Local, Independent, Fast.
As my first foray into UX app design, exploring coffee, and coffee-ordering, was a great spring board. The downtown Austin area is littered with a wide variety of coffee-slinging spots, providing a perfect research base. In just a few blocks one can find high-end cafes, bare-bones joints, etablished franchises, and personable, independent shops in abundance.
Beginning in the field, I observed 3 locations over the course of a couple hours. 1886, the lovely historic cafe in the Driskill Hotel. Followed by The Hideout, an independent theater and cafe, unassuming and casual. My third location was your classic, bustling Starbucks. At each location I spoke to either the staff or the patrons, allowing me a deeper dive into a world of coffee most of us know, but may experience differently.
While I interviewed people devoted to Starbucks, including their pre-order app, I found a group of coffee drinkers in need. Specifically, those people for various reasons prefer independent, locally owned coffee shops. Through observation, interviews, affinity diagrams and empathy mapping I developed an app prototype. My app’s goal: an easy, intuitive path for users to pre-order quality coffee from a network of independently-owned cafes. Busy folks could still feel good about supporting their local “little guy” coffee shop, even if they were just flying through. A reason some gave for reluctantly using a larger franchise like Starbucks, the easy, fast capability they can provide.