I believe there are no great tools to explore the world of coffee, so I set out to make my own. I took a product management approach to designing an app that lets users find the best coffee shops, discover roasters, and navigate roasts among other tasks. After a period of research, I developed this app for my thesis in Creative Technologies & Design.

Source code available on GitHub.

Motivation & Background

As a big coffee fan, I believe that there are so many things to enjoy about coffee besides just the caffeine in each of those beans. I wanted to get more into coffee in many ways, but it can quickly get very complicated to answer basic questions. Questions like:

  • Where is the closest coffee shop with great coffee?
  • How can I improve the coffee I make it home?
  • How do I explore the range of coffee flavors? There is no map to explore the complex world of coffee, which is why I set out to use my technical background, a product management approach, user-centered design, and an eye for detail to make loving coffee more accessible.

Problem Validation

I wanted to solve many problems with my design, but I felt that a coffee timer and a shop directory would be the most achievable with my time and skills, as well as line up the best with what users were looking for. I found out through interviewing that almost everyone has their own way of finding a coffee shop, but I was almost the only person looking for a better coffee brewing timer. When I need to narrow to scope of what I was building, I knew what to do.

Interview results table

There can be as many entry points into the database as there are unique types of pages (see 1:1 vertical alignment in the middle) but some of these connections are still under development. Nonetheless, navigation between the different entities in the database allow for a long journey between shops, roasters, roasts, origins, and roasts. The graphic includes some planning ideas in orange and green.

Diagram showing flow through app screens

Product Pitch

Main Pitch Deck

This is a modified version of the original product pitch I gave in my User-Centered Design class, spread across four slide decks for numerous supporting research slides.

Exemplars & Competition

Nothing is perfect, but scanning through this collection reveals almost everything that I liked and wanted to emulate.

Mediocre || Unsure

The examples in the section all had some redeeming quality to them, but didn’t provide a great experience overall.

Weak Sauce

Everything in this category was seen as being a pretty bad example of what to do or how to execute on the problem. Interestingly, one of the apps included here is a daily driver app now, so nothing is absolute.