The Grocery Peeps: User Journey Map and Storyboards


Based on our field research, we created two personas.

Linda is a college senior who has a limited budget and shops occasional at Whole Foods. She aims to eat healthy without spending too much and values convenience. Challenges that she faces at Whole Foods include not lack of knowledge of the store layout and the expensive prices.

Mark is a working young professional who shops at Whole Foods once a week. He lives by himself in his apartment and cooks his own meals. Like Linda, he wants to live a healthy lifestyle and values his time. However, since Mark is working he is more willing to buy pricier foods. At Whole Foods, Mark wishes there were an easier way to compare products, and he finds the long lines annoying.

For our project, we decided to focus on Linda.

User Journey Map

Starting from the decision to go grocery shopping to bringing everything back home, we drew out a user journey map for the end to end experience of shopping at Whole Foods. We used the RBT (Rose, Bud, Thorn) method in our brainstorming activity. For each step of the user journey, we identified Roses (goods things), Buds (opportunities) and Thorns (pain points).

Taken into account our feedback from last time, we looked at the following questions:

  • Items like shampoo get less attention: not enough exposure or people don’t care?
  • How do people make purchasing decisions?
  • Are customers having any questions/problems picking among similar items?
  • Are there any parts in the store that get left out due to the structure of the store?
  • What are the most crowded spots?

In the end, we noticed three main points of intervention to focus on. Promotions, In-store Product Comparisons, and the Checkout experience.


For each point of intervention that we identified, we each created one solution and storyboard for a total of four storyboards for each POI.

Here are some common ideas that popped up:

Smart Shopping Cart

A few of our storyboards feature the use of a smart shopping cart. Some of its features included some sort of display (to show scanned results, wait time in checkout), ability to sync with the user’s phone, weight sensitivity to automatically detect total price, and a way to checkout all groceries without unloading them into a conveyer belt.

Left: Smart Shopping Cart helping with product comparison. Right: Giving wait times of line
Cart giving ingredients and providing a path to find ingredients
Cart giving option of checking out

Personalized Shopping Experience

A lot of ideas also focused on making the shopping experience tailored specifically to the user. The following storyboards show the ideas of pulling from a personal customer profile to give suggestions that respect the shopper’s dietary needs and goals. Similarly, Whole Foods could highlight promotions that match up with the individual shopper.

A challenge was how to keep it personalized when there would be so many shoppers all in one space. One idea was using wearable technology such as watches or glasses that would be user specific. For example, users would see promotion highlights on their glasses. However, one issue we thought of was that glasses might be too intrusive to the user.

Personalized/targeted promotions
Smart cart providing feedback on cart items based on personal profile

Use of surfaces and holograms

Since this project focuses on ubiquitous computing, we thought of some more unconventional design solutions, such as having the floor light up for way finding, using the glass doors of the freezer to display product comparisons and more information, and having shelves light up according to recommendations.

Interacting with the shelves in the aisles, with product reviews
Holographic product comparison

Next steps: Having speeding dating sessions with users to get feedback.