iFood

Designed the new driver app from the ground up. Small team, challenging goals and huge impact. A product that is very close to my heart. What a ride!

iFood

Designed the new driver app from the ground up. Small team, challenging goals and huge impact. A product that is very close to my heart. What a ride!
Role
Product Design & Research
Period
From early 2018 to mid 2019
Stack
Android
Starting out
The experience I had working at iFood is one of those I can call special. The company was in a very weird place back then, very different from nowadays. The team was not huge, but not small as well. And then, there was the Logistics Tribe, which was responsible for creating the foundation of the newest business vertical aimed at increasing the number of deliveries done by proper iFood's fleet and not somebody else's - like it used to be.

I got there as what I might call "one of the founding members" of the Logistic Tribe. And I guess it is rightful to call it that way because it was almost a like a startup inside a startup. It was a very small team, with huge goals set upon us so we could prove that it was worth it setting up all this stuff. Among all the tech involved at creating a logistics operation, the Driver App is one of the most important applications.
This is what I'd call a messy startup office. There's a beauty to it.
Early days
When I joined, there was already a version of the Driver App. But a very raw one. The developers who were first in the team deployed a simple front end, with no usability thought whatsoever, simply to interact with the state machines running in the back end of the system. Meanwhile, the fleet grew steadily. To go with it, the app gained a few features here and there and naturally, that started to get messy and problems around the experience became more and more relevant.

But, in the first months, the team and I were not focusing too much in upgrading the app. There was so many other foundational decisions we had to make in order to have a proper business and experience functioning. It even took a while to gather a proper team to take care of the app. Meanwhile, I had never stopped doodling around with dreamlike concepts of the product. This no strings attached process was essential to set space for lots of studying. I learned so much about the logistics, food delivery and gig economy industry by that time. With extensive benchmark and focus, I started to get ready to set up a real proposition for how we could set the Driver App as a more robust, thoughtful and experience-driven product.
Old iFood's driver app screens.
Up there you see the UI design that the team created in the early days of operation. The cool things is, this was pretty much the whole product, in a nutshell. There is, if you look closer, gold in there. Like the Settings page, in the far right, with only a "log out" button. If you do not find this very minimalistic, there's something up with you.

The only spice I gave to this by that time was the hat motorcycle logo. And that's the logo for the app to this day. :)
Redesigning all the things
You must be tired of reading designers redesigning stuff. But sometimes, it is worth it and actually needed. I'm proud to tell you it was one of those times. Our Logistics Tribe had grown a lot in a few months of operation. And the app that was supporting all this was lacking a lot in terms of experience. The fleet also grew a whole bunch, so drivers became more present in our day to day. Myself, in particular, spent a good amount of months talking to them here and there to learn more about their work and needs. That, alongside the studies of early days, gave me proper confidence to reach for a redesign as a main Tribe business goal at the last cycle of 2018.

And we got it. iFood had just got the biggest series of investment yet and a good amount went for the Logistics Tribe. By then, we were now a small lovely official team around the app, composed of myself as a sole designer, a Product Manager, 2 Android developers and 2 Backend developers. The goal we set up for ourselves was to launch a brand new driver experience in 2 months. Parallel to that, we had to support the ongoing and growing operation. So, like you'd imagine, it was a rough challenge.

One of the biggest takeaways here was that we had buy-in from all iFood's leadership to set the "driver experience" as our main KPI for the quarter. We sold a vision of how the product could be better entirely focused in the drivers actual needs and it went all great. My iterations by then needed to be transformed into actual product strategy.
Lots of sketches. It got up to a point that a 16gb ram Macbook Pro couldn't handle the Sketch file.
Creating a strategy
Iterations gave us a huge horizon of things we'd like to work on. But with limited time and having to support a growing operation, we focused a lot on the basics. It was a deep research process into what were basic operations and features the driver and the system needed to have in order to maintain the plane flying... but more smoothly and higher.

In order to that, we talked a lot to drivers. We'd go out in the wild to talk to them, constantly. And it was the best thing ever. Only then we started to notice what was needed, must have things and what stuff could be done in future calmer times. This was groundwork as well for an Android architecture redesign. So we were hand in hand, design and development, rewriting stuff so we could start right, knowing every bit of the system ourselves.
This is legit proof I'm a real designer. I call post-its my strategy.
Spoiler: I ended up working at Loggi too. The world spins!
Launching and learning
Even before launching the first version of the new experience, we already had a great roadmap structured ahead of us. The studies and knowledge acquired in the early days up to the point of actually having something to beta test out, were key to understating strategy in a broader sense in regards to our product context. The relationship we had created within our team, of true companionship, was essential to collaborating and having a batter shaped work. I learned a lot about how design and PM should relate. And by that, I mean: always and forever. Designers and Product Managers are two sides of the same coin and they must stay together. And that was so beneficial to our product and process. And not only, development should be talking strategy, roadmap and experience too. There is so much to gain from having all disciplines talking about everything.

And of course, setting the "driver experience" or "user" experience as the main objective of a team is indeed challenging. Specially because measuring such things is very difficult. So we had to set up a lot of ways to understand if drivers were happier. And by that I mean, lots of research. There was times were we'd go full on methods and times where we simply talked to them, no brainer. The important lesson was to never stop talking. Always being close by, reachable. And because of all that, I believe that we were very successful, launching a product that got metrics a lot up, drivers more happier and the management of our system more in place.
Old iFood's driver app screens.
Old iFood's driver app screens.
Old iFood's driver app screens.
Deep dives
These are selected solutions that deserve their own article. If you're feeling it, go take a look to their deep dives.

Driver Performance

Structuring view for drivers to measure their performances.
Go deep

Onboarding

Work to have the drivers onboarding pipes flowing.
Go deep