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UX Research Project

Conducted user experience researches with experienced grocery shoppers.


Dig deeper into in-store and online grocery shopping experiencereward schemes and membership services.

Analyze how to design the PC Express App better to improve the usage of App


2 months

(Sep - Nov 2022)


Competitive Analysis

Heuristic Evaluation

User Interview Report


Journey Map

Usability Test Report

My Role

UX designer

UX researcher

(Team of 5)


UX Design

User Research

Service Design

Online Groceries app

     Project Overview     

What is PC Express app?

Loblaws,one of the grocery stores leader in Canada. Loblaws has introduced the PC Express app, allowing users to search, order delivery and pickup for groceries. A reward scheme, "PC Optimum" also implemented for user acquisition and customer retention.

What are the current challenges?

Most grocery shoppers still prefer the in-store experience despite the prevalence of grocery shopping apps post COVID even they have the app experience.


Found it hard to trigger users turning from in-store groceries shoppers to online shoppers.

What might we do?

Research Goal #1:

Identify the attitudes and factors of users turning from in-store shopping to grocery apps in order to explore the motivation.

Research Goal #2:

Identify the common pain points and usability problems during the user journey of grocery shopping.

Research Goal #3:

Find out what attracts and keeps customers. Identify the incentives for users of trying a new app and understand why they return to it.

     Research Process     

Competitive Analysis
Heuristic Evaluation
Persona &
Journey Map
Usability Test

     Competitive Analysis     

Why I started with competitive analysis?

In the explore stage, my goal was to soak up industry knowledge. By studying major competitors, I gained valuable insights into products, business objectives, industry hurdles, user needs, and what is a good job and bad job. 


To analyze the landscape, I zoomed in on Loblaws, Costco, and Walmart, comparing them from various angles:


  • Business values

  • Marketing position

  • Top 3 business goals

  • Functions or features that address their goals



  • Target audience profile

  • How has the company addressed their needs

  • Task or JTBD

  • Accessibility


Usability Heuristics

     Heuristic Evaluation     

Key Findings

Sign Up a PC Express Account

  • Visibility of system status
    Showing the Password Strength by bar indicator.

  • Error prevention
    Valid email format checking.

Check Benefits of Signing Up

  • Match between system and the real world
    New user may not know PC Optimum = Reward Scheme.

  • Recognition rather than recall
    No obvious sign to welcome offers.

Checkout Cart Items for Delivery

  • User control and freedom
    No button shown for redo and undo when reviewing cart.


Find PC Point Balance

  • Visibility of system status
    No cut-off date and accumulated level bar.

  • Recognition rather than recall
    User are hard to know the exchange rate of points value.

     User Interview     

Why user interview?

In the early design stage, nailing down the right problem space is key. User interviews let us dig deeper into the "why" by asking follow-up questions on the spot. It's all about understanding the root cause.


Our team conducted 10 user interviews to uncover pain-points in both in-store and online grocery shopping, as well as reward scheme services.

Also, we dug into their current practices and, most importantly, their expectations for the grocery shopping app. Their insights were pure gold.

Example Questions:
  • What are their in-store and online shopping flow and experience of grocery shoppers?

  • When will/did the grocery shoppers be triggered to download the app?

  • What types of incentives are most valuable to a customer during online grocery shopping and why?

  • What features of an online grocery platform are customer seeking?

  • What factors influence a customer’s online grocery store choice and why? How strong/weak are these factors in influencing the customer?

What are the key findings?

Shoppers did not believe that they would receive good quality products if they did not pick it out themselves or even receive the correct product.


Shoppers are more familiar with the routine of the in-store shopping experience, the ambience and the overall environment.


Shoppers often felt that an app did not have measurement features, that can only be found in the in-store shopping experience for most.

What are the opportunities?

Accessible returns and refunds policies. Providing tracking service of packages.


Building a community for users to share shopping experience. New flyers and deals notifications according to shopping frequency and purchase history.


Allowing users to redeem points on the app. Displaying points to be earned for each item. Showing PC points balance tracker. Offering personalized coupons.

     Persona & Journey Map     

     Usability Test     

Why usability test?

Through 10 usability tests, I unraveled user behaviors, attitudes, and perceptions. By analyzing these insights, I gained valuable clues on enhancing the PC Express App's interface.

In every usability test, we monitored user task completion, app usability, and task completion time to gauge ease of use and efficiency.

What are our research goals?

Identify Pain Points

Identify the problems users face in the process of becoming a member of the PC Optimum program on the PC Express app.

Examine User Flow

Examine the steps of buying grocery items on the PC Express app and identify the potential obstacles in the process.

Information Accessiblity

Explore and investigate the accessibility of rewards and member information on the PC Express app.

What are the key findings?

Users can easily spot the red warning message under the text field during registration.


Users were unable to add or save items from the Weekly Flyer to their cart. Missing Flyer shortcut.


Easily spotted the password reset button. The process was standard and typical of a “forgot password” route, users felt confident and comfortable. 


No “Delivery” button changing from pickup on “My cart” and “Checkout” pages, some users returned all the way back.


All users loved and relied on using the search bar rather than using the “Browse” tap.


New users were unfamiliar with the term “PC Optimum”, they did not realize that it was the reward system on PC Express.


Missing notification of adding to cart and no cart icon on product detail page.


Users had to press the button multiple times to add the quantity one by one.


Lacked immediate feedback like a pop-up message congratulating them for having registered.


Point balance was unseen on the homepage, some new users took time to find their current point balance.


Missing button to remove or edit items on the “My cart” page.


Lack of transparency and accessibility of PC Optimum points information.

Summary Table


Be well-prepared.

I discovered how crucial it is to prep before diving into research. A solid research plan played a key role. I dedicated time to crafting a discussion guide, interview screener, and pondering over the research questions. It set the stage for success.

And always wrap up with documentation!

Another valuable lesson I picked up was the significance of documentation. It proved instrumental in expressing and justifying my design choices while fostering the generation of improved solutions for the project. Documentation is truly a game-changer.

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