FEATURE DESIGN: SPLIT THE BILL

Glovo

Helping people on Glovo split bills fast and without awkwardness.

We all know the problem. You’re there ordering pizzas with some friends, the moment of payment comes and there’s and awkward pause as people make glances at each other wondering who will front the bill…

CONTACT

Who’s Glovo?

Glovo is a Spanish courier service that provides purchases and delivering through its mobile app.

What are we doing?

Adding a ‘split the bill’ feature to Glovo’s existing app as seamlessly as possible.

Scope

  • 2 people
  • 1 week

Tools

  • Pen & paper
  • Mural
  • Marvel
  • Figma
  • Principle

UX Techniques

  • Interviews
  • Affinity diagrams
  • Personas
  • Problem statements
  • Scenarios
  • Prototyping
  • Usability testing
  • Animations

— RESEARCH

How do people really split their bills?

Our story begins with research.

We initially interviewed 10 people to understand people’s current habits when ordering food (whether that be online or in-person), this was accompanied with a survey. To see what others were doing, we did some benchmarking. We used Jakob Nielsen’s heuristics to evaluate how successfully people were tackling split bill features. MonzoUber and Verse were key players in this evaluation — all of which has very smooth split bill functionalities but with varying approaches to user flow and flexibility.

Key user insights

  • Convenience & time saving is key
  • Awkwardly asking for repayments is the worst
  • People hate maths — avoid counting who owes what
  • Splitting bills can be a vibe killer

“I hate thinking about numbers, I do whatever’s easiest”

“No maths, please!”

“I bank transfer money, there’s no easy alternative”

— PROBLEM STATEMENT
What were we trying to achieve with the ‘split bill’ feature?

How might we help people on Glovo split bills fast and without awkwardness?

With a good understanding of user frustrations and needs, we decided on a problem statement to focus on during the design.

From the users interviews, something that came up time and time again was the social discomfort in deciding who pays what and how people really just want a quick and easy option.


— PERSONAS

Who would use Glovo’s split bill feature?

We were very clear on the fact there would be two sides to the feature of splitting a bill: one person using the app (initiating the split bill) and the other(s) accepting their money request. To have specifics in mind we developed two user personas as fictional figures to have in-mind as a representative of the user: traits, behaviours & patterns of a bigger body of people

So, with that in mind, I first introduce you to our primary user persona: Diego.
— TASK ANALYSIS

How is Diego currently splitting the bill?

Before designing anything, understanding what the user currently does and how they do it makes clears where improvements could be made in their experience.

Initiating the split bill

  • Both him and his friend select what they want to order
  • Gets to the payment stage in the Glovo process and Diego says he’ll front the bill, and his friend will pay him back
  • They enjoy their pizza, Diego doesn’t want to ruin the moment by asking for money in the moment
  • 2 days pass, and Diego reminds his friend to pay him back via bank transfer
  • His friend ensures him he’ll pay him back ASAP
  • Another 2 days pass and Diego hasn’t received the money, so awkwardly reminds his friend again
  • Finally, a week later he receives a bank transfer from his friend paying him back for the pizza
And, our secondary user persona: Helena.
— SCENARIO

Let’s jump into their shoes

Diego has his cousin, Helena, at his house. They have a lot to talk about and are looking for something quick and easy for dinner. Pizza from Glovo is the go-to.
Diego gets to paying the bill and they decide to split it. Both hate wasting time and awkward conversations about money but luckily Glovo has a new feature which puts their minds at rest.
— PROTOTYPE
— PROJECT DEVELOPMENT

What the project looked like from afar…

User flow

With research, a defined problem and a persona in mind, we began thinking out how the user flow could materialise which is what you see noted here:

At the start of the process we began developing the feature with the split bill option appearing after the initial payment was made (so there would be no delay in the orders). With this user flow, we began sketching. These quickly developed into a paper prototype allowing us to get user feedback as soon as possible.

What we quickly realised was that we needed to amend the user flow so that the split bill option was before the initial payment, why?

  • One of the main points from our research was avoid awkward conversations about money at all costs. If people repay one another post initial payment, reminders between friends and awkward conversations will still be had (we would not be reaching our goal)
  • Glovo is not a bank, and shouldn’t worry about money people after an order has been made if not to do with the order itself
  • How would people pay after order been made if Glovo if not going to act as an intermediate? You can see where the complications arose

So we had a rethink with one question in mind: how can we allow for split bill to happen before initial payment made without delaying the order?

Solution?

The person initiating the payment authorises his card for the full order’s payment but with a delayed charge of 15 minutes, why?

  • Glovo has authorised payment as an assurance to process the order immediately
  • The user’s friends have 15 minutes to pay their share otherwise the order will be processed as normal

That way there a three-fold positive outcome: 1) avoid awkward conversations between friends about money (they pay or they don’t in those 15 minutes, that’s it); 2) Glovo gets their order, only varying who might be covering it; 3) there is no delay in processing the order.

Once the user flow was set, it was just a matter of making it as clear as possible for Diego and Helena to find useful. These changes were made based on user feedback on design iteration.

— ITERATIONS

Some key highlights along the way

With usability testing on 8 people, here are a few of the changes that were made and why.

User feedback:

  • It’s awkward asking for money
  • Glovo isn’t a bank

Changes made:

  • Split bill option changed to before initial payment

User feedback:

  • People not reading it
  • Getting confused later on

Changes made:

  • Splitting explanation / action across 3 screens to make clearer in bitesize loads

User feedback:

  • It’s intrusive
  • Spam?

Changes made:

  • Notification made smaller & native to the phone


— CONSIDERATIONS
  • Careful consideration of matching the visual design to the Glovo brand
  • Add illustrations to aid engagement and understanding
  • Consider how animation might play a part in the feature (using Principle)
— NEXT STEPS

If we were to move forward with this, what would that look like?

  1. Explore how the interface of multiple users in the split bill would be
  2. Review Glovo’s payment methods (during research this kept on coming up, although we were focussed on the split bill pathway, we would have liked to review Glovo’s payment options more broadly)
  3. Further testing on both sides of the user (Helena & Diego) and iterate the design further
— KEY LEARNINGS
  • Even with a well-defined brief, good research
    is essential to ensure the experience is user-centred
  • Benchmarking is insightful for interface specifics
  • Listen to user feedback even if you don’t like it
  • Trust the process — follow each step, make a plan, include a break 😉

Thank you for reading! If you have any feedback or comment don’t hesitate to contact me on LinkedIn or at soeverard@gmail.com.