Shopwell

ShopWell is a free website and app that scores foods on how well they meet the users’ unique nutritional needs.

By eliminating the hassle of reading nutrition labels, users are able to shop smarter and eat better.

THE CHALLENGE

Shopwell was facing a user engagement challenge, with user retention at just 10% six weeks after signing up.

Our task was to discover users’ motivations and goals while interacting with Shopwell, and ultimately, to offer a more productive experience through updating the User Interface.

The Method

We began our usability tests with Remote Moderated Research (RMR) using video chat and screen sharing software. This method allowed for us to:

  • Recruit users faster and easier
  • Test users from a variety of locations to obtain a wider variety of insights
  • Gain understanding of how people actually use the app

Through the usability research we wanted to answer the following questions:

  1. What are users’ deep motivations to use ShopWell?
  2. What are users looking for? What are they trying to achieve?
  3. How can tasks be easier to accomplish? How can usability be improved?

To find the answers, users were asked to use the app and to “think out loud” while sharing their reasoning, feelings and desires by answering questions and completing tasks such as:

  • What was your first impression when interacting with Shopwell?
  • In a typical day, how do/would you use Shopwell? In what moment/s of your day does it fit in?
  • How do you check information for a specific product using Shopwell?
  • What is your favorite feature?
  • What feature is missing?

Phase 2: Card Sorting

Card Sorting is a technique in which a group of subject experts, or users, are asked to generate a dendrogram (category tree). Users organize items into groups and assign categories to each group. This method helps create or refine the information architecture of a site or app by exposing users’ mental models.

Our aim was to discover what kind of information made the most sense for users and how they expect to have the data structured when using ShopWell.

Participants were asked to:
  1. Think out loud while sorting 29 features into groups that make sense to them, with a limit of six features per group.
  2. Name each group.
  3. Choose the three groups that are most important to them.

UX FINDINGS

Through our research we were able to identify six important user insights

If translated into UX improvements, would positively impact ShopWell’s user engagement and overall business potential.

  1. Users do in fact want help with their healthy eating and grocery shopping habits.
  2. Accessing nutritional information must be fast and easy.
  3. Scan is the most appreciated ShopWell feature.
  4. Users are unaware of, but interested in, the family shopping feature.
  5. Location affects product availability.
  6. Users only trust personalized messages that they can control.

THE UI SOLUTION

ShopWell was validated by the fact that users do want help with their healthy eating and grocery shopping habits.

To help create instant rapport, our first solution is to introduce a Welcome Wizard that includes a simple, personalized registration process as well as a quick presentation of the app’s most valuable features.

Knowing that users expect to access nutritional information quickly and easily, our second solution is a restyling of the User Interface, beginning with:

  • Content hierarchy,
  • The use of clear language,
  • A unified color palette and typography,
  • Simple and clean iconography,
  • And legibility and contrast through the use of cards and buttons.

Scan was recognized and ShopWell’s most valuable feature as it is the easiest and fastest way to validate an item. As such, the third solution is to place Scan as the core feature, making it handy at all times. In addition, social validation by introducing other users’ reviews, recommended products and creating the ability to “favorite” items after they have been scanned would be welcomed features.

The majority of users shop not only for themselves but for other members of their households as well, and individual needs vary. However, most users were unaware of the already existing family shopping feature. Our solution is to integrate a sentiment of family bonding with visual support in the Welcome Wizard. Access to family members’ profiles should be easily accessed and edited with a slide menu in the user profile.

Product availability varies from location to location. Limiting product recommendations to those available at the user’s current location reinforces the desires for speed and ease while shopping. Alternatively, ShopWell could offer store availability with “near you” links to maps as well.

Finally, build user trust by suggesting products and health tips on their terms. This could be accomplished by:

  • Reducing pop-up frequency to once or twice a day,
  • Including a visual support for “notification settings” in the pop-up’s slide menu,
  • Personalizing the messages with help from the user profile, location and most popular,
  • And creating a homescreen with the latest recommendations that the user is free to visit as desired.

The Take Aways

Listening to what users have to say will help shape an app to their needs and wants. Therefore, user research and interpretation should be a constant process that accompanies the lifetime of a software product.

After discovering your design drivers, keep a consist look and feel and launch little by little.

To best measure retention rates, usability tests should be performed a few weeks after each launch and again several months later.

Keep clarity of language in mind at all times. For personal products, connect to your users with friendly, everyday language.

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