UX Lessons from a Vada Seller

One late morning, I got a craving for Vada (a Typical Indian Snack), so I walked over to a small hotel nearby. While entering the shop, the owner informed me that there was nothing to eat at the hotel.

I was about to leave the shop with a slight disappointment. Suddenly the shop owner told me that Poori was the only item available. Come on!!! Poori is not what I want, I want Vada. Then I decided to try my luck and asked if Vada is available? Vada is available, he said.

As an experience designer, I learned a few valuable lessons from the incident I described above.

1. Never welcome a new user with a board that says “No Items Available”. Provide a search function when nothing is displayed. For example, permitting me to peruse the product in the shop rather than stopping by the door and telling me there is nothing to buy.

2. Allow the user to interact first. Never give a user suggestions without understanding their patterns. Vada, for instance, would have been my first question to the shop owner.

3. After interacting with Interface for some time and not hearing back from the user, you can ask polite questions about the most commonly used products to find out what the user needs. For example, if I stand there for a long period of time without asking anything, the shopkeeper might address me as “What do you like to have? Coffee or Tea?”

Here are some of the UX takeaways accompanied by a bunch of Vadas. You taught me a few things about UX, thank you, Shopkeeper.

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