Panda Express Reimagined:A UI/UX Case Study
My Role: UI/UX Designer
If you’re interested, read the full case study here.
*This project was first conceived as part of a design challenge that eventually landed me a six month co-op at Grubhub.
I love Panda Express. I enjoy its simplicity, its earnestness as an immensely popular fast-food Asian-American chain. They’ve seen spectacular success, operating over 2,200 locations as the largest Asian restaurant chain the U.S. What’s not to love?
Their mobile app. It’s outdated, clunky, and unintuitive. Although functional, the user experience could be improved.
The majority of Panda Express consumers are <24 years old– if there’s one thing us Millenials/Gen Z’ers love it’s the ability to order food at the click of a button. So why isn’t the app more popular?
I sent out a survey to my network asking people to share their thoughts about the Panda Express app; here are their remarks:
- The screens lack consistency
- Pages feel too busy
- App is difficult to navigate
Simplify order ahead flows to remove redundancy
Reorganize information on the homepage to reflect priority actions
Create visual consistency and reinforce branding across the mobile platform
APP ICON EXPLORATION
I simplified the app icon by getting rid of the text, which was too small to be comfortably legible. The new icons maintain key branding elements to keep the app easily recognizable.
The old app didn’t have a splash screen so I mocked one up that cleanly reinforces the Panda Express brand identity.
The new landing page leads directly into the order ahead flow, reducing the need for a separate ‘order’ page.
The menu itself features the most popular items first, followed by subcategories (promotions, etc.)
The bottom nav streamlines users to key functionalities.
The cart in the upper right-hand corner features a floating white indicator that reminds the user that there are items in his/her cart.
Nutritional information, as well as the order button, are available on a card that slides up with options to ‘favorite’ the item.
The new design features a scrolling selection page with edge-to-edge high-quality food imagery, making for a pleasant visual experience.
BUILD YOUR PLATE
The new process of building a plate is streamlined and the user selects each component of their plate chronologically. The user simply clicks ‘next’, toggling the indicators, until they are done building their plate.