SPEC CASE STUDY
Long Beach Green Room
Delivery solution for a local dispensary.
LB Green Room is a licensed cannabis dispensary in Long Beach, CA for medical patients and adult use consumers.
LB Green Room’s site needed a more efficient and more clearly defined online ordering experience, and would benefit from incorporating a real-time delivery service to compete in a crowded market. The challenge? Incorporating this service in a way that is easy to understand and meets user needs.
My heuristic evaluation provided two key takeaways: 1) Misleading messaging regarding the shop’s ordering services and 2) Hidden search and filter tools. A site can look clean at a glance but these details can heavily influence a user’s experience on a site.
The site currently provides several basic features necessary for online ordering - product listing and (some) descriptions, category filters, shopping cart, etc. However, the site lacked key features that their top competitors offered: real-time delivery and credit card payment. View comparative analysis.
User interviews provided insight into cannabis purchasing habits, particularly how they order products and what they expect to see when ordering online.
Most use delivery services due to its convenience and ease
Most prefer to pay via card as they rarely have cash on hand
Some users are actually intimidated by dispensary storefronts, as they have security guards out front
Several users were not shy in expressing their lack of cannabis knowledge when ordering products online.
There were several points throughout usability tests where users left the site or were simply unable to complete their order to their satisfaction. Users were frustrated they couldn’t order delivery or pay with their card. Some left the site when their current location prevented them from finding what they wanted on the menu page - not even making it to the checkout process.
Affinity mapping showed me people are used to getting whatever they need delivered to their door relatively quickly, and therefore expect their cannabis experiences to be similar, with time and convenience being of high priority. Devoted cannabis users who maybe prefer to speak with budtenders in store want their online experiences to reflect their in store experiences, with recommendations, deals and reviews.
From here I was able to identify features and prioritize what was necessary vs. what was ideal vs. what was bonus.
the site map
Performing an open card sort helped me see that the site’s navigation was okay as is, but decluttering the nav bar and moving less important pages to the global footer would add more hierarchy and prioritization for users. Adding a delivery service meant the site would need a page to introduce the service to users and explain the fine print. It helped at this stage to dive deeper into how other dispensaries with delivery services laid their nav items.
Customers want more buying options to reflect modern purchasing habits. Adding payment and ordering options would ensure users would get to the end of the checkout flow. Removing the ability for the site to auto-detect a user’s IP address would ensure users could browse all menu items and not wonder if LB Green Room has multiple locations (which it doesn’t.)
SCENARIO + PROBLEM
A stressful work day brings out the worst in Jackie’s back pain, and when she gets home, she realizes she’s out of CBD products. With no car and having not planned ahead, she needs a product delivered to her door that night. She discovers a local dispensary, LB Green Room, has an online ordering system but finds out only after reaching the check out page that she can’t actually get her items delivered; they only offer pick up AND are cash only.
I began with sketching out various iterations of each page, AB testing along the way. The biggest challenge was incorporating the delivery feature - I felt there should be a page that provides delivery details so users know how the process works, check the delivery zone, and understand fees and timing and it took some trial and error to get a layout that was clear for users.
I had a few users run through the scenario at my medium fidelity and hi fidelity stages so I could hone in on the flow. Testing at this stage helped me identify button placement as well as understand how people naturally navigated through the site so I could better design for various use cases. For example, some users went straight to the delivery + pickup page, so providing a way to easily get to the menu to browse products made it easier for users to get to the checkout process.
Users less familiar with cannabis products were incredibly pleased to find that they could quickly learn more about the various strains right on the homepage, as it gave them more confidence in what they were purchasing.
THE FINAL PRODUCT
Updating the fonts and colors at this stage helped give the site a more modern look, as one user noted the site “looked like a site from the early 2000s". More user tests helped me fine-tune the layout and copy as well as catch where users got stuck, like adding a “shop now” button to the delivery page to guide users through the site more seamlessly.
Next Steps & Reflection
I’m confident these changes provide significant improvement in the site’s overall user experience. From here, I would continue to test with a more diverse group of cannabis users and explore ways to quickly verify customers’ age and recommendations to speed up the ordering process. Automated verification might not be realistic for a small shop, but is something to consider.
The biggest thing I learned from this project is how to best manage feature overload. If I did this project again, I would spend more time fine-tuning the end-to-end delivery process over details that users may prefer, but were not of up-most priority.