Airport Eats & Drinks

Role: Lead Product Designer, User Researcher
Platform: iOS
Year: 2021



As part of the Weedmaps interview process, all product design candidates are asked to complete a design challenge. Helping create, but never having taken it, I thought it would be beneficial to run through the exercise myself.

The challenge

Traveling can often be hectic, and things may come up that affect your plans. Design an experience where travelers can order food from restaurants at an international airport.


Competitive analysis

To start things off, I wanted to see what was already out in the market. For this exercise, I focused on two apps—Grab and At Your Gate.


Both ordering apps had similar features and functionality, but At Your Gate had a slight edge over its competition. Grab only offered pickup, while At Your Gate had delivery as well. At Your Gate also gave its users the option to choose a pickup time and get step-by-step directions to the restaurant when picking up the order.

Interviews with international travelers

Usually this would be done with a bigger sample size, but for the purpose of this case study I limited the participants to 5. I wanted to understand travelers' mindsets, likes, dislikes, pain points, habits, and behaviors when eating at international airports.

I asked 5 frequent flyers the following questions:
  1. How often do you travel a year?
  2. Do you travel for business or leisure?
  3. Do you buy food/eat at the airport?
  4. If not, why?
  5. If yes, how do you decide on what restaurant to go to?
  6. Do you look for something specific, or just something in close proximity?
  7. Do you choose any differently when you're in an unfamiliar airport (out of country)?
  8. Does time play a role in the selection of food/restaurants (e.g. you're in hurry)?
  9. Do you usually dine-in or take-out?
  10. Do you buy/eat food at the airport before departure or after arrival? both?
  11. Have you used food delivery apps before? airport specific one?
  12. If not, why?
  13. If yes, can you tell me about a frustrating experience?
  14. Can you tell me about a happy experience?
  15. What do you like/dislike about food delivery apps in general?
  16. Anything else I should know about your food ordering experience at the airport?
Findings and insights
  • On average, the participants traveled 3 times a year
  • 60-40% split between leisure and business travelers
  • Convenience was top-of-mind for everyone
  • Participants didn't want to wait in line
  • Participants usually picked up or dined in near their gate
  • Speed is a big factor, especially if there’s not much time before boarding
  • Most people buy food at the airport before departure, rarely after arrival
  • Most aren’t looking for something specific, but familiarity definitely helps
  • The ability to order ahead when dining in would be useful
  • Multilingual support would be useful

Other market research

Thanks to a survey conducted by Ipsos called "Air Travelers in America," I was able to gather vital statistics about air travel.

  • Almost 90% of Americans have flown on an airplane, and almost 50% in the past year
  • On average, Americans take 2.5 airline trips a year
  • 25-44 yr olds take more airline trips than any other age bracket
  • 71% travel for leisure, compared to 29% for business


Using the data I compiled from research, I created two personas, with Jessica being the primary driver when making design decisions.


High level flow

With an app like Fuuud, there are plenty of use cases to think through. This happy path is one of least resistance, showing how easy it is to sign up and complete an order.


Early concepts and wireframes

When time permits, I also run a user test at this stage. That way I can work through any immediate problems before moving to high fidelity mocks.


Airport Eats & Drinks

An in-airport ordering app for passengers, flight crews, and airport employees. Pick a restaurant and order ahead for dine-in, pickup, or delivery.

Sign up

Easy sign up with automatic selection of country and language based on mobile device.


Scan boarding pass

For convenience, a boarding pass scanner can be used to quickly sync travel details to the app.


Flight standby notification

Using data gathered from the boarding pass, users will receive a notification showing how much time they have left before departure.



Filters include delivery fees for price conscious individuals and dietary restrictions for travelers on strict diets.


Order tracking and navigation

Order tracking to keep users up-to-date with information. Don’t know where to go? Just tap the GPS enabled navigation.

Measuring success

User feedback

Just in case, I would run another user test before launch to make sure there's no major issues. Post launch, I would look at app reviews and speak to customer support to get a feel for overall user sentiment.


  • Overall completion rate - were users able to complete an order?
  • Individual section completion rate - this will help identify potential problems within the app flow.
  • Average cart size
  • Repeat orders


This doesn’t take into account partnerships with restaurants, airports, and services. All of which would pose a set of constraints I didn’t have to worry about for this exercise.