Flipp Content Browsing

Flipp 2017 • Mobile App

Redesigning the home listing view for weekly shopping.

Background & Context

The business problem behind it all

Flipp had one objective - deliver the right content at the right time for the right price. The crutch that we faced as a business was that a retailer’s print flyer was produced at a weekly cadence, slowly moving to a two-week cadence as the industry slowed down. As an app, that became an issue as users would only open the app every Thursday for new flyers then possibly not open the app again for another week. We wanted to solve for this drop-off by addressing the main issue, content freshness.

Users would engage in roughly two shopping trips a week - the planned grocery trip for majority of grocery needs which was dictated by brand affinity, and the second trip was more adhoc for smaller purchases where proximity played a larger role. We wanted to redesign our home listing screen to take advantage of this by dissecting the flyer content and creating the illusion of freshness when a user opens the app again.

Project Goal

Defining success for the project

Our goal was to increase the number of flyers read, so we thought about an approach using a module-based design. Our current home flyer listing was pretty straight-forward - display the flyer content with a prominent retailer brand. Using a module design, we could break the flyer into smaller content blocks - flyer items, shopping list wishlist, saved clippings, and merchants.


Redefining the experinece

We explored a horizontal scrolling design which promoted breadth of content sections. It would allow users to feel like there was a lot to discover and Flipp helped curate deals personally for them. A simple section was to showcase flyers at a category level. Traditionally, UI design would dictate segment controls as a suitable solution for category browsing but we tested long-form scrolling with our users to see if scrolling fatigue would discourage looking at more content. Overall, we found that the long scroll create this illusion of content breadth compared to segment controls which required more work from the user to continuously switch.

Other sections we created showcased items based on items users have added to their shopping list. This was interesting to connect the wants of the users to the home screen and drive up the relevance of the home screen for each user. It was a great opportunity to use the home screen as a reminder and showcase deals users would otherwise miss, especially since they already showed intent to purchase.

A more interesting section was to create sections based on themes and key shopping events. Not that people need a reason to shop but back to school, summer barbecues, Halloween, Christmas were all traditional periods where engagement was high inside Flipp. This was a key opportunity to balance business and user value - how could we create content blocks that helped consumer find more things on sale, given that they come into the app with intent to shop, and at the same time help our partner merchants showcase their special deals. These thematic sales allowed Flipp to showcase items at both a flyer level but also individual item level - expanding our feel of breadth of content.

Limitation and Consideration

Identifying the main constraints

A large and driving factor in all of our design decisions was the Flipp business model which promised to give paying merchants a premium experience of prioritized display and larger real estate. This drove some decisions on how the content could be showcased - the struggle of local content vs. premium merchant. To design against it, we had to create a separate premium card within each module in which a premium merchant could get a slightly more large showcase. It was key to helping our business development team initiate conversations with our merchant partners to get them on the Flip platform and obtain budgets to increase revenue.

What I learned

Lessons and best practices

This lesson isn’t new and very often discussed but this project was a key example for me about how design isn’t about creating the most beautiful experience but rather, a balancing act ensuring that all stakeholders derive value from a design and product decision. There were moments where we compromised the best solution for the user for decisions that rather benefited the company. It wasn’t a battle of design vs business but understanding how as a product designer, it’s important to think strategically about the business as a whole instead of simply user experience and beautiful visuals.

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