Send App

Send is a design for an app that partners with local stores in different cities, allowing you to give useful and thoughtful gifts to loved ones who live in other places. It is a new way to deliver nearby gifts (from far away).

The Challenge

Young people move.

In their 20s and 30s, they pack up and relocate for work, for love, for adventure, and these young movers leave family and friends scattered around the country in their wake. What happens when their friend in another state loses a grandparent? What happens when their parents have the flu?

I came up with Send App to respond to what I see as a limited array of current choices: ordering something from a convenient but ethically questionable service such as Amazon, expending time and money to travel, or scouring the internet to find a store that delivers in a location you may not know well.

My main challenges were to:

  1. Make the process of gifting from afar more seamless, from decision-making to delivery
  2. Create an app geared towards gifting during unpleasant events, and design it to make them more pleasant
  3. Do both of those in a two-week assignment for a class at my grad program, ITP, called Designing Meaningful Interactions

Background Research

1. Journey Map with Pain Points

To start, I mapped out the current process of ordering a bag of groceries for a loved one in a different city who needed help, identifying the largest pain points between the three actors: the loved one, the user, and the gift vendor or store. My father had just broken his shoulder and my mother had the flu, so it was a familiar process.

2. Where Send App Fits in

After I developed a better understanding of the current process, I began to plot out where the app would fit and how it could address the pain points. I remapped the process to include Send, focusing on the user's experience of searching for and ordering items.

3. Example User Persona

Delving into user personas allowed me to better imagine what needs Send App could respond to. In this case, it was the consumer ethics championed by many 20- and 30-somethings and the fact that many young urbanites come from somewhere else. The App could support more locally based stores while addressing the distance between its users and many of their loved ones.

The Design

Allow users to get down to business. Require the bare minimun from them in order to do so (type of gift and location of delivery of the gift). Provide them with just enough context to get started.

One level in, give the user the tools they need to make a choice about a store. These include: filtering for type of store and visible basic information about each store.

Create seamless navigation for the user inside the digital store, offering categories to digest the information, a search feature, visual cues, and an easy mechanism to add and subtract items from the cart.

To explore the design of Send more, visit the interactive prototype on InVision.