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Buenos Nachos Case Study

Project overview 


The product: Buenos Nachos is a regional Mexican restaurant located in Calgary, Canada. Buenos Nachos strives to deliver fun, fresh, and fully customizable food to customers. Buenos Nachos targets customers like busy working adults and those with special dietary requirements who lack the time and ability to prepare dinner.

The problem

Many restaurant delivery apps don’t allow for much customization when ordering. This is challenging for users with dietary restrictions, such as customers who have allergies, or those who are prioritizing plant-based diets.
 

The goal

Our Buenos Nachos app will let users quickly and easily customize their orders any way they like. This allows users with dietary restrictions to custom tailor their meals to their individual tastes and needs.

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Understanding the user

User research: summary

I conducted interviews and created empathy maps to understand the users that I am designing for, and their needs. A primary user group identified through this research was young working adults who don’t have the time or skills to grocery shop, prepare, and cook meals at home.

This user group confirmed initial assumptions about Buenos Nachos customers, but research also revealed that time was not the only factor limiting users from cooking at home. Other user problems included interests, obligations or challenges that make it difficult to grocery shop or go to restaurants in-person.

User research: pain points

  • Pain point 1: Working adults are too busy to spend time planning and preparing meals at home

  • Pain point 2: Text-heavy menus in apps are often overwhelmingly difficult to read and order from

  • Pain point 3: The ability to easily customize dishes and/or substitute ingredients is limited in most restaurant apps

User personas

Jordan: Problem statement

Jordan is a father and small community business owner, who needs access to a variety of simple, easy-to-prepare snack options for when he hosts community events at his bookstore.

Kayla: Problem statement

Kayla is a busy full-time student who needs easy access to plant-based vegan food ordering options, because she doesn’t have the time and budget to cook for herself. 

User journey map

Mapping Jordan’s user journey revealed how helpful it would be for users to have access to a dedicated Buenos Nachos ordering app that allows for menu item customization.

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Starting the design: Paper wireframes

Here are early paper wireframe sketches for the ‘Build Your Own Nachos’ page. I explored a variety of different layout options, ending up with selecting one for refinement (far right example). 

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Refining the design: Digital wireframes

Refining the design: Digital wireframes

Refining the design: Digital wireframes

I then moved on to create digital wireframes of my initial concept screens. Here I was able to refine the visual designs by implementing a grid system and establishing a visual hierarchy of elements. I also started to better understand the user journey from screen to screen within the app.

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I began to establish a basic layout for the main pages of the app. Here is the menu details page, which includes the name of the dish, a feature photo, customization options, the main navigation bar, and ‘add to cart’ functionality.

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Low-fidelity prototype

The prototype connects the user flow of choosing and customizing a menu item, so the prototype could be used in a usability study with users.

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Usability study findings

Here are the main findings that we made during our Buenos Nachos app usability studies:

 

Round 1 findings

  • Users want to browse menu without signing up for an account

  • Users want clear, accessible language (no slang or jargon)

  • Users need to be able to confirm any menu customizations they’ve made

  • Users want to be able to easily access their carts from anywhere in-app

Round 2 findings

  • Users want suggestions on things to order

  • Users want readable text (high contrast, accessible)

  • Users want shortcuts to main app screens such as the menu and a ‘back’ button

Mockups

Mockups

Mockups

Early designs had the functionality we were looking for, however the text was far too small, and navigation elements were too difficult to click on. I cleaned up the navigation, made text and clickable elements far larger, and showcased the menu customization options so they are more obvious to users.

Users wanted to see customizations they had made to menu items from their cart. The first prototype only allowed to edit order quantities. Our mockup focuses more clearly on reviewing and making changes to individual ingredient customizations.

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High fidelity prototype

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Theme

Dark: #2C2C2C

Header: Lato Bold

Paragraph: Lato Regular

Buttons: LATO BOLD

Primary: #E1832B

Header: Lato Bold

Paragraph: Lato Regular

Buttons: LATO BOLD

Secondary: #A5B94B

Header: Lato Bold

Paragraph: Lato Regular

Buttons: LATO BOLD

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Going Forward

Takeaways

The app makes users feel like Buenos Nachos really considers how to meet their needs.

User quote from peer feedback session: “This app makes it so easy to swap out ingredients in dishes that I can’t eat! I will definitely use it again when ordering food.”

What I learned

While designing the Buenos Nachos ordering app, I learned that the first ideas are just the beginning of the design and iteration process. Usability studies and peer feedback greatly influenced every step of the iteration process and the design of the app.

Next Steps

  1. Conduct another round of usability studies to validate whether all of the pain points identified in the first study have been effectively addressed.

  2. Conduct further user research to identify and determine any new areas of need.