Boba Master:
Summon Your Friends for Boba Runs

UX/UI Design,
Design Exercise
Boba is the new way to chill. But it is SO DIFFICULT to do a group order. Typically 1 person collects all the orders manually or passes their phone around for people to add their custom drink themselves.
Spontaneous boba runs have additional communication challenges. It's always awkward to get the "So sorry we already ordered 😭" conversation.
A ninja-themed app that helps boba enthusiasts embark on group boba runs ASAP. Everyone can order on their own phones, thus the mission can be accomplished in 50% less time.
Business Thoughts: The app is impartial to boba shop competitors. A reasonable monthly subscription per boba store + paid advertisements could keep the business afloat.
Why a Design Exercise?

I'm not always able to share work-internal Visual/Interaction Design projects; since I work in a research facility for an automotive company, I have even less opportunities to work on interface projects that are currently in the hands of users. I've worked on visuals for numerous websites and apps, but due to constraints I wasn't able to push the UI/Interaction Design as far as I wished. So, I challenged myself to a 6~ hour sprint. I later went back in to tidy up the documentation.

1hr Conduct primary and secondary user research
1hr Identify Opportunity Areas
30min Create playful Brand Identity
1hr+ Wireframing
1hr+ Creating Mockups
1.5hrs Documenting

HOW MIGHT WE . . . make it easier for boba enthusiasts to organize group orders?

Do you have what it takes to be . . . Boba Master? No, not yet. Because the current solution SUCKS.

Primary and Secondary UX Research

Boba has become a service all on its own. There are numerous established and DIY’d solutions with concepts on a broad spectrum:

boba delivery (ex: Grubhub)
loyalty programs (ex: Tastea, Fivestars)
searching for boba shops (ex: Boba Beacon)
rating boba shops (ex: Yelp)

Boba is treated like any other food item. Therefore, it creates similar problems for foodies and stores as other food items:

complex customization (eg coffee)
high demand and supply (stores)
complex ordering (2-6 custom points)

Whiteboarding Flows, Sketching Wireframes

For people doing a bulk order for their friends (delivery or not), there’s so many pain points. What would happen if we started the flow assuming people are doing a bulk order?

Key features I wanted to focus on adding or improving:

Improve Content Strategy for Customizing Boba Drinks (size, milk, sweetness, ice, drink, toppings, etc)
Add Customizable Time Limit for Order
Add History of Boba Drinks for 1-tap selection instead of manually entering info every single time
Add Option to "Pay for Your Boba". Why use Venmo when this app already knows what your order is?
"I'll send you guys the code for a boba group order for pick-up from Teaspoon Los Altos. You have 10min to order!"

Short Branding Exercise

Dominant x Cheeky

I wanted to create something intense yet silly…intensely silly. I have design mentors who are a bit patronizing at times though they come from a heart full of care. This brand tone was ultimately inspired by those relationships.

Unfortunately with UI, brand voice is mostly conveyed through copy-heavy portions.

"Hmm...What should I get from Teaspoon this time? My usual? Or should I change the toppings?"
"Hmm...What should I get from Teaspoon this time? My usual? Or should I change the toppings?"
"Looks like you're almost done. We're all paying our own, but I'll pick-up when I get the notification later."
UI Considerations
Exercise Concluding Thoughts
Next Steps

Without my self-imposed time constraints, I would have spent more time fleshing out a proper design system and more user flows for different users. There's the whole backend system as well, which could include iPads and TV screens for the staff and owners of the boba shops.

Pursuing the Boba Bot Idea

There's a trend in the industry right now that favors conversational bot interaction. People generally find it easier to text back and forth conversationally with a bot than fill out a huge paper form (ex: Carbonhealth Patient History, CuriousKaren surveys). This is primarily a UI exercise, but I still believe there's a lot of potential in pursuing a bot interaction as a possible solution to this problem.