Imagining a smart Fridge experience! Meet FRIGOO
This project involved two 1 week sprints and the aim was to help Lara — my friend — to bring change in her grocery/shopping experience. But let me tell you more about that…
SKILLS AND TECHNIQUES
User research, interviewing, concept mapping, storyboarding, participatory design, sketching and paper prototypes, presentation skills.
Lots of Sharpies. Marvel App, Sketch.
When I want to do my grocery shop at Tesco I always forget what’s in my fridge and I am not sure what I need to buy especially as my flatmate often takes some of my things.
As a consequence I often buy extra food that I need to throw out when it expires. This is a waste of money and food.
I found extremely useful recording Lara on my iPhone as I noticed straight away that as soon as I started asking her questions new ones emerged that were not planned in my notes. I wanted to have the chance to listen to our conversation later in my sketching process to make sure I was clear on what her priorities and pain points were.
As part of my user research I wanted to work on a concept mapping to be able to have a clear overview of Lara’s habits. I started by putting on to paper all her interests, frustrations and habits without really worrying too much on prioritising them. The challenge here for me was to remain focused on the problem itself without going too far into thinking already about the solution. This made a real difference in my design process later on.
I then worked on a simplified version of my concept mapping where I focused on the main frustrations. As a result it was easy then to prioritise them and choose the one I would work on.
From my research it was clear that Lara was looking for something really simple and easy to use. Something that would support her with her shopping so that she could save time and money.
EARLY SKETCHING & FIRST IDEAS
We worked on the storyboarding straight after our interviews. This was an essential step for me to highlight the main tasks that my app would tackle.
At first, looking at the storyboarding, I thought it would be good to develop an app that Lara would use in store only. But then, I got present once again to her different priorities and above all her need to have a tool that would support her to save time before going to the store.
Working on user flows enabled me to start understanding how many screens I would want for my app. I went through different flows and cut out many screens that were not mandatory to focus on having a very simple experience for my user.
Early Stage Sketching
While working on the user flows, I also started putting down some sketches on paper to encourage different ideas. Working on both flows and sketches enabled me to refine the different ideas and to get to the final version that I decided to test.
Testing the prototype (using the Marvel App)
After working on different sketches I came out with a final version to test. I created a prototype with Marvel and shared it with Lara (the user) and other colleagues to test it and get feedback. The feedback was that there were too many functionalities and some of them were not relevant to the final user goal.
FRIGOO PAPER PROTOTYPE
After the first testing session I had other sessions, which led me to my final paper prototype.
FRIGOO pulls data directly from your fridge (using a scanner and a camera located in the fridge itself or once items are scanned in store) allowing you to create a shopping list based on items that need to be replaced, food that is nearing best before dates and items previously purchased.
2ND SPRINT: BUILDING A HIGH-FIDELITY PROTOTYPE
THE FRIGOO BRAND
After finalising the paper prototype, it was time for me to start working on the visual design elements to create the high fidelity prototype. The first question for me was: what kind of look and feel did I want to give to Frigoo so that the functionality could be supported and the experience for my main persona Lara could be awesome?
Moodboard & Brand Personality
I started working on a moodboard: collecting images, colours and typography that could remind me of the flavour I wanted to be associated with Frigoo.
In terms of words, I wanted Frigoo brand to be FRIENDLY, MINIMAL and SMART.
Coming back to my research and to what was important for Lara was extremely useful as it enabled me to think about the property of each colour I wanted to use as well as the kind of message I wanted to create with my App.
I went back to my research and decided to have a look at Frigoo’s competitors in terms of visual design.
It was a little bit challenging as at the moment there is no direct competitor, however I decided to focus on the specific features that Frigoo was offering and start from there. These are the competitors I chose
- Google Notes
- Buy Me A Pie
I chose to consider both Google Notes and Buy Me A Pie because of their main functionality to create lists. I then added Nest as I thought it would be interesting to see how the branding was communicated for an App that has access to your home (as Frigoo) and can’t be intrusive.
DIGITAL PROTOTYPE & USER TESTING
I started working on the first version of the digital prototype and tested it with users. At this stage I was mainly interested in the visual design as the functionality itself was already approved.
The main takeaways from the user testing were:
- People were not clear about the difference between the two main buttons in the ‘fridge’ page
- In the login page, there was no hierarchy between the colours and once again users were not sure where they had to click
- Plus and minus were too small and there was again some confusion regarding the ‘scan new item’ button
I then went back to work on my second version and tested it again. In my new version, I decided to move the multi selection to the right to give more space to the product description and the ‘best before’.
I reorganised the ‘quantity’ functionality and add some icons to help the user with their tasks.
However, after testing, it was clear that there was still a problem with the hierarchy of the colours, a general inconsistency across the whole App and the icons were not clear and explanatory.
I then went back to rework on my prototype, tested once again and then used the final feedback to amend Frigoo.
I finally run a desirability testing to see whether the brand personality that I wanted to create was coming across. It was good to notice that all the three people who tested the prototype selected the word ‘Friendly’ among 120 words to describe Frigoo.
I am now interested in developing the ‘Add new item’ functionality and the ability for the app to be used in store where the user can cross off items from their list while shopping.