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Prompt: Design a snack ordering app for a movie theater

Interview goals:

  • I want to understand common challenges people face trying to get snacks before going to a movie theater.

  • I want to identify the frustration people experience during the process ordering snacks from apps or in the theater.

Interview questions:

  1. Can you describe your schedule of watching a movie in a movie theater and how you get snacks before going in?

  2. How often do you order snacks before going in the theater? When you do, how are the experiences? When you don’t, what are the reasons?

  3. What challenges do you face in the ordering process? How does this make you feel?

  4. Is there any way in which you feel this challenges could be solved?

  5. Are there any new ideas you want to add?

Target participant characteristics:

  • Ages 18-60

  • People who goes to movie theater

  • Include participants of different genders

  • Include participants with different ability

Interview transcript

Participant 1

Name: Rulin Li

[UX Researcher]Can you describe your schedule of watching a movie in a movie theater and how you get snacks before going in?

 

[Rulin] When I decided that I want to watch a movie in a theater, I would think about if I want snack. Most of the time, I do not eat snacks in theater. After ordering my tickets on the AMC app, I will arrive at the scheduled time, pull out the code , and walk in to the assigned theater. Usually I watch movie with my boyfriend, we just go to the theater directly from home, there are not other activities before watching the movie. There’s some time I go to movie theater with a group of friends, and I will order snacks if someone in the group offered this option. We would just go to the  snack counter and order before the movie.

 

[UX Researcher]How often do you order snacks before going in the theater? When you do, how are the experiences? When you don’t, what are the reasons?

 

[Rulin]Depends on if I go with a group or not, if people around me offer to buy snacks then I will buy with them. The reason that most of the time I don’t buy snacks is health reason. I don’t think the snacks in the theater are healthy. The experiences are great and convenient when I order snacks.

 

[UX Researcher]What challenges do you face in the ordering process? How does this make you feel?

 

[Rulin] I think if order from an app is an option, I would prefer ordering from the app. I am a little anti-social, so I would try to avoid talking to strangers as much as possible. Also, when I order from the counter,  I can not see the picture of each item. There are some items I never tried before and I will never order them because I don’t know what they are. That makes me feel I can only order the items I am familiar with.

 

[UX Researcher] Is there any way in which you feel this challenges could be solved?

 

[Rulin] Adding pictures of dishes would be helpful. I also think it would be very helpful if people can make comments under the snack, so other people can see the reviews of each item and make the decision.

 

[UX Researcher]Are there any new ideas you want to add?

 

[Rulin] I usually watch movie in AMC and order tickets or dine in items through AMC app, so I think its not that convenient for me to order snacks in a different app.

Participant 2

Name: Kevin Tian

[UX Researcher] Can you describe your schedule of watching a movie in a movie theater and how you get snacks before going in?

 

[Kevin] I usually arrive around 10 to 15 mins earlier than the movie scheduled time, then I would walk up to the counter after buying our tickets to buy snacks and popcorns.

 

[UX Researcher] How often do you order snacks before going in the theater? When you do, how are the experiences? When you don’t, what are the reasons?

 

[Kevin] I usually never order snacks, cause I think most of the movie theater I go to don’t really have that, and usually I prefer to figure out what I want to eat when I get there. Its pretty convenient, the movie theaters all put their available snacks on display usually, as well as having those different popcorns size and what size of soda they have available, but for the most part, its pretty quick and easy. I usually don’t feel like spending the extra money, because I think the snacks in movie theaters are pretty expensive usually.   

 

[UX Researcher] What challenges do you face in the ordering process? How does this make you feel?

 

[Kevin] Probably one of the hardest challenges is trying to decide what I want cause there are lots of options and its not always well organized. For example, they just put everything on display and its not often in categorizes. So it feels like it could maybe give me some suggestions about what they have on display, or like what’s good snacks they recommend.

 

[UX Researcher] Is there any way in which you feel this challenges could be solved?

 

[Kevin] maybe just having more customized snacks and having them in more reasonable price. I think price probably is the biggest issue for me. I feel like buying snacks directly from movie theater is very expensive and its not usually their actual price of having them.

 

[UX Researcher] Are there any new ideas you want to add?

 

[Kevin] I think, I feel like now the movie theater offered either snacks or dine in options, It might be kind of cool to do something in the middle like appetizer size of food.

Participant 3

Name: Lingjia Shi

[UX Researcher] Can you describe your schedule of watching a movie in a movie theater and how you get snacks before going in?

 

[Lingjia] For me, buying snacks or not usually depends on how I feel when I arrive the movie theater and if I go with a friend or not. If I go by myself, I usually will not buy snacks due to financial reason, I don’t feel like spend extra money on snacks. If I go with a friend, I will consider my friend’s opinion about getting snacks or not. Most of time, I will not decide what I want to eat or if I want I want to eat before arriving the movie theater.

I have membership in AMC and I find the AMC app is quite convenient. So I can easily find the movie schedule on the app and easily order or cancel the tickets. After I bought the ticket, the app will send a reminder before the movie start about the time of the movie and the address of the movie theater. Then I will see where I currently am and make the decision how do I get there. After arriving the AMC, I will scan the code and walk into the assigned theater.

 

[UX Researcher] How often do you order snacks before going in the theater? When you do, how are the experiences? When you don’t, what are the reasons?

 

[Lingjia] About 2 times out of 10 I will order food or snacks. And in those 2 times, at least one time I will go with my friend and the other time is just me want to have some popcorn. The service and experiences are always good. AMC app have the function that I can use my points to redeem food, which I think is great, so I can just scan the code and redeem some snacks. I think the experiences are really convenient. The reason that I don’t order snacks is that I already had dinner before going to the theater, so I don’t have appetite for the snacks in theater

 

[UX Researcher] What challenges do you face in the ordering process? How does this make you feel?

 

[Lingjia] I think all the menu might have the one common problem, which is the description of the dish is not accurate or detailed enough. Especially for foreigners, if there’s some dish they never saw or tried before, they might need to look it up again by themselves. It would be easier to use if there are pictures on the menu. Also, its kinda dark in the theater, so if the paper menu can be updated to a tablet, it would be better. These challenges make  me feel a waste of time because I might need to ask the waiter about the dishes I am not sure about when they walk near me. And I need to prepare at least 2-3 options I might want to try just in case after their explanation I find out that is not the dish I want. I would be a rush for me if I did not arrive the theater early enough.

 

[UX Researcher] Is there any way in which you feel this challenges could be solved?

 

[Lingjia] Like I mentioned above, changing the paper menu to a tablet would be a solution.

 

[UX Researcher] Are there any new ideas you want to add?

 

[Lingjia] I only used AMC, so I have some suggestion of improving the AMC app. I think it would be better if the app can offer direction to the theater.

 

Participant 4

Name: Yajing Wang

[UX Researcher]Can you describe your schedule of watching a movie in a movie theater and how you get snacks before going in?

 

[Yajing] I always find popular movies through social media. After I decided what I want to watch, I will order tickets on AMC app. Sometimes I buy snacks and sometimes I don’t. Actually most of the time I will not buy snacks. If I buy snacks, I will buy it at the counter after I arrive the theater.

 

[UX Researcher] How often do you order snacks before going in the theater? When you do, how are the experiences? When you don’t, what are the reasons?

 

[Yajing] most of the time, I will not buy snacks. Because usually I go to theater after dinner, so I would be too full to have any snacks. I feel the snacks in the theater are a bit over priced and that’s another reason I don’t buy snacks. And sometimes I want to focus on the movie instead of snacks.

 

[UX Researcher]What challenges do you face in the ordering process? How does this make you feel?

 

[Yajing] sometimes there are not enough employees at the snack counter, so there won’t be someone helping me immediately when I arrive the counter, that cause extra waiting time. And if I am in a rush and might be late for the movie, this waiting time make me feel I don’t want to order anymore. Especially during weekend or holiday, the waiting time is longer than usual.

 

[UX Researcher] Is there any way in which you feel this challenges could be solved?

 

[Yajing] it might be a good idea that I can just order the snacks without talking to anyone (like order from a vending machine) and just pick up order at the counter.

 

[UX Researcher] Are there any new ideas you want to add?

 

[Yajing] if this is an app for all theaters, I am wondering if its possible we can get discount ordering from this app.

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