As I proceeded through the development process, usability testing proved invaluable — especially when a participant who reminded me to “account for the decision-making that’s already happened” before she decided to launch the app. In other words, why add a step with a detailed product listing — which is ultimately a sales tool — when the entire point of the app is to help users find a specific thing that they already have in mind? With this in mind, I further reduced the concept to the essentials: searching for, and locating, the item you have selected.
I now began to grapple with the purpose of each UI element. Initial versions featured elements such as item price, Yelp stars, and distance which all wound up on the cutting room floor. The balance of shopper needs and merchant needs became more important at this stage — for instance, since we know that local shops are often slightly more expensive, I chose to demote pricing info in the UI to minimize its potential to discourage shoppers. I similarly decided to eliminate Yelp stars (though I left in a link to the business’ Yelp listing, where available). Ultimately, the primary trust signal is the accurate inventory count.