Coupang Design CONNECT — Designs that cross the line pt.2
Crossing the Design Limits, 2023 Coupang Design CONNECT
Coupang's design approach is different from other companies. All decisions are based on data, and design is not limited to the screen.
Reflecting this culture, the 2023 Coupang Design CONNECT showcased cases of design that push the boundaries. Coupang Design CONNECT is a networking event to share knowledge with designers in the industry. Here are some of the cases that were presented at the event that solved problems by pushing the boundaries of design.
1. Beyond the world of design: Coupang's design with data
Hyunsoo Kim (Hyun), UX Director, Merchant Solutions Team, Coupang Eats
There is a saying that 'hunger is the best side dish'. It means that the food you eat when you're hungry is the most delicious. Coupang Eats delivers the most delicious food at the most delicious moment. For Coupang Eats, reliable delivery is essential for customer satisfaction.
However, delivery times are sometimes unexpected. Whether it's a Friday night with a soccer game or a freezing rainy day, there are many factors that can affect delivery times, including busy stores and delivery conditions.
At Coupang Eats, our product designers set out to improve the accuracy of delivery time estimates. They didn't limit themselves to the design, but considered all solutions that pushed the boundaries.
At Coupang, we have a culture that believes in finding fundamental solutions instead of compromises, and in exceeding customer expectations by 100x or more. The goal of improving delivery time accuracy is an example of this culture. There was no "good enough" for customer delight.
The reason for the discrepancy between the estimated delivery time and the actual delivery time was in the cooking time input: the estimated cooking time was different from the actual time taken.
If the actual cooking time was longer than expected, the food would arrive later than the expected delivery time and the delivery partner would not be able to fulfill other orders. Conversely, if the actual cooking time was shorter than expected, the food would be waiting for a long time to be picked up and the food would not taste as good to the customer.
In particular, many store owners enter an estimated cooking time that is longer than the actual time, because it is impossible to enter an estimated cooking time with high accuracy in a busy store, considering all the different factors such as the menu and quantity of the order, the kitchen's cooking conditions, and the time of day/day of the week.
So, Coupang Eats' product designers, data scientists, and POs worked together to create a machine learning model to help shop owners. The goal was to use machine learning to provide accurate cooking time recommendations.
Before building the model, the Coupang Eats team prepared thoroughly: they articulated why they needed the model and hypothesized what data they would collect, evaluate, and utilize through data design.
After the preparation phase, they designed the machine learning model. Within the prototype environment, the machine learning model was evaluated and refined several times to perfect the model.
Then, they went through the service design phase, where they collaborated with the development team to turn the model into an actual service, piloted it to some store owners to see the results in the real world, and analyzed the feedback.
Orders with an estimated cook time and actual cook time difference of 5 minutes up to 20 minutes have decreased significantly since the introduction of the recommended cook time model.
Since introducing the recommended cook time model, the accuracy of the estimated cook time has improved: the graph of the difference between the estimated cook time and the actual cook time has converged around the median of 0. In particular, orders with a difference of 7-10 minutes have significantly decreased to less than 7 minutes, meaning customers are getting their food faster.
A difference of 10 minutes in estimated cooking time versus a difference of 7 minutes or less. You might think that 3 minutes is a small difference. But it only takes a moment for hot food to go cold.
Coupang Eats' designers are making sure that customers get the most delicious food at the most delicious moment. And as this story shows, designers' work for a better customer experience isn't limited to design.
- Beyond the screen: Rocket Design Systems against design fragmentation
The Role of RDS (Rocket Design System)
Coupang has the Rocket Design System (RDS). A design system is a solution that includes UI kits, design guidelines, and more. The RDS team creates standards based on Coupang’s design principles and helps product designers adhere to them.
At Coupang, we believe in doing more with less. We're not just looking to cut costs, we're looking to radically reduce costs.
Ok Yeonjeong, a User Experience (UX) Manager on the RDS team, shared how they are creating a design system that helps them reduce costs fundamentally.