Joe Coffee

Mobile App Redesign Concept


Joe Coffee is an existing mobile app that is designed to empower local business and make mobile ordering available to patrons of local coffee shops. Their mission is to “To put the independent coffee scene in the palm of every coffee lovers hand.”


When Joe Coffee first launched their app, it was warmly received, but has since struggled with user attrition and ongoing support from participating stores. In preparation for relaunching their app, my team was challenged to build a conceptual app redesign that would help Joe Coffee prioritize improvements for their actual app redesign.

Scope + Role

Within two weeks our team was challenged to evaluate the existing app, research the opportunity, prioritize functionality, test and iterate wireframes and build a low-fidelity prototype. I managed the product strategy while contributing to the interaction design and research.


User Research

The main feature of the current Joe Coffee app is ordering in advance local coffee shops to quickly grab drinks on the go. Since my team almost never orders coffee to go, we knew it was it was imperative to talk to people who both valued local coffee and ordered to go. We used a screener survey to find these target users and then set up in-depth conversations with the five respondents who best matched these criteria. We synthesized a few key findings:

  • Even people who sometimes grab coffee to go, often prefer to sit and linger in local cafes
  • People choose local coffee primarily because it tastes better—other factors like supporting local business and promoting ethical farming are secondary
  • Importantly, waiting in line at a local coffee shop is almost never a paint point—in fact it can be a welcome opportunity to connect with community
  • People wish they had better loyalty programs at local coffee shops, they might buy from Starbucks when traveling simply because they know what to expect and get rewarded

We took our more detailed findings and grouped them into three personas:

  1. Sonjo: usually gets coffee on the way to school or work, but likes to stay and linger on the weekends. Feels good about being connected to community, sharing bits of life with the baristas.
  2. Wachel: prefers to sit and linger whenever possible, but still gets coffee to go about a third of the time. Coffee shop environment is important to being able to get work done.
  3. Cole: works at home and usually makes coffee at home. Frequently service economy apps like Bitesquad because they reduce social awkwardness and make the buying process clear.

We also interviewed baristas who work at participating local coffee shops. What we learned from them is that they loved the Joe Coffee concept in theory, but in practice it was difficult to juggle multiple ordering queues.

Design Review

We also preformed an informal heuristic analysis on the existing ordering experience. In addition to awkward touch target sizing and button placement, we were frustrated that we had to specify many drink details that we didn’t care about to be able to complete our order. When speaking to Brenden, the owner of Joe Coffee, he also highlighted this as a frustration with the existing design, so we made sure to address it in our redesign.


Joe Coffee was designed to help patrons of local coffee shops skip lines and get their coffee more conveniently. In our research, we learned that waiting in line isn’t actually a major pain point for the target audience, instead they are more interested in being rewarded for loyalty to local cafes. After synthesizing our user interviews we made an affinity diagram of the problem, brainstormed possible functional solutions and prioritized which we would include.

User Needs

  • Reward me for being a regular
  • Make transactions easy and convenient, help me focus on relationships not order details
  • Help me feel like I’m part of a community
  • Help me find great coffee when traveling

Business Goals

  • Improve frequency of purchase/user
  • Grow base of users and participating stores organically
  • Minimize attrition over time

Design Solution

With our redesign we were able to reuse most of the screens from the existing JC app just with some significant changes. In our concept we more prominantly feature a user account screen where people can preload their account balance and see their porgress toward s=s earning a free drink. The default screen continues to be a map that show participating coffee shops nearby. Few also more prominently feature and image and description of each store where a user can quickly select a favorites drink at that store. One of the key design changes we recommend is in the screen where each drink get customized. Rather than forcing the user to choose from many different options, we assume the most common defaults for each drink and then provide the user the option to make modifications wherever they like. e primary user task We modeled our solution around

What feedback did you get?

In our early testing we discovered one awkward nabgtion components which we were belt o make more discoverable and intuitive in our interactions. overall the testing feedback was that the ordering process was simple and intuitive and the people loved the idea that they could earn loyalty points between several different local coffee shops. When we share our feedback with owner of JC, he was especially appreciative to our approach to drink customization (add picture of Brendan and his comment)

Our feedback from Brenden Martin, Owner of Joe Coffee was extremely positive!

“We have spent countless hours white boarding ideas and users flows for the ordering process over the past couple of years. The result was continually being disappointed in the outcome. After working with the UXDI group, I couldn’t be more excited about their solutions to the ordering page. Their solution reduced the number of decisions users have to make while at the same time allowing for complete customization. This has been a pain point for our users for quite some time and we are thrilled it’s been solved.”