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Carrot

App concept for a simple, shared, shopping list which lets a shopper collect their items in store, in order.

Tony Goff-Yu
Apr 4, 2018 · 4 min read

Note

This is by no means a complete solution but I wanted to keep this exploration quick and simple. The prototype was made in an afternoon and this write-up was done in an evening. If anyone has any suggestions or thoughts for improvement, please do let me know.

Some context

For a few years my fiancée and I had both been using Reminders on iOS to keep track of our weekly shopping. We would add items throughout the week to a shared shopping list and each weekend, as my fiancée drove us to our local store, I would sit in the car and re-order the list based on the stores aisles. My logic being that if we did the shopping in order we could get it all done as quickly as possible and get on with our weekend (I’m really not a fan of shopping).

In January of 2018 I switched to Android (yay) which pretty much broke that routine as very few, if any, Apple apps work on Android. After a few false starts using listing apps like Evernote (bit fiddly) and Todoist (too complex) we eventually settled on using Google’s Shopping List which can work across both devices. It’s a super simple listing app which has one major problem; you can’t re-order your shopping list. My super organised weekly shop was somewhat less organised.

Concept

I persevered on with the shopping, usually getting it done quite quickly but occasional having those moments when I would forget something and have to run back to the front of the store.

Then one day I had a thought:

Wouldn’t it be handy if your shopping list could just re-order itself based on whatever store you were in?

Like most, if not all, of my ideas this is very data dependent as it would require the stores to share their store layouts but lets pretend for a second that this could happen. How would the app work?

1. Make the list

2. Choose a store

3. Complete your shop

4. Save your list

The branded option

Another option, which is probably easier to actually build, would be to make it a brand dependent app. For example Waitrose or Tesco would have the same basic functionality but with the advantage of actually having the store layout information on hand and also the ability to push offers or discounts to the user. You could even incentives customers to do a quick shop or give them points if they purchase items that were pushed to them. An additional feature could also be integrating scanning/payment into the app at this point.

So why carrot?

As previously mentioned I really don’t like shopping. My better half loves it. To be fair I can understand why seeing and feeling food is better done in a store (especially if you love cooking with fresh ingredients) as opposed to ordering online but there are times when I feel a bit redundant in the weekly shop. I always think of myself as a donkey being led around by a carrot. Just one more aisle. Just one more item to collect…

How could it look?

I started this write up to test out the logic of my concept but as a I’m a designer I do like to make things look pretty and add a bit of colour.

The app is pretty minimal and based on Material Design, so most of the hard work has already been done by Google, but with a splash of orange and a decent icon set it could be quite nice (most of these are stock Material icons).

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Suffices to say the branded option could be simple to implement as well. Switch out the orange for green or blue and rename the app and it’s done.

Gandalondon

Occasional design musings.

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