Redesigning how people shop: What we can learn from ride-sharing apps

A few weeks ago I was given the design challenge to redesign an imaginary shopper app. The app allowed people to place an order for the things they need from grocery stores or supermarkets and have someone else shop for and deliver their groceries to the door. Their assigned shopper can also communicate with the person who placed the order to verify what they need.

The focus of the redesign would be on the shopper — the user who would help the other person buy the goods they need. This user is frustrated with how it is difficult to shop for more than one person’s groceries because the lists are not organized in the same way. They also found it hard to use the app and shop while pushing the cart at the same time, especially when they need to talk with the person who placed the order.

The first thing I thought of was that the app reminded me of popular ride-sharing apps. For most ride-sharing apps, drivers have a separate app than users who are ordering a ride, which is why I suggested creating a separate app for the shoppers if there is room in the budget to do so. Having a separate app would allow the shopper to quickly reserve orders they would like to do when they can and find the lists faster too.

As most supermarkets follow a similar layout, the shopping lists should be organized in the same order as the layout of the supermarket. For instance, when you enter a supermarket, you would be in the fresh fruits and vegetable area before proceeding to the dry goods, dairy, and meats. Following the same order as the layout will shorten the time the shopper spends shopping and looking for the items, and would allow them to shop for more than one order at a time since the lists are organized categorically.

The initial bottom navigation should allow the shopper to find a calendar of all the orders they accepted for each day they are shopping, today’s shopping lists, and a way for them to contact the person who placed the order if needed. This means they can call and/or message the person who placed the order through the app. The app should be tested on-site at a supermarket to see how the shopper would use it and what should be prioritized for the bottom navigation to create a better shopping experience.

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