Slam-Dunk Mobile Experience

The challenge! – Design a food-ordering experience for NBA fans while they watch a live game at a major sports arena in the US.

Why was this a challenge?

This wasn’t a run-of-the-mill app that will be used while relaxing on a couch at home, or while waiting in a queue just to kill time. The app will be used inside an arena during a live game event. Arena is packed, the fans are completely engulfed in the game, are going crazy cheering the teams, noise level is rocket high. Fans want to emotionally stay with the game. Period. So how do we craft an experience that is minimal? An experience that is non-intrusive? An experience that will not let fans miss even a minute of game’s play? Still, from the business point of view, we wanted the fans to place their orders to achieve the business objectives.

Here's a short story on how we approached it.

Secondary Research
Studied the arena layout, seating layout, inside facilities, pick up stand locations, appearance of the pickup stands, their distance from the seats etc. This initial study will go a long way to inform design decisions later.

Environment Study
1. Lighting
Arena is usually dimly lighted. There are the design implications. Can I just wave off my phone to grab the attention of the delivery guy if I have chosen in-seat delivery?

Fans are emotionally engaged in the game. They are cheering their teams. Will I even hear a subtle notification in such case? Will I even hear my phone ringing?

3. Cramped
It’s super packed. You will have hard time to even get out to the nearest exit for a restroom break. What does it has to do with the order I placed? It has to do a lot. How will I navigate to the intended pickup stand? Which exit should I take? The left one or the right one? For in-seat delivery, how will the delivery guy even find me in this sea of similar looking audience?3. 

User Narratives

“I am here to watch the game. Period.”

Experience needs to be non-intrusive and quick.

“Let’s do a selfie together”

Experience needs to consider social implications on mobile devices.

“Where on earth is my order?”

Experience needs to be transparent.

“I want a beer with the game. But can’t lose on even a single moment.”

Experience needs to be guiding.


Iterations, iterations and some more iterations

It was an important design for social implications on mobile devices. An idea was to request an an alternate number if the battery has almost drained out. This was critical as the user would be notified on their mobiles once their order get ready for pick up.

Design evaluation

We evaluated our designs by a role playing technique invented by Stephen Anderson. We wanted  to understand if the conversation was natural, yet minimalistic.