LRSMilk – Revolutionizing Milk Delivery

Project Context

Design Sprint: 10 Days (December 2021)

My Role

User Research

Sketch, wireframing, Prototyping

Interaction Design

UI Design

Usability Testing

Tools I used

Pre-roll

The Livestock Research Station (LRS) is a department of Navsari Agriculture University that specializes in research work related to farm animals. As a government institute, it is prohibited by law from selling its products such as milk, eggs, and other related products to the public. Therefore, they only distribute and sell their milk to their staff members.

Since my elder brother is an associate professor at the institute, we have the privilege of buying milk directly from the LRS department. Milk distribution is currently managed through the use of paper coupons. The staff members are required to purchase coupons from the LRS accounting office based on their monthly milk consumption. Subsequently, they exchange the coupons daily to buy milk from the LRS delivery man.

However, during my frequent visits to collect milk from their distribution points, I couldn’t help but notice several bottlenecks and difficulties faced by the officials. These included the selling and managing of coupons, maintaining inventory, and accounting for transactions. Even the buyers were experiencing their fair share of problems such as keeping track of their coupons, purchasing coupons from the office, and waiting for the milk delivery van at their delivery point.

This is when I decided to streamline the milk delivery process for a better milk buying and distribution experience.

Volunteerto develop empathy

As a close relative of an institute staff member, I had the privilege of experiencing the user’s perspective. Volunteering for the task of collecting milk allowed me to conduct thorough research and provided me with the opportunity to engage in conversations with other staff members and delivery personnel. It was a great way to delve deep into the problem at hand.

Being part of the team enabled me to gain insights that would not have been possible otherwise. It was a unique chance to understand the challenges faced by the officials and the end-users. Through this experience, I could identify the pain points of the existing system and propose a solution that would improve the process.

With my firsthand experience, I could bring an added dimension to the table. I could envision the needs of the staff members and the delivery personnel and propose a system that would cater to their requirements. This would ensure that the new system would be user-friendly and efficient.

Interview 1 Milk Delivery Personnel

To delve deep into the pain points of milk delivery personnel, I conducted qualitative interviews with Vajubhai, the LRS Milk Delivery Man. Based on his responses, it became evident that he is facing several challenges. He struggles to manage milk stocks, keep track of transactions, and identify unauthorized buyers.

Here are some of the questions I asked:

  • What does the day-to-day routine look like for delivery personnel?
  • What is the process for collecting milk from the LRS centre?
  • How can he track the records of the coupons received from milk buyers?
  • How can he recognize university staff members and their close relatives who come to collect milk at the delivery point?

Interview 2 Milk buyers

While waiting for the milk delivery van at our designated point, I observed the buyers and took the opportunity to converse with other milk buyers. These interactions proved valuable in gaining insights from the buyers’ perspective. Understanding their pain points and needs helped me develop a more comprehensive solution for improving the user experience of the milk delivery system.

Here are some of the questions I asked:

  • What is the process of purchasing coupons from the department office?
  • How do you manage and keep track of your coupons and daily transactions?
  • What actions do you take if you run out of coupons before the end of the month?
  • How much time do you spend each day waiting for the milk delivery van?

To design for tasksis to design for speed & convenience

User Flow

To streamline the milk delivery process, it was necessary to move away from the completely disorganized and paper-based delivery system. Inclusivity of all stakeholders was crucial to ensure that the new system was designed for more speed and convenience. By studying the journey map, it was possible to identify pain points in the existing process that could be addressed through design. This approach helped to create a more efficient system that not only saved time but also improved the overall experience for all stakeholders involved. Through collaboration and careful planning, the milk delivery process was transformed into a streamlined, modern system that met the needs of everyone involved.

Proposed Solution

After conducting interviews with both the delivery personnel and milk buyers, I have identified several pain points that can be addressed by leveraging a POS machine, prepaid NFC cards, and a mobile application. It could revolutionize the way they conducted their milk delivery system, streamline the entire process, and ensure maximum convenience for all the stakeholders involved.

The officials were impressed with my proposal, and we have now embarked on a mission to make the milk delivery system at LRS more efficient, effective, and modern.

POS Machine with App for the delivery man
  • Adding daily stock for both shifts
  • Easy authentication for Milk buyers
  • Easy sales process
  • On-screen stock display
Mobile App for milk consumers.
  • Keeping track of their daily transactions
  • Tacking the milk delivery vehicle to save time
  • Hassle-free wallet recharge process.
Connecting POS (Delivery Man) & Mobile App (Buyer)
  • Authentication through NFC card or QR Code
  • Synchronizing and storing transactions

To design for transactionsis to design for speed & convenience

Utilizing various opportunities, I began exploring different user interfaces (UI) to design optimal visualizations for POS transactions, vehicle tracking, and wallet recharge. During this process, I drew inspiration from popular apps such as “Where is my Train,” “Walnut,” “PhonePe,” and “Amazon Pay.”

Sketches of possible POS App for delivery man

Sketches of possible Mobile App for milk buyers

Transactions need to look like transactions

On the last day of the sprint, I reached out to Vajubhai, the milk delivery man, and some of the institute staff members along with officials for the usability, feedback on the functionality and clarity of my prototype. Overall, the feedback was very positive! Only then a few UI changes came about:

Leveraging the familiarity of delivery man

In the point-of-sale (POS) system, I used vector icon-based buttons to represent different milk types, matching them to the app colours. However, due to Vajubhai’s familiarity with coupon colours and struggles in identifying icons, I changed the milk-type buttons to images and used coupon colours instead.

Leveraging the mental model of buyers

To provide a more user-friendly experience, I added a filter option, allowing users to easily navigate through transaction history based on specific months. This feature enables users to quickly locate and review transactions from specific time periods.

Moreover, to offer a comprehensive overview of the transactions, I incorporated credit and debit totals. This addition allows users to understand their overall credit and debit amounts for each month, facilitating better financial management and tracking.

POS App Prototype

Mobile App Prototype

Key Learnings

User-Centric Approach: Conducting thorough user research and understanding the pain points of both delivery personnel and milk consumers is crucial for effective problem-solving. By volunteering and engaging with the stakeholders, the designer gained firsthand insights that helped shape the proposed solution and ensure it meets the specific needs of the users.

Iteration and User Feedback: Iterative design and usability testing played a significant role in refining the proposed solution. Incorporating feedback from users, such as changing icon-based buttons to images and using coupon colors, highlights the importance of user preferences and familiarity in designing intuitive interfaces.

Inspiration from Existing Apps: Drawing inspiration from successful applications like “Where is my Train,” “Walnut,” “PhonePe,” and “Amazon Pay” provides valuable insights into effective UI/UX design principles and interactions. Leveraging existing best practices can help create a more user-friendly and visually appealing system.

Efficiency and Convenience as Design Goals: Designing for speed and convenience was a guiding principle in the project. The aim was to create a digital solution that streamlines the milk delivery process, saves time for all stakeholders, and enhances their overall experience. Focusing on efficiency and convenience drives the design decisions and ensures a positive impact on the users.

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