Understanding the problem of SG

This project was a concept project(iOS )done when I am studying bootcamp in GA(currently still am). This project was completed with my teammates JX and Yvette. (thanks guys!!) And special thanks to Yvette’s spare laptop.

Brief : Work in a team to identify problems and/or an opportunities
with an existing mobile application and utilise your knowledge
to design a solution.

Our approach

Why did we choose it?

For this 10 days project, we are supposed to improve an existing mobile application. We began by looking around at various different apps on app store and some of the apps we also had. Then Yvette suggested why not we do Starbucks SG app. It has pretty low rating on Google Play and on App Store as well.

There must be something wrong with it. This app has a very low rating on Google Play store as well as App Store. Why does it have bad ratings? Aren’t Starbucks a really good brand for focus on its customer experience? Isn’t the Starbucks US version had a good review, why isn’t SG version getting the same reviews? These are some of the questions that we asked ourselves. We take a step further by examining the online reviews and app review.

The reviews

iOS app reviews
Google Play Store reviews

Most of the reviews were saying about the bad login and some of the bug issues. So we decided to investigate to see if we can find any problems out there in the wild. We did went out to observe the users.

Understanding the current app

So we did download the app to further examine the app. The UI seems pretty ok to me. Clean and simple. We found out that the signup process was really harsh on user. It has a real steep slope. It demands the user to input all the details straight up upfront. Potential user might be scared off and it also did not really matter to the user since he/she could still use the physical card to get rewards.

Contextual Observations + Inquiry

We did contextual observation to understand what the Starbucks customer by looking at their behaviour from afar. Since this app is supposed to help the customers in achieving their goal, we should understand the journey of Starbucks customers.

What we found out from a 1.5 hour observation, we realised that there are actually Starbucks customers who used the app to pay. There were more people using Starbucks Card compare to the app itself. However, there were significantly more people using cash/credit cards to pay. Since we are at a touristy place, it is understandable as most of the people were tourist and did not have Starbucks SG app and Starbuck SG card. We felt that we went to a wrong place to do observations. We did ask some of the users that used the app as well.

Then we split up to visit different branch of Starbucks at different location. One which is within the university, the one which is near to heartlands and the last which was in business district.

Raffles City Starbucks — The one I went to do some observations

User Interviews

Summary of answers that we did user interviews.

We did user interviews to better understand what the user had to say. These are some of the following user interviews that we had done. Personally, I had done 3 of user interviews myself. It is really good opportunity to use this project to reach out and ask people. I did learn how to ask better questions through this phase.

Affinity Mapping

Doing Affinity Mapping to understand the trends

However, my team was not very sure if our trend spotting were really correct and our problem statement was really valid. We did ask our teaching assistant for some help. We had some ideas now, we went and redo some of our conceptualising and ideation. Since I am going back the same way as Yvette, we stopped by a nearby Starbucks to continue our affinity mapping.

Starbucks at Nex

We continue with affinity mapping. After about 2 hours, we understand what are the problem that we are trying to solve. We kept going round and round on what problems are we solving with this app.

Then I saw a woman holding a bottle merchandise and taking a snapshot. From this simple gesture, I understood everything that we are going to solve. The problem that we need to solve has to be something about bridging the gap between the app and the physical store (making it relevant for the user to use).

(Left) simplified version of everything we wrote.

Something that we had really understand from the mapping is that what the app currently lack is that it do not really engage the user. There were many problems to it which repels user from using it. Then we did even more research to back our thinking from this session. And we found something interesting which backs our idea of the app needs to be something that bonds the customer with the Starbucks experience. The following statement is the business goal of Starbucks when they launched their app a few years back.

To build personalized digital relationships with customers that create new revenue opportunities

Business goal and User goal diagram

We later developed this diagram to better visualise the whole picture of what we are going to do for the solution, which is to create an app that both provide convenience and also brings the community together.


We crafted our persona to summarise the results we had gotten from user interviews. These are the three personas. Personas had helped us in understanding the pain points and user goals very clearly.

Customer Journey Map

Customer journey map is a tool we used in this project. We found this to be one of the most important steps in our project. It allows us to visualise the user actions and how he/she would have felt in that particular moment in his/her journey. We did this by using the data we gathered from persona and user interviews. We began by filling up what the customers would do in their journey. The touchpoint, the activity , the emotion.

Problem Statement #1 :Walk in customers need a way to select the most available Starbucks because they want to avoid having to wait for a seat.

Problem Statement #2 :Customers need a way to pay easily because the current payment process is troublesome.

Problem Statement #3 :Customers need a simpler way to sign up for the Starbucks app because the signup process is tedious and requires too many details.

Through all of the personas and customer journey map, we have come up with solutions, which we had them plotted into the feature prioritisation graph.

Feature Prioritisation

We had chosen all these features to be prioritise because it meets our persona goals and pain points as well. We wanted something which can solve the most critical problem of the user and as well as something that could be easily implemented.

User Flow

We then come up with new user flow to better understand how our design can be better for the users. We examined how the process can be smoother from the results we had gotten from user interviews and customer journey map.

We then understand that the sign up process can be a pain in the rear. We improved it by introducing OTP mobile verification. Other than that, we break down the process of filling up 9 text field straight into 2 parts. Allowing the user to just focus on a few , then move on to focus on the next using illustration to show the user. Through my own contextual observations and personal use of current app, I realised there were no feedback when my value had been deducted. I felt confused because I was not sure if the transaction was done properly. Then we decided to add some feedback for transaction as well.

Key Features

The main key features changes were based on the problem that each of our persona faced.


In this project, I was really happy because I had the chance to do more in terms of designing. I did most of the design in welcome page, stores, maps and sign in/up pages. I did not really had the confident to design great works as I am not a very visual person. I am really happy as I had the backing of my team to try to design UI for all these pages. I wanted the look of the page to be as white as possible, as compared to the original Starbucks app. I wanted it to feel as lightweight and simple look rather than classy or professional.

Usability testing

Research plan is something that I myself found it very useful in conducting usability test. We can make sure that the test consistent and we can validate the things that we wanted to.

Yvette is the main person in charge of doing usability testing and I was the one helping to facilitate the testing. We exchanged role once in a while. We found out many informations that impressed us from the users. We managed to gain valuable information that will improve our prototype. After the usability test is done, I did up usability test report to summarize our findings.

Final Prototype

Visit this link to view the prototype : https://invis.io/HKNZNJNUEXV

What I have learnt from this project

I have learnt how to deal with problems and hypothesis differences in this project. The 2 hour sitting in Starbucks really helped the team to understand what we are really doing in terms of achieving user goals and as well as business goals.

Without it, we would just be doing an UI redesigning instead of UX redesign.

I definitely learnt to cope with expectations and knowing what I want to achieve in life. In previous project, I only did those things I could do well and I did not really do Axure design as I felt myself pulling the team back. I did think of dropping out this course because I did not felt good from previous project. And I did not know what I want to achieve out from this course. Nevertheless, I still held on and did whatever I could on that few days with very negative mind, because one of my teammate was sick and I had no choice but to do as much as I could.

However, in this project, I was involved in every single part of the project. My role in this project was mainly involved in design thinking and as well as user research and testing. Also, I did the entire usability report. When my teammate fell sick, I doubled up as UI designer, even though I was not that great at it, but it did push our team pace back up, if not we were definitely not going to complete our project. It did not help as well with my macbook being in repair centre this whole time. I had to borrow laptop from Yvette to do all the necessary work.

During rehearsal for presentation, I kept being nervous and mind-blank. I am someone who really bad at communicating. I just told them I would practice at home when I reached home. I practiced until 3am on that day, because I was the first presenter and I need to convey the business goal and message to kickstart the presentation. After the presentation, I thought I could do even better, because I went mind-blank for a brief moment. During QnA session, I did not really know how to answer questions as well.

It is not that I could not answer, it is just something in my mind that was blocking. I just needed time to process information. I noticed that I could not answer questions properly. This will be something that I will work on for the rest of my course. It is to build a good communication skills.

Source link https://blog..io/starbucks-singapore-app-redesigned-5c2aa24a5c70?source=rss—-eb297ea1161a—4


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