Redesigning the Food Delivery Experience

Mackenzie Derival
Feb 1 · 10 min read

Context

Goal: This redesign was made for the KP Fellowship Application Challenge. The goal was to “redesign a feature of a Kleiner Perkins company’s product”.

Duration: 5 days (Jan 27- Jan 31)

Skills: UI/UX Design, Product Thinking and Prototyping

Tools: Sketch and Principle

Outcome

Yay!

Yay Again!

Introduction

For the KP design challenge, I chose to redesign the product of a company that operates in an industry that I am well-versed in. Last year, I co-founded a startup that connects restaurants to Instagram influencers in Toronto. Due to my current involvement in the Canadian food tech space, my focus for this challenge was to redesign the DoorDash model.

I started off the challenge knowing very little about DoorDash as the company was relatively new in the Canadian market space compared to its competitors. After conducting some research on the company, I learned that their mission is to empower local communities through creating new ways for people to earn, work, and thrive. Tony Xu, the CEO, sees his company as more than a food delivery company. He often describes DoorDash as a complex three-sided marketplace involving the restaurants, delivery personnel (Dashers), and consumers. This implies that when tackling the design problems, it would be necessary to consider factors that would help improve the efficiency of each aspect.

I was very eager to try DoorDash and suggest ways to improve the design of the app. I decided to focus on redesigning the Canadian android consumer mobile app. Since I did not have internal company data regarding the app, I focused on solving high-level problems and visual inconsistencies between the website and the app.

For this case study, I began conducting secondary research by watching videos of Tony Xu and Kathryn Gonzalez to educate myself on the company and the design system. I then identified key problems and design opportunities. Ultimately, I proposed solutions that could improve the product.

Research

By reading and watching videos of the CEO Tony Xu on Youtube, I learned that DoorDash solves the problem of “time-starved People”. Since that demographic is wide, I started ideating on possible use-cases for using DoorDash. I found them by looking at competitor’s website and interviewing my friend who has worked at Foodora for two years as a business development associate.

After identifying nine use-cases, I clustered them into groups of three user types: working professionals, students and families. This information is also consistent with the secondary research.

Tony Xu mentioned in an interview that young families are some of the people that are the most starved for time. Using use-cases to develop user types helps to understand the different motivations that would lead a user to order food on DoorDash. For instance, Emily would use DoorDash differently than Gaby or Jake because the motivation of a student might be to get good grades. However, the behaviour that she will adopt could be similar to a family mother or a working professional because the use-cases are highly context-specific.

Another aspect to consider is to distinguish between the individual purchasing the food and the people who are going to eat it. An assumption could be made that Emily is more likely to order food for herself than Gaby because Gaby would order for her whole family. The context of the user matters because it affects their purchasing decision, the amount of money they are going to spend and the time by which they want the food delivered to them.

I am more similar to Emily as I am still a student. Usually, I tend to get food delivered in the winter because I would rather stay at home and study than go outside in the cold. During some of my past internships, I was also a bit like Jake because I worked a lot of hours and food delivery was a convenient solution.

While working on the challenge, I got hungry. Since it was -10°C, I decided to order food on DoorDash! I was then able to experience the service and I mapped the multiple steps I took to order food. I also interviewed the Dasher.

Here’s an overview of my experience:

During my interview with the Dasher, I asked him what he likes about DoorDash, what he would improve and the net-promoter score question. He loves the flexibility that he gets by doing food delivery. His biggest pain point is accessing buildings when he delivers in downtown Toronto. There is a lot of construction on the road, it is hard to find parking, and some buildings have codes.

Problem

When I used the DoorDash app to buy food, I felt that my experience could be illustrated using a funnel. This funnel represents my own decision-making process. I took inspiration from this funnel to identify and solve problems.

On YouTube, I found a talk given by a design technologist at DoorDash, Kathryn Gonzalez. From this talk, I learned about the approach she took to build the design system. Having this information allowed me to identify problems related to visual inconsistencies.

By watching videos of the CEO, I identified problems regarding managing of the three-sided marketplace. I decided to solve some of them in my redesign.

“We’ve learned that some folks really like their eating preferences and they are creatures of habits. They really want to get sushi or Chinese food or whatever might be from a certain set of restaurants. In other cases, they care a lot about speed. Other people care a lot about price. I think as one of these decisions where it’s actually fairly different for the broad spot of population”

- Tony Xu, DoorDash Cofounder/CEO (30:55 at This Week In Startups)

Problem #1

Despite acknowledging that people have eating preference, the DoorDash app does not allow users to sort the offerings by these preferences. As a result, the food selection process is time-consuming because, in the decision #2 segment, users have to go back forth among multiple sections of the DoorDash app.

Solution: Sorting tabs that would help in improving navigation.

Problem #2

In the decision #3 segment of the funnel, there are a lot of back and forth among the main screen, the restaurant screen, and the food screen. It is really hard to compare the different food options. Moreover, there is no easy way for users to save a specific meal or a restaurant.

Solution: Introduction of a favorite section that would help users save the meals, restaurants, and drinks that they are interested in.

Problem #3

The category section is hard to access because it is a static element on the top of the screen. This section displays 15 categories and the user has to scroll horizontally through them. Having the categories more accessible is important because it makes the decision #2 part of the funnel less time-consuming.

Solution: Leverage the search screen available on the navigation bar to display the categories.

Problem #4

During my interview with the Dasher, his biggest problem was making deliveries in downtown Toronto. Delivering in Toronto is hard because the circulation on the road is slow due to the snow, there is construction everywhere around the city, and parking is hard to find. This problem matters because it negatively affects the offline experience of two stakeholders and Dashers will be less inclined to deliver in some parts of the city.

Solution: I never experienced this problem and possess no quantitative data regarding the impact of this problem. I decided to make a small adjustment to the purchasing form because it is something that could help in alleviate the problem on the user side.

Other Design Opportunity

In the talk on design system, Gonzalez mentioned that they started working on the design system by focusing on web and that one of the goal is to establish design consistency cross-platform. As a result, I will redesign the DoorDash app by making sure it is consistent with the web platform.

Proposed Solution

Redesigned Food Section

Food Section: Current vs Redesigned

There were modification brought to the layout to solve problem #1 and problem #3

Currently, users have to go through multiple screens to be able to compare rating, price and time of delivery. Due to the back and forth, it is time-consuming to make a decision about what to order. On the redesigned version, I allow users to sort the list of restaurants available by options that are the most convenient to them.

Since the category option also helps in decision making, I made sure that this feature is easy to access. Currently, it is only at the top of the screen. Therefore, users will have to scroll to the top of the screen all the time to access category. Also, the 15 categories are only navigable by scrolling horizontally. As a result, I moved the categories in the search field so that it is easier to access.

New Section: Favorite

I modified the bottom navigation bar to solve problem #2

Currently, when users browse through the food offerings, there is no way to save or shortlist restaurants, food or drinks that users want to try next time they order on DoorDash. My goal was to make it easier for users to compare different options. Therefore, I decided to allow them to filter them by restaurant, food, and drink as well as sort them by date added to the list, rating, price, and delivery time. When users tap on an offer, they will get directed to the detail page of the tap offering. Users can take off an offer from the favorite list by clicking the heart.

Modified Purchasing Form

Current design on the left side - Redesign on the right side

For the purchasing form, I added more details to the delivery instruction. By clarifying what is asked, users will be more cautious of what the driver has to overcome. Something to consider is that problems Dashers can face on the road is really contextual to the location. In Toronto, there are lots of routes that are blocked which makes the buildings hard to access. In the Waterloo region, students want their food delivered at the apartment door. Therefore, asking for the building code could be handy.

Design Opportunity #1

Current design on the left side of the arrow — Redesign on the right side of the arrow

By working on my own venture, I learned that a lot of restaurants do not want to post the picture of their food on food related apps because they are scared and concerned about the quality of the photo. They feel more confident with putting the logos because it is something that is designed to be displayed on a large scale. Exposing a picture of the logo on food related apps helps in creating brand awareness. Even though DoorDash might breach some trademark laws by doing so, it is worth the risk displaying a logo to provide customers with more information about the restaurant.

When redesigning the card, I decided to take inspiration from the card on the web version. One difference between the android and the web version is that the android version allows the user to see multiple pictures of meal while the web version only displays one picture. As a result, I added the option to swipe through different food images.

Design Opportunity #2

There were modification brought to the layout to solve problem #1 and problem #3

For specific categories like “guilty pleasures” and “your foodie favs”, the android version only allows the user to see three restaurants. I did not grasp a clear understanding behind the meaning of these labels, however, I made an assumption that these categories were created to provide more exposure to specific restaurants for potential business implications. As a result, I decided to change the display by offering the user to scroll horizontally through these restaurants. It would make it easy for users to navigate through the restaurants promoted by DoorDash as it reduces the amount of steps needed to access a menu. They can access the menu of more restaurants in just one tap rather than having to tap “see all” to access more offers.

    Mackenzie Derival

    Written by

    Creating a world of abundance through design. https://www.mackenziederival.com/

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