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Central Market App


This is a project that conducting usability testing towards current Central Market App with competitors ( WholeFoods, HEB, Instacart )


Central Market is an American gourmet grocery store chain owned by H-E-B Grocery Company. During pandemic period, Central Market was eager to compete other grocery stores in online order delivery market, so they began to figure out and solve the pinpoints in application.

4 members' team project

My Role

UX Researcher

4 months


Project type

Findings and Recommendations

88.89% of participants (8 / 9) prefer using searching function rather than only browsing the category. 

44.45% of participants (4 / 9) said : after cancelling the order, they expected to see the order in the [Past Orders]. 

33.33% of participants (3 / 9) said it would be better to notify customers via phone after they place/cancel the order.

22.22% of participants (2 / 9) mentioned the screen was too sensitive to scroll down the page. 

0% of participants (0 / 9) used filter function on both grocery apps.


  1. Simplify the navigation steps

  2. Add a delivery status tracker


  1. Make the sliding sub-category bar more prominent.

  2. Similar items should be placed in an order.

  3. Create subcategories for cuts of meat. (e.g. Chicken- drumstick or thigh or whole)

  4. Divide Fresh Produce into two groups. (Fruit and Vegetable)


  1. Redesign Home page & For You page(They are the same now).

  2. Eliminate inconsistencies between photo and description.

  3. Add a zoom function for the pictures of items in order to directly read the label on the image.

Ease of Use

  1. Remove substitutions as the default.

  2. Adjust the sensitivity of the screen.

  3. Show notifications after users place/cancel the order. 


Define Top Task

  1. Sign/Login

  2. Find Items

  3. Schedule Delivery

  4. Place the Order in Cart

  5. Pay and After-Sale Options


Heuristic Evaluation

We used Nielsen Norman Group’s 10 Usability Heuristics for User Interface Design to evaluate Central Market’s App.

Negative Findings

  • Visibility of system status

  • Match between system and the real world

  • User control and freedom

  • Error prevention

  • Flexibility and efficiency of use

  • Aesthetic and minimalist design

  • Help users recognize, diagnose, and recover from errors

Positive Findings

  • Consistency and standards

  • Recognition rather than recall

  • Help and documentation



  • Both pickup and delivery options should be available to guests before signing up.

  • Users need more control and flexibility in content editing (update payment info, uncheck substitutes in cart)

  • More useful filter options needed on product page ( alphabetical, price, on-sale product orders )

  • A better indication is needed to show users which specific part goes wrong and how to solve it ( cancellation )

  • Re-organize interface panel to make information clearer ( overlap contents through home page and others )

  • Pictures for items should be unique with unique descriptions. 


Competitive Analysis

Taking top tasks as analysis lists, we compared Central Market App with similar type of grocery stores app, including WholeFoods, H-E-B, Instacart, Weee!, Shipt, QFC.

Task 1

Sign Up / Login

  • Can users browse the APP without login?

  • Are there more than 1 retailers on the APP?

  • How many ways can users sign up/login?

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Task 2

Find Items

  • The features of Searching Functions?

  • Are there any Coupons

  • Does the App include wishlist function?

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Task 3

Schedule delivery

  • Are there many delivery date/time options for user to choose?

  • What’s the minimum prepare time for the competitors?

  • How much are the delivery fee & delivery tips & shopper fee?

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Task 4

Place the Order in cart

  • Can user Modify the items in the cart?

  • Can user leave instructions/notes for the order?

  • Is there any substitute options/ group order function?

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Task 5

Pay and after-sale options

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  • How many payment options?

  • Can user modify/cancel the order after placing the order?


  • Easy Access to Browsing the App (e.g.Easy Signup / No Signup )

  • User Guide / Instructions

  • Well-organized Item Sequences & Filter

  • Notification of Discount & Savings at Checkout Page

  • Flexible Changes on Delivery Method & Time at Checkout Page

  • One Click to Empty Items & Cancel Substitutions 

  • Cash back & Rewards & Automatically Generated Membership Card


Outline of Script

Moderators gave interviewers shopping scenario first, and then guided testers through 8 tasks, instructing them to “think aloud” (i.e., narrate their thoughts and actions) as they worked through the tasks.


Survey Candidates

Tech Check

Zoom & phone

Dry Run & User Testing 

Participant Observations

Through Zoom




  • 9 individuals

  • Various ages, HHI, and device preferences

  • Unbiased towards either company

  • Some experience using grocery delivery Apps

  • Unfamiliar with Central Market or Amazon Whole Food APP

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Analysis Overview

  1. Success Rate

  2. Ease of Use 

  3. Confidence Rating

  4. SUS score 

  5. Time on Task

Success Rate is consistent with % Said Easy

We can see some insights from the data on Task M, B, G, P . There are gaps between the data from CM and WF testing result.


Most of participants successfully placed the order and cancelled the order, however, the easy rates on WF are not so high. We can also figure out some reasons from the interview. 

SUS Score by Participants Reasoning

​Central Market

  • Simpler layout

  • Easier to read

  • Clearer category page 

  • More delivery time options

  • Only Amazon prime member can use WF


  • Pictures are more consistent with product 

  • The interface of CM is too sensitive to touch 

  • More familiar using experience with Amazon APP

SUS Scores According to Which App Goes First

​Central Market

​If the app was used as the second app, the general user experience was better.


​There was no trend in Whole Foods app regardless of the order of the apps.

For users, WF is relatively difficult to use.

Task Analysis - Timing for each Task

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