DIBS Dinning | Mobile App

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Designed to improve student dining

DIBS Dining is a mobile app created by three students in the spring of 2019 during an Interactive Design and Prototyping class. The challenge was to create an innovative tool that can impact the experience of DePaul students in any category. The category we deiced to explore is the food and dining aspect of student that attend DePaul University in Lincoln as well as in the Loop. Our end product was a dynamic and responsive app that help DePaul students located restaurants, find deals, and gives them more control over their DePaul meal plan.

Here is our process…

DePaul University takes great pride in the fact that it’s located in the heart of Chicago. Our team thought of several ways of how we can make improvements to our already remarkable school. Unfortunately, Depaul has put a barrier on the selection of food and certain barriers may hinder students from fully experiencing the different eateries that Chicago has to offer.

We began our process by interviewing six DePaul students to learn more about there feelings, desires, and issues with the current DePaul meal plan. From these interviews we brainstormed some ideas and came up with some design insights.

  • DePaul students want more control over their flex dollars

  • Some DePaul students are already accessing local restaurants/eateries. DePaul students want 24/7 access to dining services and convenient stores. 

  • DePaul students desire to dine locally/outside of dining halls. Some DePaul students are already accessing local restaurants/eateries.

  • DePaul students are attracted to weekly food and drink deals.

  • DePaul students are attracted to weekly food and drink deals.

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We took this information and pushed it even further, we created some storyboards, scenarios, and basic interface sketches. We wanted to get a feel for what the information we collected would look like in a bigger picture. We want to explore some possible solutions, concepts, design insights, and design principles that will explain the context of how students will benefit from the ideas we created.

Low Fidelity Prototyping and Usability Testing

After exploring concepts through scenarios, storyboards, and sketches, we began to design and develop a low fidelity paper prototype. A low fidelity (low-fi) prototype is a rough draft of the final high fidelity prototype. Low-fi prototypes allow designers to gain insight by performing user testing and iterating based on the user’s feedback.

We created some paper prototypes and tested these prototypes with fellow peers. We had four tasks that we asked the peers to complete. Taking notes and feedback from the low fidelity, we improved our overall design.

Tasks:

  1. Imagine you are a sophomore at DePaul University. You just heard of this new on-campus app so you decide to download it and check it out. Register for the app

  2. Check out the Deals tab and find a deal for Devil Dawgs.

  3. Head over to the Discover page and search for Jam and Honey deals.

  4. Click the Account tab and try to edit your information, add a credit card, and add 20 dollars to your account.

After having our peers test our low fidelity prototype we took their feedback, issues, and concerns to improve our high fidelity prototype. We focused on improving our tabs, specifically what information is going to go on the Deals tab versus the Discover tab. We also got some comments about having more feedback when it came to completed tasks. Adding this will create more security and making the user more assured.

High Fidelity Prototype

Our high fidelity prototype was created in Axure 9. We utilized the team project file so we were all able to work on the project simultaneously. We created our app with the main navigation of three tabs located on the bottom each page.

Our app is place where students get to find deals tailored to their budget, food preference, and days they like to eat out. New users signs up with an on-boarding quiz, this information is then taken to create the restaurants and deals that appears in the deals and discover tab.

Each tab features:

Deals Tab: Where local deals are found, ability to add deals to saved deals section, redeem deals by QR code.
Discover Tab: Restaurants that are catered from the users on-boarding quiz, map function, search function, nearby restaurants
Account Tab: Profile information, Demon Balance, Adding money to account, adding a credit card

What I Learned

This whole process was very rewarding overall. Developing an application over these past ten week has shown me the all aspects of this process from start to finish. I am very pleased with the outcome of our high fidelity prototype. Brainstorming, interviews, scenarios, storyboards, paper prototypes, user ability testing, and high fidelity designing all came together to create the final product. Further implication of the app we would love to see more features like photos of the food on the menu, real linking to Campus Connect, adding a “your favorites” section and adding an events section from local restaurants

Overall I am satisfied with the outcome of the project. This app could actually be something that DePaul University and their students could utilize. I felt that a lot of our ideas came to life and it was great to see that in our in our final product. Going through this whole process made, I grew a new appreciation for the start to finish journey of developing a mobile application.