Redesigning Pathao Food — Sprint to Marathon

Sashoto Seeam
Sep 6, 2018 · 6 min read
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Before going into the pixels or sticky notes…

Pathao, the fastest growing technology startup in Bangladesh, has become a household name for its motorbike hailing & ride-sharing service. But we at Pathao don’t see ourself as a ride-sharing startup. We are a dedicated group, trying to solve local problems with technology.
Pathao Food launched to public this year on January 15. Our listing were full of local favorites where you can have a good meal for around BDT150 (2$). But the finest restaurants of Dhaka city was also in the listings to fulfill the cravings of food lovers.

The MVP & Testing

We believe in starting small and testing out ideas before going big. So we initially started in a small zone with a few restaurant listings.

During this period we identified and fixed a bunch of issues. But this was mostly about service level things and “how it will work”.

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People loved Pathao Food!

After the initial UAT and MVP launch, our customer were very happy about the overall experience and service. Instead of celebrating at that moment, we pushed ourselves to see how we can we improve this minimal viable product and give them a top-notch product.

How Might We

Our team was experimenting with a better product design process. We tried to learn and follow some of the popular methods. Finally, we took a few pages from the Design Sprint book and modified it according to to our own style and started design jam.

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Finding patterns and looking for better options

A few of us including our Head of Design & Head of Product, along with cameo appearances of our CEO sat together in a room for two days. We gathered all the feedback, possible data and asked ourselves the same question again and again — How Might We deliver THE BEST food ordering experience?

The story of sticky notes, sketches and markers!

During our design jam, we focused mostly on synthesizing problems. We also created a few sketches. Not too much, just around 100 pages full of quick sketches! Also, some flowchart on the glass to convey our ideas and user jouneys.

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Sprint room at the end

After 2 days of problem scouting, brainstorming and ideation sessions, we identified potential problems and areas to improve. We made a list which looked almost like this:

  • We have a long lists of restaurants and no intuitive filtering.
  • We don’t have food picturesss!
  • Menu hours and menu catalog is a very complex thing. Need to improve that part.
  • There was no easy way to find individual dish while using our system.
  • Adding item to cart was somewhat confusing and there is no visible call to action.
  • Visibility of order status was boring.
  • Often people missed that we are showing them restaurants in geo-fence. They can’t order from restaurant outside this geo-fence.
  • ..etc

Let’s iterate and validate!

We gathered data, we knew what to fix and then came the most important part — execution! We had a few hypotheses and based on those our design team started to create a few quick screens and high-fidelity prototypes. We almost created the whole food experience from scratch.

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In depth interviews with actual users

Then we conducted some in-depth user interviews in two-phase with real users. For Phase 1, we tested our live app and the initial iterations. Based on the feedback we got from our participants, we revised our screens and started another phase of user interviews.

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Early iterations of Pathao Food

We marked a few checkpoints and created some task to complete. Participants were asked to perform those tasks using our prototype and live app. We tried to measure the ease of use and how they interacted with it.. We found some interesting insights which helped us a lot in the further processes.

From sticky notes to screen

After all those sessions & user interviews, we felt confident about our solution and crafted the final design to ship. During the process, we proposed to improve several features and also introduced some new features to increase user engagement and to create a better order flow experience for user retention.

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The new homepage for Pathao Food!

Playlist for your food

It was obvious that a long boring list isn’t ideal to present hundreds of restaurants. That’s why we have used pre-filtering to give users a better choice — we called it “Collection”.
We also improved the visibility of filter button and the current location. Adding food images was another big step. Also, the position of filter button and the sticky search bar was put there to help the users find what they want to eat.

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Sticky search bar, trending restaurant suggestions and dish search

Because it’s trending

It’s often hard to select what to have for lunch. It’s even harder when one has to choose it from thousands of restaurants. To make it easier, we started to suggest trending restaurants. We are also planning to make it better with trending dishes and are exploring other possibilities.

Search and find dishes

“I want to eat pasta. But where can I get that from?”. This is a very common question user may ask. To answer that, we are also introducing dish search. Users can also compare prices directly from the search page.

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Better restaurant category with clear call to action

Waiter, what’s in the menu?

The restaurant page is like a menu. We have tried to make it as simple as possible. During research, we found that restaurant menus are very complex things. We have cuisines, meal types, time, dishes etc. and all of these often overlap with each other. So, we broke the hierarchy and decided to show a flat list.
We also added “ADD” button, a more obvious call to action.

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Better customization during food ordering

Customizing order

When we first thought about the “ADD” button, we were pretty excited. This is very simple for grabbing french fries, but it becomes difficult when a user wants to order a pizza or items that can be customized. Because there are various options for toppings, meat type, size etc. We carefully crafted that feature to make that experience simple but also give users the ability to customize their food as much as possible.

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Fancy cart with better visuals

Cart

Cart is the place, where things happen. So we tried to give it a more friendly look. We added the option to change delivery location, item quantity and adding promo code. These are some of the most anticipated features.

Feel free to checkout the visual presentation from Behance!

Then we ship!

After all these iterations, testing and phase by phase development; we gradually shipped (still shipping a few more) features to the public.

Spike in the curves!

Finally, we tracked a few metrics. Our overall active customer and active restaurant both increased after the initial release. ‘Customer served per restaurant’ increased by 18% on average after the initial release. We are also getting qualitative feedback from users and they are loving it!

I was connecting dots in the product design process. But this is a result of collective efforts of the entire Design Team. Specially Ashiful Haque, Md. Shamsuddin, Abdullah Un Noman and Fairooz Nawar Oishe created most of the visuals. Anwar Sadad (VP of Design) and Ahmed Fahad (VP of Product) lead the project from the front.

This whole thing was not possible without our brilliant engineers and other team members who were involved in turning these pixels into a shippable product.

We have open positions in our design team. If you are interested, please send your CV with your preferred job title to tech-careers@pathao.com or seeam@pathao.com

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