Ordering food for others. Building a “wholesome” delivery experience.
Sometimes, you’re not ordering food for yourself. Maybe you’re ordering for someone else — your mother, a partner, a friend or just about anyone. (Because they don’t have a phone or you need to pay — the more likely situation).
You go to your “The App” (Fill in the blanks with your favorite food delivery app or Uber/Swiggy/Zomato) then and order.
Most times the delivery guys get it right. But sometimes, they don’t.
Sometimes it becomes a pain. You end up coordinating for the location, door opening and the usual Indian drama. Worse yet if everyone involved is also hungry.
What can you do? Or what can the products we use do for it? Here’s a quick feature fix or solution for all us hungry ones out there.
(Disclaimer: I’ve based this feature on only my hypothesis, assumptions, research and learning.)
I want to able to order food at my chosen location for my chosen person at my chosen time.
Most food apps currently work with 2 default options (scheduler & address). So the initial idea was to replace an option with a people picker.
But upon further thought I realized that it doesn’t make life easier for me and isn’t a good fix. (What if I have a meeting but need to send mom lunch in between?). All 3 options need to be available.
And so the idea became to build a feature with a similar flow and flexibility like the scheduler and address picker.
Feature inspiration: A bit of googling and poking around took me to Uber. Uber has an option wherein I can book a ride for someone else.
What it can do:
- Lets you book a ride for someone else after selecting the pickup location
- Takes access to my “Contacts” to choose who I’m booking for, no manual input available.
- Sends an SMS to the person I’ve booked a ride for with the ride details (Car and driver’s number etc.)
What it can’t do:
- Schedule a ride for someone else later. It’s available for “Ride now” only.
- Gives no saved list of people (like addresses). It shows only a list of recent people whom I’ve booked a ride for.
The feature solved for 2 things in my problem statement, but not all. A bit more digging lead to…
Introducing “My People”
This feature lets me order food for someone else without being the go-between person.
My People is a list of saved people that will be on your app for whom you want to order food.
The list of saved people need only 2 basic details for their food delivery: Name and contact number.
Building on this, below are the initial wire-frames for UX flow:
Flow: User would open the app — -> A drop-down menu of all 3 options would be given → User has to choose for all 3 variable options.
Fault with this flow:
- Rudimentary and long-winded. A user has choose too many things in 1 go (Not ideal when in a ‘hangry’ mode.)
- High cognitive load and potential case of annoyance. What if the user closes app by mistake and repeat the whole process again?
Fix: There should be default options for all.
The primary assumptions for default option on the main screen are:
- I’m ordering food for myself
- I want the food now
- Home is where the hungry stomach is
Hence, upon launching the home screen a user can change any of the 3 default options — location, time and person as they need.
Upon clicking “Me” — the default — a user can change who they’re ordering for. It’s like having saved addresses. A user can add people they want to the list. (not covered edit and delete).
2 ways to add to “My People:
- Add directly from Contacts: Permission to access Contacts to be asked. Once a contact is chosen, it adds the chosen contact ‘s name and number to the list.
- Manual input of name and number: A user can type out the name & number as per their choice. I’ve added this option because a few might not be okay with giving apps too much access to personal stuff. It’s a little hard-work, but empowers a user.
Once a user has selected the person, all order delivery communication will made on that given phone number.
And that’s it!
Upon clicking any of the default options (Now, To, Me); you can easily customize your food ordering experience to your liking.
You don’t have to be the go-between person for orders anymore for any order anytime, anywhere. Fewer hassles in life!
P.S: My thoughts as I figured out the second flow was “why didn’t I think of this before?”.