How we got here
We started with a list of questions customers would ask to help them understand the new program.
• How do I order and pay?
• Why should I participate?
• What are Stars and rewards? (How much do I need? What do I get for Stars? How do I earn them?)
• How do I track my progress?
• How’s this different from before? (for existing users)
Our goal was to help new and existing customers who may not visit enough remember what items are in the new tiers with a simple guide to the program.
The program shouldn't require interpretation or insider knowledge. I personally championed clear language and a flat IA that would ensure people formed an accurate understanding of the program. The benefit of clarity would prove itself out in reducing transaction time and line length. Baristas wouldn't need to train customers as much on the dynamics of the program at the register.
Mental models of currency
From our studies, we saw that people related their Stars to currency and wanted to easily see all the ways they could spend them. When customers thought about rewards and Stars, they used the concept of currency to clarify it to themselves. The tracker and tooltip alongside a Star balance in one, easy to digest tracker increased customer understanding and speed to redeem.
Less math is more
Stars being presented as a trackable balance helped tie orders to rewards and let customers estimate how many orders it would take to earn their next reward. We tested variants that included more dashboard-like measures, like how many Stars you earned in a given period, averages, and additional tracking and breakdowns of the mix of tiers customers could redeem with their Star balance. These additional measures created a sense of complexity customers didn't need during the simple task of grabbing coffee or food.
I'm happy to provide more details about this project if you're interested. Let me know.