In our first project in Visual Language, students worked on developing an inventive idea meant to solve a problem or enhance an experience within someone’s life. Students developed various deliverables, artifacts, and process pieces in the creation of the idea, with this final goal (for me at least) to flesh out the idea into a more professional level.
Let’s take a look at my project, Splitr.
We’ve all encountered that awkward moment at the end of dinner when it comes time to pay: does the restaurant split the check? Turns out they don’t, and now you’re faced with one person paying, and collecting money from the rest. Splitr aims to solve this problem.
Let’s take a closer look at this scenario:
Here we see pain points for the customer. The alternative, not pictured here, would be difficulties on the part of the wait staff. Perhaps they weren’t prepared to split the check, and are now tasked with itemizing receipts. Perhaps their POS system is outdated and only allows the check to be split two ways or three ways, and the party is 4 or 5. Overall, we see difficulties for both sides.
Splitr takes the responsibility of splitting the check out of the hands of the waitstaff, and gives it to the customer and their party. The waitstaff continues to enter the orders into the POS system as they always have, but when it comes to the end of the dining experience, it becomes the customer’s job to split the check. And they can do so, quickly and easily, all from their phones.
BUSINESS MODEL CANVAS
To the right is the business model canvas for my invention, which is used to try to better visualize the various requirements needed to put this idea into production. We see that it serves a multi sided customer base, as the product needs to be marketed and sold to both customers and businesses: the app and the updated POS system.
A similar tool to the business model canvas, the SQVIΔ (SQUID) diagram to the left helps to separate the idea out to appeal to both dream minded individuals, and those who are more business minded.
Based off of my business model canvas, I created an infographic to better visualize the entire thing. I divided up each section into rooms within a restaurant.
We presented and gave elevator pitches for our ideas using the concepts and models pictured above. These are some notes on when I presented my elevator pitch to my first “clients,” who were a small test group of fellow students.
Finally, we created a storyboard for a potential Kickstarted video for our idea. Ignore the wrong name in the last slide 😛
I took my project a bit further by fleshing out what the actual splitr app would look like. I made some presentations to show what it would look like if I was actually to present this to a venture capitalist in order to get funding.
If a restaurant location offered the ability to split a check, the above sticker could be placed on their door, similar to if they offer certain credit card payments.
Here’s a short walkthrough of how the app would work. I have an extensive onboarding process as well but didn’t include those screens in the walkthrough. Users would be greeted with a short tutorial, and they could then scan a code on their receipt to share the check with their friends who ate with them. They would then be greeted with a screen showing what the ordered. They could select one or multiple items, and if multiple users select a single item they can split that item. They confirm the price, and a receipt is sent to their email.
When I originally posted, I posted this project pretty late, but doing so gave me a lot of time to reflect on what I’d learned. After using these same practices with students in the business workshops, I began to realize that these tools we learned and used to create our own ideas are incredibly useful in breaking down and visualizing ideas for presentation to others. While business students are thinking about the numbers, they aren’t doing much to show their market why their idea is great. I really learned to break things down to their simplest forms and make it easy and interesting for others to understand
The road to get to this point was a bit confusing for me. It took a lot for me to really understand and get a hold on what we were actually doing, what the point of it all was. I understand (for the most part) now, but it was tricky before that. I wonder if there is a better way to approach this project, with a more structured timeline and end goal, where I would better understand more quickly.
I will continue to develop this project! This idea has been something I’ve had in the back of my mind for a long time. Now that I have some basic designs made, I want to take this project to a developer friend and see what can be done about turning it into a real app.