The focus of my bachelor thesis was to explore the value of branded apps for cafés and to identify key principles for designing such apps. 
The research question that guided the study was: "How can branded apps for cafés create value for users, and what principles should one have in mind when designing these?" 

To answer this question, the walkthrough method, interview techniques for UX practitioners and domain-specific usability heuristics were used as the methodology.

Two existing apps for cafés, Café Analog and Espresso House, were analyzed, and the findings revealed that benefits and convenience were critical factors for users. For instance, self-service options to skip queues and discounts and loyalty benefits were some of the features that people appreciated. However, technical difficulties could lead to frustration.

To create a framework for designing branded café apps, I combined literature about branded apps and convenience, findings from the analysis, and Nielsen's 10 usability heuristics. This led to the development of 11 domain-specific heuristics that covered basic usability, user-centered design, and the customer experience.

I designed an app for Prolog, an independent specialty coffee bar and café in Copenhagen, using a design process that involved sketching, wireframing, hi-fi prototyping, revisions, and user testing. The design decision included creating a digital clip card that mimicked a business card and a credit card, integration with Apple wallet for convenience, logging in with a phone number, a one-page design, and a receipt page to recover errors.

User testing was conducted with four loyal customers on-site at Prolog, and the findings were generally positive, with constructive feedback. The study confirmed that the 11 heuristics implemented in the app were fitting for café apps.

In conclusion, the study highlighted that branded café apps must provide users with increased convenience, loyalty benefits and/or discounts, and a user-friendly interface to create value. The 11 heuristics developed in this study can assist and guide the development of branded apps for cafés.

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