UX Fundamentals

GROCERY STORE LAYOUT
UX Fundamentals l Concept Design

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ABOUT:

August 2018 I had the opportunity to work on my first UX project at the School of Visual Concepts.

My challenge statement was How might we quicken the grocery store shopping experience? Enclosed is a part of my design process with the project, including my original powerpoint if you’d like to see it here: UX Fundamentals.


CONCEPT:

Focus area: After a competitive analysis and coming back to the questions why grocery stores are currently designed the way they are to slow customers down, I decided to focus on personas and redesigning the grocery store layout with subtle modifications.

Persona goals included:

  • Navigation cart items quickly
  • Efficiency checkout quickly and,
  • Discoverability quality, choice and experience

Having gone grocery shopping with my interviewee (gentleman in a wheelchair), I noticed reachability and obstruction issues.

In addition to redesigning the grocery store layout, my focus was on:

  • Information architecture
  • Wayfinding and inclusive information
  • Accessibility and innovation subtle system modifications

This included adding information kiosks that change to your native language, smart carts that follow a customer around and smart doors that slid open to reach frozen products.

Easy to navigate, efficiency and subtle design modifications.


EASY TO NAVIGATE

Currently grocery stores are designed to slow customers down in a method called “building the basket”. It’s one reason why the most frequently purchased items are lined around the outer perameters of the store. This includes milk, bread, eggs, meat and fruit and vegetables.

To redesign the grocery store layout I placed the most frequently purchased items to be near the front of the store and I divided the products into two categories:

  • raw goods and
  • finished goods

Raw goods were defined as items that would be modified or assembled with other items to create a final product.

Finished goods included deli items and prepared meals, items that customers would consume without changing.

For efficiency and navigation I redesign the store for memorization. From right to left, the layout was composed of simple items that built in complexity.

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My grocery store redesign.

EASY TO DISCOVER

Coming back to the questions of why grocery stores are currently designed the way they are to slow customers down, I decided to integrate information architecture taken from friendly accessible places: public libraries.

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This included wayfinding maps and signage like a library, at eye level, including use braille instead of store end caps for products, and smart information kiosks that would change languages for accessibility, provide reviews if a customer didn’t have a phone and read product information out loud or ping a courtesy clerk to read information in person if that was preferred.

EASY TO ACCESS

Having gone grocery shopping with an interviewee (gentleman in a wheelchair), I noticed reachability and obstruction issues. To increase product access, smart carts that followed a customer around and smart doors that slid open to reach frozen products were added as subtle technology modifications.

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In addition to providing access to more products, I thought these modifications would also benefit the grocery store’s bottom line.


DESIGN FEEDBACK AND FINDINGS:

Design feedback included conducting stakeholder interviews to find confluence between customers and the grocery store as a business.

Stakeholder interviews would have provided the opportunity to design a grocery store layout that was both beneficial to the business and the customers.

Findings with this design included sharing designs and getting feedback before I chose to leave them out (images below)

  1. Product blockchain. “Checkout where that potato came from, fertilizers used and how long the trucking period took.”
  2. Employee empowerment. Using the store’s layout (topography) to move products from the floor to the back for online purchases.

and approaching “innovative solutions” as the engineer and extreme user.

For example, if you’re blind, opening freezer doors that slide open to access products could be confusing given you’d feel a change in air pressure and temperature, like an automatic door opening to move between an indoor and outdoor space.


MY ROLE AND DESIGN PROCESS:

My role was both researcher and designer.

As a part of my SVC UX Fundamentals class, I worked with another classmate to share information to better approach our design challenge. Working on two different designs, mine the grocery store layout, their’s a mobile application, I found our collaboration and different perspectives to be beneficial.

After contextual inquiry and class feedback, competitive analysis and understanding the market landscape was the most instrumental part to my design process. Taking inventory of current trends, plus cross industry designs allowed me to cherry pick the best ideas from both of them.