Cava Digital Ordering

Group Ordering Experience

UX/UI, Prodct Design

Notes and early user stories

The Challenge
Our team was tasked with completely overhauling Cava’s digital ordering experience so people could order together. The secondary challenge was that our design for Group Ordering had to play nicely with the existing digital ordering experience. When a customer creates a digital order, they build their meal, select the time they would like to pick up, and then pay for their order. With a group order, we have a variable number of people ordering at the same time an, and that’s where things get complicated. To ensure that we were always on the right track with the design, the work that follows was carried out over a few one-week sprints based on research, analysis, and collaboration. In the early part of the week, the team came together to frame the problem, design, and creation of a prototype happened in the middle of the week, followed by an internal review of the prototype on Thursday, and then a full day of user-testing on Friday. 

An early user flow visualizing how a group leader might set up and complete their
order while taking into account hiccups that might happen along the way.
Sketch for redesigning the group leader's bag
Working Toward a Solution
Because wrangling any number of people to complete a specific task in any amount of time is like herding cats we needed to address this first. An idea I brought up was that when ordering concert tickets, there is a timer, what if Group Ordering had one? Our hypothesis was that customers would have enough familiarity with timers that we would be able to instill a collective sense of urgency with group members and increase order completion rates.

User Testing – Round 1
To test how customers would react to our timer idea, I based our first prototype on the existing digital ordering experience and adding a few extra features, such as a modified “bag” view where a group's orders are collected before checkout for the group leader– named orders and, the timer. Once this was done, we brought in a group of customers to test our prototype. It was clear that although customers were not phased by a timer, following the same pattern for regular ordering was not going to work. A key reason why– variable pick-up times.
What we learned
What the team learned from this test was that because group size effects pick-up times, having customers choose their pick-up time at the end of the process, one would not know if the time they wanted for pick-up was available until checkout. What many of our customers told us was that they would cancel their group order if their desired pickup time was unavailable.

User Testing – Round 2
Taking everything we learned from our first test we adapted the prototype based on that feedback and got ready to try again. This time moving the pickup time to the beginning of the ordering experience as well as drastically simplifying the means in which customers received the link that brought them into the group order. This prototype tested incredibly well with nearly all customers sailing through the experience with almost no major confusion along with their path to submitting their order.
Time’s up
A challenge we had to work out with the timer was what happens when it runs out. Surely not scrap the entire order, (which of course is an option we would want to give) but provide a painless way to get the order going again. The solution I worked out was that when the timer expires, the customer gets the above model where they can either cancel or return to the order set-up page. If the timer has expired and there was a change of order size, by returning to the order set-up page the customer would be able to select a new pick-up time or if they needed to add a few more people to their group order and send them some join links. Conversely, if the group saw members drop out for any reason, the group leader could choose to select a smaller group size which might open up more pick up-time options.
In conclusion, designing Group Ordering, a feature that is incredibly important to the growth of the business in an incredibly competitive space was a terrific experience. Group Ordering is now in production and will be launching in the Cava online digital ordering app in April 2018.

Want to see more? Play with the prototype! ︎

As the only Product Designer on this project, all design and prototyping were done by me, while collaborating closely with key stakeholders and engineers. User testing was led by myself, with the help of our head of Brand, who selected our testing candidates, and engineering team who all helped record feedback and test my prototype. Being the only designer on this project was a unique challenge and I’m lucky to have worked with such an insightful, and supportive team. I couldn’t have done it without them.

Blake Wilton, Washington DC