OVERVIEW 

In my first group project, I worked with the context of an actual Austin business, Home Slice Pizza.  In the brief, the company was said to be looking to expand their catering offerings in competitive response to the growth of companies like Favor and Chipotle.

Challenges

  • redesign the company website and create an intuitive mobile prototype for quick takeout orders
  • developing and assigning partner roles within a new group
  • dealing with inter-team difficulties
  • unexpected illness of a team member
  • computer malfunctions

MY ROLE

I sought to offer what guidance I could to the group, helping to set up some basic roles and expectations.  I did some competitive analysis early on, as well as conducting interviews, many sketching iterations, surveys and contextual analyses.  For the final deliverables I created the responsive-mobile wires and prototype.


The Queen of Pies

The Queen of Pies

brainstorming ideas

sketching out early concepts

some competitive analysis sketches

ideas for mobile

working out UI

on-the-go mobile ideations

concepts for catering option

A run through of the clickable interface

The most interesting and challenging part of this whole project arose mainly from being thrown into a group with folks I’d never worked with before.  But I was able to quickly adapt to the new dynamic, and ultimately produce a deliverable that I was fairly proud of.

As we jumped in, I realized that it would be important to peg down user personas as soon as possible, realizing catering implied they were not to usual walk-up clientele the restaurant normally caters to.  

We realized our main users would be those seeking catering for professional and private events.  Once we'd created the personas, I created a survey to find users who fit this description.  We performed one-on-one interviews with 2 or 3 of each.

Then, implementing the findings from the interviews and the surveys of the demographic, we set to brainstorming, sketching to out the MVP’s of the website and mobile offerings.

Though working feverishly, we struggled to get ahead.  This was because one of the members of our group increasingly seemed disinterested in putting in much work, and was very resistant to all critique.  But we jumped into this challenge to figure out how we might get him to work to the degree he was willing, but still synergize that energy to help and not hinder our progress.

Though this situation was exacerbated by computer issues and my other partner's sudden hospital visit - I was still able to create a simple but effective final product, and received very positive usability feedback.


TAKEAWAYS: 

This was in many ways, my most important project, because of how much I learned, including:

  • we rarely are able to pick who we work with

  • solid communication and flexibility are key
  • all new projects should begin with an opportunity to get to know each other and discuss desired roles, responsibilities
  • if possible, I would like to also ideally discuss our relative strengths, weaknesses, and foster an agreed accountability
  • I can still create and work well under compromising circumstances 

Though I faced many challenges, I am ultimately incredibly thankful for the lessons I received.  I was able to tackle unexpected challenges face on, and see that I could still perform effectively and produce potent work.