Improving friendly brand image and sentiment, and improved app service with increased usage.

Scope

Secondary Research | UX Exploration | Usability Test | UX proposal | Implementation 

Group Project

Jialu Li | Vicky | Ravi | Beiming

Tools

Figma | Principle

Duration

2 Weeks

About the client

Sheetz, Inc. is an American chain of convenience stores and coffee shops owned by the Sheetz family. The stores sell a mix of fast food and convenience store items. Nearly all of them sell gasoline. Its headquarters are in Altoona, Pennsylvania. Stores are located in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Maryland, Ohio, Virginia, and North Carolina.

Design Objective

As a HCII student at CMU, Sheetz, Inc wants to us to help them with looking for different services and focus on the whole flow and developing new service experience through UI/UX design, 

My Contribution

  • Uncovered insights to inform design decisions.

  • Led ideation sessions and defined the concept.

  • Executed design from scratch to high-fi.

  • Implemented key interactions with tech lead.

  • Visualized research insights and presented it to the client.

Feature 01

The users are asked to select the personal preference on the type of food items for the Sheetz Voice Ordering personalized recommendation.

Feature 02

Users are able to see their orders preparing progress, favorite items, and past orders on the home page.

Feature 03

Siri voice fast ordering for past orders and favorite items.

Overview

How might we innovate a fast mobile order-focused experience that provides the users operational assistance and order status?

New Service Innovation

We proposal bundling Sheetz app with Siri and bring a frank new way of mobile ordering. After activating Sheetz’s app with Siri, the voice assistant will first check your location and the Sheetz store you are heading. Customers can then choose the way of ordering that best satisfies their needs: repeat a previous order, order from favorite items, or get Sheetz’s recommended sets. In each of the three cases, the voice assistant will provide a concise but informative overview of the items, and detailed display of ingredients if customers require to do so. At the end of this short voice ordering procedure, the user is either get settled and can directly head to the shop or is directed to a human representative if he wants more information.

Voice Ordering Experience Design

The key focus of the voice ordering is allowing customers to place an order fast and comfortably bypassing the redundant screen interaction processes. One key feature of our voice ordering is that it frees the user’s eyes and hands. This completely hand-free procedure meets especially the biggest need for those who want to order on their way. Even though the procedure is meant to be only engaging the sense of hearing, we will keep some helpful information on the screen for our customers’ reference. We believe that our innovation is flexible in handling speed ordering under a variety of contexts.

Applied Siri in the Food Industry

We chose Siri as a widely realized voice agent. Currently, there are more than 100 million iPhone users in the United States, accounting for about 45 percent of all smartphone users in the United States. Voice ordering is a proven success for other food chains. 20% of Domino's one-click orders come through Alexa. Moreover, Half a million orders through Dom.

 

Last but not least, voice commerce is the future, with customers increasingly embracing voice technology. According to our research, 74.2 million Americans use smart speakers every month, and 62% of speaker owners have bought items through voice commerce, only 7.9% of people use smart speakers for food and beverage shopping. (Lindberg, Voice Ordering the Emerging Restaurant Ordering Technology You're Not Quite Using Yet)

Research

Understanding the existing product-service system and selecting a focus area

Insight from research

  • The app experience does not reflect Sheetz’s store’s fast and friendly experience with its taxing repetitive selection, ordering, and paying process 

  • The occasional technical failures might partially be due to the complex interactive touchpoints and pages. 

Personas

We focus on analyzing the needs of the millennials, who are gradually becoming the main body of Sheetz digital apps' and store's customers. 

Jessica Brown

Millennial Female

MFA Student

“No time and low budget, so anything cheap and quick would be good for me.”

Jessica Brown is a graduate art student attending the college near a Sheetz Cafe. On school days, she stops by the Sheetz store to grab MTO sandwiches and coffee before and after classes. At times when she needs to fill gas, she would text and wait till the gas fills. 

Challenge/Pain Point

  • Limited time for filling gas and getting food

  • Tight budget

Joseph

Millennial Male

Junior Accountant

“All I want to do at the end of the day is to have a beer and hang out with my friends.”

Joseph is a 25 years old Junior Accountant at Pittsburgh. He lives with his parents and drives half an hour to work every day. He is constantly finding places to hang out with his friends.

Challenge/Pain Point

  •   Too little spare time

  •   Hard to find a place for relaxing during weekends

  •   Tired of complex services

  •   Eager to try new things

Tim

Blue Collar Male

“My work requires me to get refreshment fast and often.”

Tim is a 30 years old Blue Collar Worker. He drives to nearby convenience stores for refreshment and food in between work breaks.

Challenge/Pain Point

  • Need somewhere to socialize and relax

  • Need a place for good food

  • Consistent cheap food

Goals

  • Get what she needs fast

  • Save $

Attributes

  • Speed driven

  • Price driven

Goals

  • Some places to get high delicious food at a low price

  • A variety of choices

  • Constantly looking for places to hang out with friends & partner

Attributes

  • Own a car

  • Heavy internet & social media user

  • Love to try fashionable things & new tech

  • Easy to be influenced by online reviews

  • Value interpersonal relationship

Goals

  • Grab food fast

  • Get food for low price

Attributes

  • Goes to Sheetz multiple times per day

  • Is friendly with the staff

  • Might interact with other regulars

  • Likes to sit outside

Synthesis

Inefficient Process:  Repetitive, Confusing, Slow, Buggy

Impersonal Experience:  Favoring / recommendation function is lag(recommend in random; favoring never used in ordering process) (e.g. has to wait for long till reach sth related to me)

Limited Usage and Use Cases: can not adjust different customers’ need at a different time(people in a hurry & just want to reorder; when driving/walking)

The majority of the personas need the ability to order fast and care for nutritional intake (we also assume that they need to know the parking availability). Provide a simple, streamlined, and “smart” mobile ordering experience that is attuned to the specific needs of the customer.

Mvp & Ideation

User Testing

We went to Sheetz and interviewed customers, but we also interviewed millennials on campus.

Risk Assessment

How we assessed previously identified risks

Conclusion

One-click ordering and voice ordering were both popular concepts, but each had a major drawback:

  • Many of the complaints about voice orders were about its ability to understand something complicated and that the technology probably wasn’t there.

  • While one-click ordering for past orders was a very appealing idea, it turns out it exists! The problem is that people don’t realize it because you have to favorite items after you’ve ordered them.

So, we’ll be prototyping to see if we can simplify the repeat order process and make it more obvious and accessible by bringing in voice.

Prototype

After researching further, we decided to prototype on voice ordering for multiple kinds of quick orders, not the full menu, and not just repeat orders.

Reasoning:

  • Sheetz had tried voice ordering with Alexa and online feedback indicated that people were unhappy with just ordering favorites.

  • Existing voice solutions at other restaurant chains were only using voice for only quick orders. Examples: Dominos, Pizza Hut, Denny’s

  • Prototyping subjects express doubt in the technology of full-menu ordering

  • Sheetz’s menu was too large and there were too many customization options for full ordering to make sense. 

We researched voice agents and decided on Siri

Reasoning:

  • Based on our storyboard feedback, ordering on the go was the actual barrier. If we were actually going to solve a pain point, we needed a solution that was available on the go.

  • Siri is the most popular mobile voice agent.

  • iPhones are the most popular smartphone in the United States.

  • Apple recently created Siri Shortcuts for third-party developers to use, and other companies like Caviar are already using this to voice order food. There’s precedent.

  • Sheetz already had an Alexa skill, but Alexa only had 10% of the mobile voice agent market share.

Future plan

We suggest a phased rollout of the voice ordering functionality, with an emphasis on continuous user testing. We want to ensure that we add features that both engage beginners and attract experts.

Improving friendly brand image and sentiment, and improved app service with increased usage.

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