This is a side project that is currently being developed. How would you know if the restaurant, food trailer, or bakery you're going to hasn't already sold out of what you want? If only there were an app that could tell you. After not being able to buy Big John chocolate chip cookies at Whole Foods several times, due to them being sold out, I decided this was a problem that needed to be solved. I also began to think about how inventory affected the customer experience, not just with Whole Foods and cookies, but with a variety of consumables. An idea took form: a mobile app where customers, business owners, or both could list what a business has and how much of it they have left.
My role on this project is that of both product manager and designer. These roles include user research, concepting the feature list, and creating the UI and visual design. My partner in this project handles the development of both the front and back end.
My initial thought was that this could be useful for food trucks and their customers. Food trucks often deal with a very limited supply of what they serve, and they frequently sell out before their official closing time. I ran this idea by three food truck owners and got valuable feedback, mainly that they didn't think an app like this would be very useful. The owners themselves didn't think they would have time to update the quantities of their goods in an app and didn't necessarily trust their customers to update the quantities either. But given that this is a side project, I decided to move forward anyway. We decided on building an Android version of the app first, due to Android's sizable install base, and that fact that the developer and I are both Android users.
I had started working with Adobe XD to create wireframes and design comps in my day job, so I also used that tool to create the wireframes for this project. I also looked into using other tools, such as Sketch and Invision with Craft, and Proto.io. Shown here are my initial wireframes that I used to communicate my ideas to the developer I'm working with.
Working with Adobe Illustrator and Google’s Color Tool, I came up with a basic color scheme for the app. I also created a simple logo to use both in the app and as the app’s icon. I further refined the interface during visual design phase, incorporating feedback from the developer about technical limitations and edge cases I had missed during the wireframing phase.
The project has given me and the developer I’m working with a chance to create something very different from what we would at our respective day jobs. It has allowed us to apply our current skills, as well as learn new ones.