User Flow: A redesigned application flow that harmonized user goals with Tangoo’s business objectives and boosted Key Performance Indicators. This would include a high-fidelity mockup and InvisionApp prototype.
  3. Key Insights Report: A concise document summarizing our research methods, key findings, design justifications, and recommended solutions.


Research Methods

We began our approach with traditional organizational and domain research, as well as some more UX specific exercises.

  1. User Interviews and Testing: 1-on-1 user interviews and goal driven user research were conducted throughout the research, planning, design and testing phases of this project. Heuristic app walkthroughs revealed observations about the Tangoo user experience and valuable insights into the social decision making process.
  2. Social Media Behaviour Survey: A survey was created that focused on social checkins, review systems and discount incentives. The significant number of respondents (125+) allowed us to obtain quantitative data on upcoming and outgoing social media trends. Responses also provided insight into the concerns and motivations associated with the actions that serve as Tangoo’s KPI’s.
  3. Contextual Inquiries: Contextual investigations consisted of experiential research that promoted empathy with users replicating real life Tangoo experiences. This included lunches at Tangoo favourites like Vij’s Rangoli, drinks at Calabash Bistro, and restaurant discovery in Vancouver’s West End. Through this research, we were able to further understand Tangoo user pain points and the process of discovering restaurants and redeeming rewards.
Our contextual research included a lunch at Tangoo favourite Vij’s Rangoli, where we talked with staff about their experience with customer’s using Tangoo. We used the app’s check-in function and received discounted drinks as a reward.

Key Insights

Research yielded 3 major insights which helped shape planning:

  1. The Concierge’s Appeal

Tangoo markets itself as a “social concierge” because concierges are trusted curators of great experiences. Like Tangoo, concierges quickly offer recommendations and facilitate the decision making process. But there were some areas where Tangoo was failing to mimic the concierge experience. For example, its reliance on predetermined “experience categories” for user recommendations meant that it lacked the dialogue, personalization and consideration of preferences offered by a real concierge. We decided our solution would aim to tackle this problem as a means of increasing engagement.

2. Social Check-In’s are Checking Out

Our interviews and surveys indicated that “Checking-In” on social media was a dying trend. Respondents suggested that it was a social action that was increasingly associated with privacy concerns and social boasting. 43% of survey respondents had not “checked-in” in more than a year. Foursquare, a company which is synonymous with checking in, has been struggling for more than a year and may soon go out of business.

To tackle this problem, we chose to eliminate the term “Check In” completely and combined it’s functionality with “Voting”, which we decided would now act as a gateway for reward redemption.

3. Proximity and Directions are Important

Goal-driven app walkthroughs and contextual inquiries revealed another important insight into Tangoo’s user flow. For one thing, many users naturally defaulted to looking for restaurants nearby.

Once users discovered and selected a restaurant, they would use the in app “Call” function (another KPI) to make a reservation. Then, many users exited the app and didn’t reopen it, even after arriving at the restaurant.

User’s who required directions rarely relied on Tangoo’s native “Get Directions” function as it was not obvious within the design. It occurred to us that if we could promote reliance on the “Get Directions” function, that we could bridge the gap between the time users called the restaurant, and the time they arrived there, promoting more continued engagement and a higher rate of voting.

We devised the following process as the ideal, logical user flow that would best support an increase in Tangoo’s KPI’s, and decided to focus our design recommendation around supporting this flow.

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