iOS + Android App

January 2020

Designing a tasty end-to-end mobile app during a global pandemic

Project overview

Greggs is a leading food-on-the-go retailer with more than 2,000 shops across the UK. Founded in 1939, the company thrived in the retail space but needed some help competing in an ever-growing digital market.

Rather than continuing to rely on external agencies, they created a brand new in-house digital product team and brought myself on board to lead the design. Our team was tasked with the challenge to bring all things Greggs together in one place through the creation of a new flagship app that aimed to:

My role

Principal Product Designer


iOS & Android app

My team

1 Designer

4 Engineers

1 Product ownder

1 Engineering manager

Final UI

The opportunity

As a new team we had a lofty goal of creating the best food-on-the-go app on the market. We had a big opportunity to offer customers new value propositions such as:

This digital experience became even more important with the ongoing COVID pandemic to give customers a contactless service option.

We were also going through a rebrand and thus had the opportunity to align our digital products with a consistent look and feel, conveying that unique Greggs charm that customers love.

Product discovery process


User flows

UI exploration

Hi-fi designs


Usability testing


The challenges

Initial research

In order to understand what our customers thought about the existing app, I needed to analyse the app features and functionality, and dive into any customer research I could get a hold of.

I started by talking to the customer care team as they have the most interaction with customers and would understand the main customer pain points. I also reviewed all of the app store feedback and grouped the feedback into different themes.

From doing this initial research and talking to the customer care team I learned a few things:

Stakeholder presentation and app store ratings

In tandem with the initial research and analysis of the existing app I also reviewed the data we had available from Firebase (from Jan 2019 - Jan 2020). This quantitative data gave us insight into how our customers were using the app and helped us define areas of improvement.

Some of the key research findings were:

Some of the actions we took based on these findings were:

Let’s look at the competition

After digging into the research I moved to competitor analysis to get a deeper understanding of the food-on-the-go app market. This helped us identify any shortcomings and understand what features customers might expect to find in the Greggs app.

Competitor analysis and benchmarking

Getting buy-in from key stakeholders

I presented our research findings to the business at our fortnightly board meeting and we signed off our plan for the initial user journeys and MVP feature list. This was an important step to make sure the chain of reasoning was clear and transparent, aligning the team and our stakeholders around a shared vision.

Stakeholder presentation

Mapping out flows

Next up, using Whimsical, I mapped out the agreed user flows in more detail to define common journeys and get a clearer picture of the new app IA. This also helped flag some potential pain points early on, such as the amount of validation in our signup flow – which we reworked to create a more simple and effective flow to reduce customer frustration.

User flows in Whimsical


I went off on paternity leave to welcome my baby girl into the world. A few sleepless weeks later, I began preparing to ease back into the old familiar routine of work.

Then the COVID pandemic hit...

All shops are now closed!

At a time when the nation was in lockdown and shops were ordered to close, a complete and immediate business transformation had to take place. All work on the mobile app paused to focus on a new Click + Collect service as an indispensable source of income.

To be able to safely re-open shops, we needed an effective, contactless system that worked at scale. With revenue on pause and nearly every member of staff on furlough I was faced with the challenge of designing this… on my own… in just a few weeks… with a newborn at home. Yikes!

View the website live here:

Video of Click + Collect mobile website

Following the success of the CC service (now available across all 2000+ Greggs stores) it became a priority to add this feature into the mobile app.

Design exploration and iteration

Moving back to the app, we still had a lot of work to do. I started by creating some wireframes to shape the core app structure and information architecture. Working with pencil and paper was a quick, iterative approach.

Early wireframes

Early wireframes

As I moved to higher fidelity designs we started to get a lot of conflicting feedback and differing opinions on the tab bar and what the top level items should be. To rectify this and to give us more user focused feedback I decided to carry out a card sorting exercise.

I recruited 10 participants internally and asked them all to sort through a list of features (chosen due to their potential high frequency of use) that they’d want to see in the tab bar.

Card sorting

This was very successful in showing the senior stakeholders why it’s important to do research and how quickly we can carry this out to remove opinions and be more customer-centric.

Various iterations of the home screen

Throughout the process I shared my designs early and often with the whole team to allow for a more inclusive approach. As you can see we went through numerous different iterations of the home screen in particular to make sure we got to a design that was clear and concise but still conveyed the Greggs personality.

Creating a new design system

During the redesign of the mobile app Greggs were also undergoing a rebrand to modernise their identity. In partnership with the Head of Brand I also created some secondary colours, custom illustrations and icons as well as iterating on creative ways that we could showcase our photography.

For the mobile app specifically, I created a new design system from scratch in Figma that became a living document for the team to understand core components and artefacts within the mobile app.

Greggs design system artifacts

App design system artifacts

Presenting to the board

After getting sign-off from the Head of Brand and taking our team through the designs I had to present the new proposed Greggs app to the board of directors (including the CEO) to make sure we had buy-in from everyone. In partnership with the Product Owner we walked the board through the app development so far, focusing on the road map, core features of the MVP and the strong rationale for design decisions.

Implementation process

3 amigos



Design QA




In addition to defining the new UI, I built specific prototypes to show detailed interaction states to the engineers.

I also helped foster a more iterative approach to the design handover process by introducing a new Design QA step in the process. This was used to not only make sure quality was always at the forefront but also to make sure there was a collaborative partnership between design and engineering.





Rewards category


Shop finder map view

Shop finder list view

Shop details

Reserving a time slot

Click + collect menu

Menu item

Reviewing a basket

Reviewing an order

Placing an order


Topping up

Auto top up


Personal details

Deleting an account

Before the redesign, the app was simply a digital rewards app but the new version gave customers lots of new benefits like:

Usability testing in a closed beta

Whilst I had endeavoured to carry out usability testing throughout the process the main focus of the testing was done through a closed beta of 1000 employees.

This was important as we needed them to be advocates for the app and understand first-hand how it works to be able to troubleshoot with customers at the till if needed. As many would work first-hand with customers this would provide a unique insight into any bugs or usability issues while in-person testing was impossible due to the pandemic.

We also partnered with the internal research team who built a survey to capture feedback during the closed beta. This larger beta and the data we got from it allowed us to test at scale and gave us confidence moving into the public release.

Closed beta testing feedback form

Overall, the feedback was highly positive but some early issues were identified. For example some shops were displaying Click + Collect when they didn’t actually offer it – finding and rectifying things like incorrect tagging of shops before the app went public was vital.

About screen

App feedback email

For the public release, I pushed to make sure that we could get as much feedback as possible from within the app and set up an inbox that allowed us to recieve feedback from customers offering them an easy way to do so.


Closing thoughts

Working in a traditional retail business was a new experience for me and presented a number of challenges.

Firstly, the newly established team had agreed to work in an agile way in multifunctional teams. However, this team was only a small component in the wider business. Other key stakeholders worked across a number of separate departments with different levels of experience, some of which were more reluctant to change. New ways of working had to be explained and shared regularly for them to see the benefit.

Secondly, managing stakeholder expectations could sometimes be challenging as each department wanted to sign off designs – each with a different point of view. While it helped make the app more cohesive with the rest of the business, uniting all these requests without compromising the interface or user experience was a real challenge.

My time at Greggs greatly impacted the way I work, strengthening my ability to work collaboratively and lead with empathy and understanding. In particular, it served as a reminder that stakeholders and other external team members are often not as close to the ground making them feel removed from the decision making.

I truly believe there’s nothing stronger than a group of talented people that can collaborate across teams, working to each other's strengths, sharing challenges and celebrating their successes together.