PocketChef was a food tech startup based out of Hyderabad, India. It offered most affordable and quality solution to our daily problem of finding a good meal. Planning of the whole idea started in November 2014 and launched in October 2015.For startups, it’s important to “go live” as soon as possible and start generating revenue. This definitely drives a sense of urgency to launch. Once the strategy and goals are well defined, most companies move straight to launching their brand. Logos, website design, and social media hit the top of the list.
The Brand is the most important experience you deliver to your customers. The entire essence of branding is the connection between company and customer, learning to understand the customer and why they should love our product. Once we understand the customer and what drives them to our product, we can create our brand’s visual identity. For a start-up like us, branding was the key factor to gain trust of a customer when there were already big players in the market in the same domain.
PocketChef, which was composed of words “Pocket” and “Chef”. Pocket implies Pocket-friendly and Chef implies food. So, the basic idea came from the name. Many people suggest to go with the wordmark initially, and once idea becomes a success and starts generating profit, go for a brand change that would give you much more customers. But, I think for a food tech start-up, it is always better to get branding right from the very beginning. Because, your customer will be interacting with your brand either through your website or packaging on a daily basis. If you do not give them a good brand to be happy and delighted with, they will not come to you.
Keeping the value of a good brand in our mind, we started brainstorming on the design. In general, for a better identity of a company in the market, if a logo reflects the company’s idea and what it is going to offer, it creates better brand value and a connection overall. So, we decided on it having minimum elements in it, which was a pocket and a chef. We started sketching all the ideas that came to our mind.
And this what we finally decided to
go with to represent our identity.
"You are don't have to follow the exact steps of the design thinking process in the exact sequence. You need to take it as it is and optimize it until it fits to your needs. Always remember, there is not such thing called one size fits all, so don't follow anything blindly."
As a food delivery startup, our prime focus was always on the providing quality food at a reasonable price. We carried over the same philosophy when we started working on the design ideas for the mobile application. We wanted to craft a best possible user experience for our customers and our obvious choice was to follow the design thinking process which was getting traction in the digital design world during that time.
When we started Pocket Chef in Hyderabad, there was no one in the market addressing this particular problem and we wanted to take advantage of first movers. So, we kept our research short and focused on only these areas:
Who are the users?
What's working now?
This research revealed us some very good insights and that paved path for our future steps.
Some of the insights were:
We took these insights and started jotting down our MVP list so that we can launch our app early with enough features and good user experience. Next couple of weeks went into brainstorming on finding the right user-flows that can help users to complete their tasks effectively and efficiently.
Some of the images from our whiteboards. (Mind the quality as we did not have good phones then)
Getting the user flow right was the most challenging task. We wanted to find the best possible flow that takes minimum clicks to achieve users goal of ordering a nice meal. Some of the whiteboard and paper sketches are below:
During the time, testing on the paper prototypes was a challenge. It was getting difficult for users to follow the entire flow just through whiteboard sketches. So, we decided to do a high-fidelity prototype for a quick user testing before we start the development. After going multiple times through testing, feedback, and iterate cycle, we designed our final screens which were not only solving users' problem of ordering a delicious meals fast but also giving them a seamless user experience.
Some of the screens are posted below:
As African proverb goes, it takes a village to raise a child. Similarly, opening and running a startup is no less than raising a child. It requires pure blood and sweat to build an operationally and technologically intense startup. Overall, this was one of the most important time of my life. It, not just introduced me to my passion, but taught me what is requires to be an entrepreneur...