Concepting

FROST - Loyalty Customer Journey Mapping

When contemplating a new app-based loyalty program for FROST, I began by researching customer behaviors in-store and online. This mix of physical vs. virtual user analysis was critical because the program had important touch-points in both areas.

After extensive qualitative research in the store, and using data from our existing digital channels, I began to further define customer profiles and create comprehensive journey maps. The following are some examples of this work.

Note: Due to confidentiality concerns, some data and analysis has been omitted.

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FROST - Online Order Platform

There are many off-the-shelf online ordering platforms available for restaurants, however FROST has unique business eccentricities that require a custom solution. To this end, I began the product design process by examining the existing solution, reviewing data on it's use, and conducted preliminary/informal testing against my initial assumptions. This led to the creation of a requirements document, and a proposed roadmap for the implementation of new features.

The following document contains some of this work to illustrate my process. Some data and prototypes have been omitted due to confidentiality concerns as this project is still under development.

SCREENSHOT FROM THE PROJECT DOCUMENT

SCREENSHOT FROM THE PROJECT DOCUMENT

INITIAL CONCEPT SKETCHING

INITIAL CONCEPT SKETCHING

FROST - Sales Forecasting & Analysis

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BACKGROUND
 

FROST is a multi-location dessert concept known primarily for its unique varieties of doughnuts. Featured in national magazines and the Food Network, FROST has built a valuable brand in the growing specialty bakery space. As Creative Director, I am responsible for the design, marketing, and end-to-end guest experience for the brand.

While not part of my official duties, my extensive technical experience led to the creation and implementation of a sophisticated production tracking system designed to reduce waste, cost-of-goods, and labor. It would increase overall business efficiency, improve guest experience, and ultimately increase revenue.

One of the most frustrating challenges in a bakery business is determining how much product to make each day. Unlike a typical restaurant, a bakery selling items with extremely limited shelf life must estimate daily demand and produce product accordingly. Too much product means end-of-day waste, and too little creates guest frustration. In both cases, revenue suffers. Imagine a restaurant that had to guess how many steaks it would sell in a day, and cook them in advance. What could be done to help predict sales of steaks for that day to inform the cooks on how many to make?

My solution sought to gather as much relevant data as possible to help inform these daily decisions and to enable kitchen managers to more confidently estimate production.

 

THE PROCESS

 

The first priority for this project was to determine what data would be relevant in identifying sales trends. We know based on historical sales data that certain days are busier than others - but why? It wasn’t enough to say that Saturdays are always busier than Mondays because, while mostly accurate, there are several other factors at play. Is Monday a school holiday? Is there a big game on Saturday that will affect foot traffic in the area? What effect does the weather have on daily sales? Interviews with staff and management, review of sales against historical data, and industry research led to a list of factors that could better inform decisions made in the kitchen.

Once these relevant data points were identified, the next question was how do we gather this information and present it in a meaningful way? With the help of a software engineer, we created a routine that would gather both live and historical sales data from our point-of-sale systems, pull weather reports, and add calendar information to identify holidays and local events. We also gave managers the ability to manually add information from the store level that may affect traffic, such as mall closures or road construction.

Once the system collected the information, each data point was assigned a value that would increase or decrease the recommended daily production in the form of a percentage. With an average baseline of 100%, a recommendation of 125% indicates that the kitchen should increase production by 25%. The algorithm generating these percentages is easily tuned by adjusting the weight of each data point as we learn and collect more information making the system more accurate over time.

The next consideration was creating use-cases and identifying who would use this information, in what context, and on what types of devices. Some users will only consume the information while others may contribute to it. Based on job responsibilities, I identified three primary user types, each with increasing responsibility and access to the system. Iterating and testing with end users along the way, I defined both desktop and tablet interfaces that made viewing and understanding the information easy by revealing only what is necessary for the intended user.

 

USE AND IMPLEMENTATION

 

Administrators use a web-based desktop interface which grants them granular access to all aspects of the system. Designed for the most technical users, the interface focuses on sweeping, system-wide changes and the maintenance of data sources.

Kitchen and store managers use a tablet interface to access daily recommendation numbers along with additional context to improve decisionmaking, and the ability to adjust or even override system recommendations. These users also have access to basic reports and are able to navigate between past and future dates, as well as input additional information that may be useful to bakery staff.

Bakery staff use a resistive touchscreen designed for gloved use in a busy kitchen. Their interface displays basic production information and allows the user to navigate to past and future dates, as well as view any additional information added by their managers.

A system of this type is only as effective as the data that drives it. Initial implementation required frequent adjustments and estimates in cases where there wasn’t enough data to support accurate results. As historical data grew, the system became more accurate and required less intervention by users.

 

RESULTS

 

Initially the system required more “care and feeding” than expected. This led to frustration for users, however its value was quickly understood as less intervention was required and more accurate numbers were provided over time. It also increased manager confidence when making production decisions, and allowed them to schedule production days in advance, freeing up time for other tasks.

In its first year of implementation, the system reduced product waste by nearly 25%, and by its second year nearly 40%. Store revenues have also increased by 15% due to properly projecting required inventory, and this number is expected to grow as the system gets smarter.

 

THE FUTURE

 

In the future, it is intended that this system will connect with other facets of the business such as assisting buyers with setting accurate par levels for raw ingredients, and providing deeper data on labor to help managers decrease costs.

 

CONCLUSION

 

The necessity for a system such as this could only be understood through experience in the industry and its unique challenges. By carefully studying the business over time and identifying its pain points, I was able to design and implement a system that removed a great deal of uncertainty and guesswork which has led to reduced waste and increased profits.

 

NOTE: Screens of this work are not yet available as the project is in development.

 

Amazon - Personal Sales Concept

This is a concept I created for Amazon with the primary goal of creating a new individual seller and buying experience that stands alone yet is still part of the overall Amazon brand.

The goals of this project were:

• Create a fresh shopping experience, one that is still Amazon, but could stand alone.
• Surface a wide variety of “pre-loved” items in a way that invites discovery.
• Reveal items relevant to a customer’s browsing habits, anticipating their needs.
• Make browsing the category easy, aligning it with Amazon but allowing it to stand alone.
• Engage “social shopping” by creating new ways to interact and share.
• Inspire existing customers to become sellers on the platform.
• Highlight items available for local pick-up, Amazon Locker, Prime, and FBA.
• (Future) Create a listing tool to make selling items on Amazon super easy while guiding the process to ensure high-quality listings. 

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Coldwater Creek - Shopping Experience

At a time when retail clothing chain Goldwater Creek began placing more focus on online sales, and eventually moving exclusively online, I was brought in to manage and design the UX for the complete shopping experience. This included category and detail pages, search and filtering, shopping cart, and checkout.

This was an extensive multi-month on-site project at Coldwater's headquarters in Sandpoint, ID. Working directly with the VP of Sales and Creative Director, my role ranged from high-level stakeholder involvement to UX design and prototyping.

What is not shown is work involving video and exploration into new ways of shopping for fashion, concepts I was unable to retain for my portfolio.

Following are a selection of screenshots from this work.

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be. Brand Concept

When FROST asked to create a brand extension that focused on coffee, I knew that I needed to preserve the integrity of the original brand while extrapolating it into a new business.

be. by FROST is a concept I created around the FROST Bespoke Espresso product, which I designed and launched for the company in 2014. The ask was to create a concept that elevated the coffee experience to one more akin to a wine bar. Custom artisan roasts served in an upscale, luxe setting and paired with the fresh baked treats FROST is known for. By leveraging the existing brand as an introduction to be. I was able to create a new concept that was instantly familiar to customers. The brand connection continues beyond initial visual cues with the familiar products FROST guests know and love.

But why a separate brand? There are a number of reasons but key among them is the ability to open be. stores into denser locations with smaller footprints than required by a FROST store. The FROST brand works best when positioned in suburban areas frequently underserved by fresh, new food concepts. be. presents an opportunity to extend brand reach into new, more unique locations with a more upscale, urban concept that speaks better to the demographic.

Below are parts of an initial concept brief created for be. which has raised significant funding and will be launching in late 2017. These screens are shown with permission.

Amazon - Wine Case Creation

Many wineries selling on Amazon offer multi-pack or case discounts. Offering a way for customers to gather bottles and keep track of what's in their case is a new way to shop on the site.

Following are wireframes and mockups of product (detail) page integration and an exploration of ways to display this information to customers.

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Amazon Art - Discovery & Recommendations

As a part of my work in launching Amazon Art, I created a number of concepts designed to make the discovery of art fun and interactive. With so many options available to the customer, my goal was to assist the customers in finding art they love and recommend additional pieces with similar attributes.

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Amazon - Wine Deals

This was primarily a visual design task seeking more engaging ways of displaying offers in the wine category. These concepts cover storefront offer displays as well as a dedicated landing page to view current and upcoming deals.

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Amazon Wine - Comprehensive Reviews

As a part of the Amazon Wine team, I was involved in creating concepts for a number of new features that made finding and selecting wine more fun and intuitive for the customer. To this end, it was necessary to improve product data to make suggestions and recommendations more valuable and accurate. One way to accomplish this was to make the customer wine review process more comprehensive in order to gather more data on the wine.

What follows is a self-started project created to open up the discussion about how we can begin to accomplish this.

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Amazon Wine - Multi-Seller Buybox

Bringing multiple sellers into the wine category presented a number of logistical UX problems, especially with competing offers for the same product(s). My task was to integrate this functionality into the existing wine detail page, while surfacing the best offers for our customers to choose in the most intuitive way.

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Amazon - Amazon Luxe Concept

Designed for a holiday promotion, Amazon Luxe was designed as a storefront for luxury goods. A clean, spare, and upscale design let the high-end products shine.

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Amazon Art - Artist Explorer

The task was to create a more immersive artist information layout for the Amazon Art artist pages. Below is a concept for acclaimed multi-media artists Inez & Vinoodh.

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