Drone Delivery App

Drone Delivery App Study

Drone Delivery Service on Device

Project overview

The product:

An app that allows users to order drone deliveries from grocery stores, pharmacies or takeout restaurants.

Project duration:

April 2021 to December 2021

Project overview

The problem:

Busy workers lack the time necessary to go to the store to pick up the things they need.

The goal:

Design an app for a drone delivery service that allows users to easily order the things they need and get them delivered fast.

Project overview

My role:

UX designer designing a drone delivery app from concept to delivery.


Conducting interviews, paper and digital wireframing, low and high-fidelity prototyping, conducting usability studies, accounting for accessibility, and iterating on designs

Understanding the user

  • User research
  • Personas
  • Problem statements
  • User journey maps

User research: summary

I performed two moderated usability studies on prototypes of the app. I assumed that drone delivery could help address stolen packages by delivering behind fences or onto balconies. User research revealed that the users would be inclined to choose drone delivery for convenience items like takeout, vitamins, makeup, video game controllers, snacks. Users also said that they would likely re-order previously ordered items. Users said they would choose drone delivery if it was faster or cheaper than another service.

User research: pain points

  1. Convenience items
    • People unexpectedly run out of crucial items like soap or diapers or vitamins or pet food or toilet paper and want them fast
  2. Faster delivery
    • Getting into the car and driving to a store is time-consuming, especially to purchase a single item
  3. Damaged packages
    • If package delivery people drop fragile products or leave products out in the hot sun the contents could be shattered or melted. Packages left in plain sight can be stolen by porch pirates
  4. Cheaper delivery
    • Ordering takeout for delivery means paying for the takeout food plus a delivery fee and a tip.

Persona: Amber Ortega

Problem statement:

Amber is a single woman living in an apartment who needs more delivery options because items bought online can take a long time to arrive and be damaged or stolen.

Amber Persona

Persona: Israel Lawrence

Problem statement:

Israel is a married professional who works from home and needs to groceries and necessities delivered reliably because deliveries save more time for work.

Israel Persona

User journey map

I wanted to understand how a drone delivery might fit into the typical processes of ordering items online.

User Journey Map

Starting the design

  • Paper wireframes
  • Digital wireframes
  • Low-fidelity prototype
  • Usability studies

Paper wireframes

I decided to focus on takeout delivery as a use-case and prototype the basic flow of finding a restaurant, finalizing an order and monitoring delivery.

Early sketches

Digital wireframes

From the user research I suspected that re-ordering past orders might be important so I included a “your favorites” section underneath a prominent search bar. A horizontal scroll Categories feature shows all the different types of deliveries available

Wireframe 1

Digital wireframes

User research indicated that a problem with home deliveries was packages left in hot sun or in plain sight where they would be stolen by porch pirates so I added a screen where users choose where they would like their package delivered.

Wireframe 2

Low-fidelity prototype

The low-fidelity prototype demonstrates the primary user flow of selecting a takeout restaurant and ordering ramen and monitoring delivery

View the drone delivery app prototype low-fidelity prototype

Wireframe prototype

Usability study: findings

I conducted two moderated usability studies because I wanted to be able to be able to ask specific questions about the subjects attitudes towards drone delivery and to be able to ask follow up questions in real time.

Round 1 findings

  1. Dropzone circle indicator was confusing
  2. “Arriving in” was not obviously an ETA
  3. Profile icon shouldn’t disapear

Round 2 findings

  1. Reworded help text on dropzone screen
  2. Add progress bar to monitor delivery for takeout orders
  3. Add photo of delivered order to delivery confirmation message

Refining the design

  • Mockups
  • High-fidelity prototype
  • Accessibility


The goal was to add more features that users would like to see included in the app. ETA and address was reformatted and the drone icon was replaced with visual confirmation of the delivery.

Before > After usablity study


To make the process of choosing a landing spot more clear, the help text was expanded and re-written. The profile link was added throughout.

Before > After usablity study


Final mockups

High-fidelity prototype

The final high-fidelity prototype presented a cleaned up user flow with better help text and a progress bar for takeout orders.

View the drone delivery app prototype high-fidelity prototype

High-fidelity prototype

Accessibility considerations

  1. Colors of text and backgrounds were checked for AA or greater color contrast
  2. Buttons and control touch target areas are at least 44 pixels throughout the prototype
  3. Each screen has a hierarchy that could help guide screen readers

Going forward

  • Takeaways
  • Next steps



“Really easy, really similar to any interface that I use to order food. This one is kind of cool because when I use Uber to watch my driver, so I assume I can watch it drop my food at my door.”

  • Quote from study participant

What I learned:

Designing an app for a service that doesn’t exist yet was an interesting challenge. It might also be the best way to launch a drone delivery service because of the insights from users prototypes can gather that can inform product-market fit.

Next steps

  1. Conduct another round of usability testing to validate whether the pain points users experience have been effectively addressed.
  2. Conduct more user research to determine how the app might need to evolve to meet user’s needs and expectations for drone delivery

Let’s connect!

Thank you for reviewing my work on drone delivery! Please contact me to talk UX on your next project or if you would like to see more of my work please visit my website.

Email: ctmcquilkin@gmail.com Website: chuckmcquilkin.com

#ui #interaction #mobile