Just Eat App

Just Eat started as a food delivery service for local takeaway restaurants at a time when ordering fast food online was still gaining traction. Like so many companies at the time, Just Eat had expanded and had started to acquire competitors across the world. This was great for its reach, revenue and user base, but headaches and inflexibility for it’s code base and creaking user interface. Also, popular UK competitors like Deliveroo and Uber Eats were eating into their local market and beyond with slick user experiences,  big brands in their inventories, and other popular features. Just Eat needed to slicker, more agile, more nimble and the apps were the best place to start.

THE CONTEXT & OBJECTIVES

After several company acquisitions and different, similar products all functioning on different technical platforms, Just Eat needed to combine their apps and websites onto few, more modern, more robust platforms. This included their consumer apps for iOS and Android.

This provided an opportunity to reconsider the interface and user journeys for the apps, which were creaking under inflexible designs that made adding or improving features a challenge. It was also a great time to refresh how the brand was being presented and bring a more visually engaging approach to the interface, especially as Uber Eats and Deliveroo were becoming stronger competition with fresher, more modern looking apps.

This work actually restarted another overall interface redesign project that had been progressing for 6 months before this project launched, so many of the learnings from that project were pulled into this new approach.

The main business objectives included:

  • Building a new platform and code base that would be more agile and flexible and could integrate all of the acquired database information 
  • Creating a new interface that could integrate features popular with users of other platforms, helping Just Eat to be more competitive – features like order tracking, estimated order times in our restaurant listings, better item search and restaurant filtering
  • Working in a more collaborative, squad manner to increase pace and ensure user research validation was done for every feature to help minimise risk and overall cost
  • Integrate more photography and better branded UI elements to help freshen up the interface and keep pace with competitors

  • Try to maintain the AA accessibility compliant UI as much as possible as Just Eat had a higher percentage of users with accessibility needs – many people who were housebound or had mobility issues and considered home meal delivery very useful

  • Ensure we considered the impact of language and currency localisation in how the UI was designed, especially in relation to CTAs and text wrapping

     

THE SET UP

  • My role: Senior Product Design Manager B2C & B2B
  • Company: Just Eat
  • Main Team: B2C UI & UX designers, user researchers, B2C product management, delivery, development

During this project, I was running the UI teams for both the B2C products (apps and websites the customers order from) and the B2B products (the products the restaurants used to receive and update orders).

Our team had designers dedicated to particular verticals and would work closely with UX designers, researchers, devs and product managers for those verticals, but they physcially sat and had multiple reviews with the other UI designers to help ensure visual, brand, and user experience consistency. This was crucial as many verticals were working independently and at pace – many did not have capacity to ensure consistancy across the overall product experience. Our team was the customer journey sanity checker and brand backstop, as it were.

THE PROCESS

A whole lotta process…! There were design sprints with all the of the sketching, voting and brainstorming involved with endless workshops with designers, product managers, developers and key business stakeholders. There were weekly “huddles” with all involved in the work on specific verticals to ensure everyone was on track and had visibility of the other moving parts affecting the overall output that might not affect the aspect they were working on most immediately.

Asking the users: There was a whole lot of hypotheses and usability / validation testing too. A few sessions built around What Users Do were coordinated before larger pieces of work were tackled. Usability / validation testing was mostly accomplished through in person moderated testing at regular intervals (about every 2-3 weeks) in the lab at Just Eat. Some additional testing for smaller pieces, like UI specific patterns, was also executed through unmoderated remote testing.

Then getting the full app out: Rolling out new build to users progressively, while still maintaining an aggressive post launch roadmap to help catch up to competitors and help ensure our dominance in the restaurant food delivery space

There were challenges

  1. Too many cooks – As can happen with projects this big and with this tight of a deadline, it can be easy for too many to be involved at too granular a level. At the time this project kicked off, a design agency, with no clear remit or relayed plan for adding value was added into the design sprint process. This led to confusion and some avoidable slow downs as people lost track of who was responsible for certain aspects of the design and research process and whom had the authority to sign off work. This is the main reason I left Just Eat before this project was launched.
  2. Loads of unnecessary design rework – as mentioned above, there was already a UI refresh project that had been underway with nearly identical objectives that was parked to start this work. It was initially agreed that design work on features would start with what had already been designed, validate that work and update / adjust as necessary as new features were added, new approaches considered, etc. Some of that did happen, but most design started from scratch. A lot of time and money could have been saved had the earlier work been used a foundation.

KEY HIGHLIGHTS AND FEATURES

  • More and bigger food photos: Photos impact the choice of cuisine and restaurant in a big way
  • Implementing a Legends label: This highlighted award winning and popular restaurants, giving local restaurants a fighting chance against big chains
  • Menu section descriptors: Helping users navigate to the dishes and dish types they want more quickly
  • Delivery minimum prompts: Letting users know how much more they need to purchase to quality for delivery of the food
  • Upselling in the basket: Offering sponsorship opportunities for brands like Coca Cola and a last chance to add more to the order
  • Real-time order tracking: Finally catching up with Deliveroo on a feature that was incredibly popular with customers

Disclaimer: By the time these screenshots were taken on the live product (a couple of months after I left the company), the colour palette had shifted a little and some fonts swapped out, but the overall UX/UI direction, structure and visual approach was consistent with the part of the project I was involved in and led.

RESULTS

This app launched about two months after I had left Just Eat, so I was not privy to specific numbers, but all metrics pointed to the app launch ultimately being a success and having a positive impact on revenue for 2018.

The majority of results I was privy to dealt with some of the feature experiments we were able to run live on the current apps that required light UI changes or features we could be more easily phase in before the “big release” as the journeys or UI treatments could be worked into the current structure of the apps

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