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Happy Hours startup


Design Research

UX Design



Happy Hours is a marketing tool for venues, which provides benefits for its users. The app suggests personalized happy hour offers for the customers based on their previous orders. Information about this product is confidential, therefore I’m mainly sharing just product creation methodologies and the user research methodologies and omitted the description of the product, its structure, and functionalities.

Lean Way of Designing


Building Minimum Viable Products via Build - Measure - Learn Methodology by Jeff Gothelf’s and Josh Seiden’s Lean UX.


1. Declare assumptions

2. Create MVP

3. Run an experiment

4. Feedback and research

5. Keep going again and again

In the beginning, we created the hypothetical target groups and user personas and formed assumed product goals and our hypotheses. 

Hypothetical Target Groups

  • Mostly students/ people with a limited budget

  • English speakers; drink alcohol 

  • Cost-sensitive/ Looking for cool places

  • Biggest sway factors Discounts/ Free Drinks /Atmosphere 

  • Are my friends going? 

Explorers - Experience-driven people
  • Look for a new exciting place/ want to try new drinks

  • English speakers; drink alcohol

  • Not necessarily cost-sensitive since they are looking to have a good time

  • The atmosphere might be the biggest factor

  • Short app life span (installation & process need to be quick enough to want to get)

  • People who like to have fun together - bigger groups

  • Students, young people, bride/ hen parties

  • The app adds value to social drinking

I Need a navigation
  • Too busy to decide

  • It’s always hard to make a decision

  • The app is like a compass to them - always shows the right way to go

Hypothetical User Personas 

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Happy Hours assumed Personas (2).png
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Happy Hours assumed Personas (1).png

Developing Product Goals and Thinking Through a Design Problem and Creating Scenarios


We used the AEIOU Design analysis methodology developed by Mark Baskinger and Bruce Hanington that “helped us to think through a problem and create scenarios from a variety of perspectives: activities, environments, interactions, objects, and users,” as the inventors claim in their worksheet.


Forming hypotheses

Examples of hypotheses:
Hypothesis 1: We believe our target group likes special offers. 
Hypothesis 2: We believe our target group is willing to visit places offering special sales promotions.

If we would have confirmed our hypotheses there is a chance people would use the tested product. However, it’s always hard to assume how the market will behave and introducing a new, especially innovatory product on the market is always a risk. Therefore I personally believe research methodologies should be supplemented by educated guess and the strong will of the stakeholders.

Based on the previous specifications, I created hypothetical user journeys and a quick prototype. Which we later showed to potential customers during user testing.

Hypothetical user journeys and prototype

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Qualitative Design Research

After finishing the prototype we went through experimenting, testing assumptions, and the prototype. We conducted research lead by Michaela Richardson.

Quick “on-site” interviews (customers)
In-depth interviews (owners)

The high concentration of relevant consumers
Observing consumers in the action
14 customers, 20 min


More business background needed
How to make their business life easier / more profitable
3 owners, 30 min

Customers Key Insights 

We developed customer and owner characteristics. For the customers, we deduced key insights from the following categories:

  • Going out circumstances

  • Drinking preferences

  • New places discovering practices

  • Motivation by offer

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Picture by Michaela Richardson

Business Owners Key Insights 

For the business owners, we deduced key insights from the following categories: 

  • Customer care, special events & offers

  • Typical customers

  • Business core & growth

  • MKT technology budget, CPA, people in charge

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Picture by Michaela Richardson

Product Features Key Insights

From the prototype testing, we deduced key insights for the user interface and venue administration. Based on that we were able to define the key features of the MVP. 

  • Must-haves… 

  • Nice-to-haves... 

  • Not sure (!)...

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Picture by Michaela Richardson

Key features of the MVP defined by post-its sorting
App functionalities.png

I stopped working on the Happy Hours product after the first iteration of the cycle. I have no information that the product will be further developed.

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