While we’re super excited to share this project, it is still in a very early stage of development. The robot is under construction, cooks are still creating dishes, locations are being scouted and the branding yet to be defined. A plan to start in the beginning of 2020 with a "micro-unit" (like a food truck) is already set in stone though and developers are supposed to start construction next month.
It’s always a joy when a client comes with a really innovative approach to any existing industry. In our kick-off, the Modulr team was able to learn a bunch about the food service industry and their daily struggles, which are more and more being tackled by innovative technologies. Yet, a robot is only a means to an end, while for Aitme, the main focus remains customers and their wishes.
At the start of the project, we were given a long list of essential characteristics that should be communicated through the terminal system itself. For example, since the preparation of a meal only takes a couple of minutes, the time it takes to order should be short as well. Or that concept should be simple and intuitive to use, even though the menu isn't. Or the fact that Aitme emphasizes the value of any flavor profile being served and every meal being configurable.
After our initial kickoff, our task was to rapidly iterate towards a validated interface that developers could work with. For this endeavor, a classical week-long design sprint format helped us to move quickly on the project together with the founders and their developer team. Although, sitting at the 16th floor where our partner’s offices are located, where the heat rose to 30°C, made the experience a test for our team. And yet, our team rose to the challenge! Especially as we began defining the main goal and questions we wanted to validate by the end of a week with real customers.
To prove that everyone could find something for their liking, we designed a feature that helps the customer in the beginning to find what they want.
This began by defining all different kinds of possible diets, allergies and preferences, and to sort them into a sentence to complete by the customer. All the while, keeping in mind the most important sprint key phrase "without help".
The result of our research ended in a highly user-centric solution. We do not ask the user any more in detail which kind of meal they prefer - rather we ask who they are. Thanks to this insightful solution, customers don’t need to take a thorough look into an ingredients list. Instead, we start by seeking to deeply and intuitively understand who our users are.
Although our prototype team was scattered between Hamburg and Berlin, thanks to Figma and Slack, we where able to test our terminal concept with 6 customers and fill a wall of notes, quotes and insights.
The unique user-centered phrasing of our main interface element was accepted very well by the customers. Because of our learnings from our user tests, we where quickly able to find out what was not working as well and iterate on it, so that customers are well guided through how to interact with the Aitme terminal from beginning to end.
The revolutionary idea of a robotic and self-organized food truck has such a great perspective, that it should be just a question of time, until the claims of users will raise. Another possible solution on it's way to the top could be an app for pre-ordering the menues or for storing the users customized meals in his pocket.
Modulr helped us focusing on the relevant details for the development of the MVP.Emanuel Pallua, Founder of Aitme & Foodora