2023 Award Winner

Tropical Smoothie

Refreshing an ordering app experience

Edgar Allan | Case Studies | Tropical Smoothie

Mobile ordering has seen massive growth, taking a larger chunk of quick-service restaurant industry sales each year. Suffice to say there’s a lot riding on getting the app experience right. While Tropical Smoothie Cafe had already embraced mobile with an out-of-the-box ordering app, they knew they needed a custom solution to create a better digital experience and keep up with increasing customer expectations. We were brought in to help.

<div class="full"></div>

Customer experience journey map

Adding order to ordering

Our number one goal for the famed fruit beverage company’s new app was to remove friction to create an intuitive experience that makes ordering quick and easy. This meant a lot of research to start: QSR industry research, competitor research, user behavior research, etc. Customer journey mapping helped uncover pain points and identify opportunity areas.

From there, we moved into wireframe exploration, where a lot of the UX work focused on creating more useful navigation and a more streamlined purchasing flow.

We also worked to elevate the TSC loyalty program, pathing for it, not around it, while prioritizing features based on both sales data and return customer re-orders.

Thinking outside “out-of-the-box”

The existing white-label app didn’t leave a lot of room for the Tropical Smoothie brand to shine through. With the new design, we made sure it aligned with the fresh, friendly, breezy personality and brand position that promises a delicious “everyday getaway.” The biggest challenge here was finding the right balance in reflecting such a bright, visually stimulating brand, without distracting from the information or navigation cues users need at each stage; we upped the ante for certain moments, bringing in beachy, lifestyle images and bold colors, and reigned it in for key interactions to keep focus on the products and purchase flow.

Delivering on usability

User testing with prototypes was conducted throughout each phase of the project to help validate our UX solutions and design decisions, and reveal new insights for optimizing different aspects of the app experience. With careful consideration of customer’s needs — for both loyal app users and Tropical Smoothie Cafe newcomers alike — the new TSC app is primed for better adoption alongside a great user experience that makes mobile ordering simple and convenient, in and of itself.