Ron Perrault     User Experience Design


Concierge Smart Cart

Role: Requirements Gathering, Task Analysis, Wireframes
Company: Mercatus Technologies

Description: Concierge was an on-board connected computer for shopping carts. The concept was to use the on board computer to allow shoppers to access their shopping lists (created earlier at home), and eventually facilitate self-checkout with the cart items already tallied and totaled, with the ability to pay for the order by swiping a credit or debit card. Other concepts that were explored included using the shopper’s location in store to feed specific advertising or promotions to their screen.

Concierge was developed prior to the release of the iPad and tablets in general. Concierge was a custom hardware configuration built to be very durable. As a result the touch screen sensitivity was much less responsive than what we’ve come to expect, and network performance could feel sluggish. On screen strike zones needed to be quite large counter the insensitivity of the screen, and for the distortion introduced by the angle of the screen on the cart. In addition shoppers were using the device is a very distracted manner, which meant that actions need to be simple and clear. Loyalty cards scanned as authentication, for privacy reasons unattended carts needed to ‘sleep’ and for security reason sessions needed to expire.

Ultimately a lot of the UX design and information architecture of Concierge was transferred to the iPhone and Android app designs, and later to iPad app designs.