OVERVIEW 

In this group project, I worked within the context of one of Austin's best pizza spots, Home Slice Pizza.  In the brief, the company was said to be looking to expand their online catering offerings in response to the competitive growth of others 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 inner-team conflict
  • 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

more brainstorms for content

competitive analysis

mobile iteration sketches

mobile navigation concepts

concepts for website and flow

on-the-go mobile ideations

A run through of the mobile interface

For this project we were faced with the unenviable task of studying one of the most famous pizza joints in Austin (somebody's gotta do it).  
I was thrown into a work dynamic that ended up offering a lot of surprises and drama - but ultimately I was able to produce a deliverable that I was quite proud of.

As we began I quickly realized that it would be important to peg down user personas as soon as possible, because catering implies we weren't dealing with the usual walk-up clientele that 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 doing the work, and was especially resistant to any critique.  But I and my other teammate tackled this challenge by seeking to use what energy he was willing to give, but split up the important tasks to finish on time.

This situation was subsequently exacerbated by computer issues and my teammate's sudden unexpected hospital visit.  Yet amazingly, we were still able pull through and smooth out all difficulties to offer a creative and effective final product.
 
In the end I received very positive user feedback on the mobile ordering option I created.


TAKEAWAYS: 

This was in many ways my most important project due to the manifold lessons, including:

  • being present, flexible and amenable to any situation is key

  • effective communication and clarity with teammembers is paramount
  • all new projects should begin with an opportunity to really get to know each other and discuss desired roles, responsibilities
  • ideally also taking time to discuss relative strengths, weaknesses, and foster an agreed accountability evaluation
  • I can work well and creatively under unexpected pressure

with more time, I would:

  • creatively brainstorm more ways to effectively incorporate what work the other teammate was willing to provide
  • design to fully incorporate the mobile ordering option into the catering web offering
  • perform testing and refine the mobile ordering offering to better serve the users' needs

Though I faced many challenges, I am ultimately incredibly thankful for the eye-opening lessons this project offered.  I was able to embrace unexpected challenges face on, and see that I could still perform and even thrive under pressure to offer creative solutions.