Food Truck Locator

Truck’d was founded as a startup in New York City by a group of tech people that worked and ate lunch together every day. The food truck culture in NYC is quite booming, leaving them with unique, but very delicious options that change every single day. The problem was that because their locations change so often, they couldn’t be listed on Google or Yelp. They decided to form a company to solve that problem.The great part of this was that in this unique case, they were the users. They selfishly wanted to solve this problem for themselves, but invite others along for the ride. To me though, that’s never enough, so before we did any work at all, we hit the pavement and interviewed people right in front of our favourite food trucks.

The best part of that approach is we ended up heavily interviewing the truck owners, as well. We wanted to know exactly how they announced where they were going to be, and what they did and didn’t like about their current process. What started as brainstorming a truck finding up quickly became a food truck app both for the consumer and the trucks themselves. We laid out a product release map that included location schedule creation, and food ordering.

The protoyping and user testing was unlike any other I had ever done. The information they used to create the app was pulled from Twitter, so the prototype we tested was the closest to the real thing I’d ever seen. We created a stand right on the streets of New York and Los Angeles, and did guerilla testing sessions with users who were actually looking for food trucks at that moment. We got instant feedback that we were easily able to pour right back into the product.

The key was to concentrate on the simplicity of the user’s needs. They quite simply needing to find what trucks were in proximity to them, be able to view the truck’s profile and pictures, and give the user directions to walk them to the truck. The product quickly expanded to user reviews and user profiles within a quarter of the first release. They had big plans to expand to the truck owner side of the app (scheduling, ordering, etc) when I left the project.