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ChowNow Post Order Tipping

Allowing diners to add a tip when they receive their food order

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ChowNow Overview

ChowNow is a food ordering app that helps local restaurants thrive. Unlike other apps, ChowNow is 100% commission-free with no hidden fees. We help restaurants save money, so they can share the savings with you.

Roles and Responsibilities

I served as the main designer on the Front End Team, where our primary focus was improving the user experience of our native products, such as the Marketplace app and the Restaurant Branded apps. In close collaboration with our Product Manager (PM) and Product Owner (PO), I participated in defining requirements and identifying use cases. Additionally, I led design for both the iOS and Android platforms, working closely with engineers to customize solutions for each platform. I also conducted user interviews and testing to better understand user behavior and validate design decisions.


Improving the Post Order experience for our Consumers

When Costumer Service surveyed restaurants whose NPS score dropped in 2020, 25% pointed to post order adjustments as the primary reason for their dissatisfaction.

As part of the greater Post Order Adjustments (POA) initiative, the first milestone to tackle is POA tips for In-House food orders. This milestone is chosen due to its development simplicity and ability to provide the quickest value.

Business Objective

The primary objective of this project is to increase restaurant NPS score by increasing restaurant tip amount, and increasing GFS.

User Need and Problem Framing

Diners require a method to adjust their tip after placing an order and at the time of food delivery or pick-up. This allows them to ensure that the service meets their expectations in terms of promptness and food quality.

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Through previous diner surveys, we have gained a better understanding of the problem and validated the desirability of these feature.

“Great experience! I was in such a hurry to place my order, I didn’t add a tip so I gave cash tip at pickup”

“Really friendly delivery person.. I forgot to add tip and gave it to him in person and he was so grateful and kind.”

“I did not see the place to tip and I had no cash”

"The delivery person didn’t knock so I wasn’t aware that the food had arrived and wasn’t able to tip them because I usually tip in cash..”

I also conducted desk research on the current problem space, diving into to articles and Reddit threads. During my research, I discovered that there is a significant concern regarding drivers experiencing tip baiting.

”There needs to be a system regulating how customers adjust the tip… there are people who put a high tip so their food gets delivered quickly, and then remove it after they recieve their food”

“Hold customers accountable for the offers they make. You can’t bid in an auction then pay less what you offered”

Provide friction when diners attempt to decrease tip to protect restaurant drivers from being tip baited.

💡 Restaurant Need:

Competitive Analysis 

When examining the competitive landscape, I analyzed Grubhub, DoorDash, Postmates, and UberEats. I found that these platforms have various approaches to this solution.

Defining Scope and Constraints with Early Explorations

In the initial stage of the design process, I created flows and wireframes based on the high-level requirements gathered by the product owner. This was shared with the greater POA team to ensure alignment on the general approach.

By sharing early explorations with the wider cross-functional team, we were able to uncover the nuances of the project and engage in deeper discussions about the level of effort (LOE) and constraints from both the front-end and back-end perspectives.

A major discussion revolved around whether our Tip Adjustment logic should be based on a percentage or a dollar amount.

The team ultimately decided to go with the percentage recommendation for MVP as it better suites our primary use case of a pick up order with a high average order value (AOV). This recommendation is also the lowest LOE as this logic currently exists at checkout. As this feature is released, we will track analytics to see if there is a need to improve on this logic for post MVP.

Testing with Diners

I explored two entry points to test with diners and gather feedback on usability, and determine which option performs better.

The test involved 10 participants for each entry point and was conducted in an unmoderated manner through


Key Learnings


  • Some took longer to find banner (banner blindness?)

  • The copy in the banner made diners feel good / enticed to support independent restaurants



  • Found right away

  • Some expressed annoyance about the tip increase being encouraged so prominently


General Notes:

  • Most people tend to tip more for delivery vs pick up

  • Some people tend to tip for pick up if it’s supporting independent restaurants

  • Most people prefer to increase their tip after they have received their food order

  • The rest of the flow was easily understood and straightforward 


We also learned that tipping can be pretty controversial; especially for pick up orders:

Supports Tipping for Pickup 👍

”I believe in tipping because the restaurant industry in the US, these workers rely on tips. It is the right thing to do because they are just trying to survive and feed their families”

"It makes me upset when people don't tip... I like that this is more community driven, so I hope that this gets people to tip more frequently"

"I do think I would be more likely to tip in a situation like this where it states that the tip is going directly to the restaurant"

"In general I tip extra if it's a place that I frequent alot or if its a local or small business that provides great service, I tip extra"

When diners support tipping, they respond positively around tipping when they know it is to support a small business / local restaurant.

Include language that clarifies they are supporting a small business.

💡 Feature Opportunity:

Does not support Tipping for Pickup 👎

"why would I give them my gas money? Im the one going to pick it up"

"That's what they are getting paid to do, so I don't understand why I'd tip them more"

"I think we need to be like the rest of the world and get rid of tipping and just pay people living wages cause it's getting ridiculous, it's getting out of hand here.

"I just don't know what I'm tipping for"

Design an entry point that accommodates those who support tipping, and those who do not support tipping. Design an entry point that has the right amount of prominence and subtlety.

💡 Feature Opportunity:

Iterating Designs based on Feedback

Exploration 1 - Time Delay Entry Point (Not Chosen ❌)

In an effort to strike the right balance in encouraging tip increases, I considered a timed delay solution that prompts tip increasing at the time of food delivery. This is because diners usually prefer to add or increase their tip after they have received their order, as it ensures promptness and food quality.

But due to our current engineering logic, we do not support live tracking and don't know exactly when an in-house pick up or delivery has been made. The current progress bar is an ETA that the restaurant has produced and not a real time indicator of progress. Because of this, I had to axe this recommendation.

Exploration 2 - Out of App Entry Point (Not Chosen ❌)

I also explored an alternative entry point outside of the app. This involves providing a receipt that is attached to a diner's food order that contains a QR code. This QR code will either direct them to their order and a Tip Prompt, or prompt them to download the app if it is not already installed. Although this was an interesting solution to consider, it would have required a whole separate effort to execute outside of MVP.

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Exploration 3 - Combining banner and button entry point (Chosen Solution ✅)

Feedback from user testing indicated that the banner alone was easily overlooked. Therefore, adding a call-to-action (CTA) button could help draw attention to the banner while still maintaining subtlety. (This was the favored and most feasible solution that we moved forward with 💥)

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I prototyped the POA flow to communicate the desired interactions with stakeholders and the engineering team.

Engineer Hand  off and Support

After receiving approval from exec team, design, and the greater POA team, I prepared the final files for the engineer handoff. As a team, we reviewed and groomed the tickets, and engaged in discussions regarding the proposed design. Throughout the engineering development phase, I offered assistance, reviewed testing builds, and made adjustments to the designs as necessary. The release is now scheduled for Q4 2023.


Through this project, I learned the importance of sharing my thoughts early and frequently, especially when multiple teams are involved. This practice helps to drive discussions that might otherwise be overlooked. Additionally, I realized that when numerous individuals are engaged in multiple discussions, it is easy for information to get lost and lead to misalignment. Therefore, thorough documentation of design decisions can greatly reduce miscommunication and its associated challenges.

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Next up:

Mandela Design System

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