Daraz is an e-commerce website founded by Rocket Internet, a German venture capital company, in 2012. The online marketplace operates in five countries of South Asia: Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal. It has been acquired by the Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba Group, in May 2018. The targeted audience of Daraz consists of almost 460 million people from its markets.
Daraz launched its mobile app in February, 2015, to provide an ease-of-access for its customers. According to the recent statistics, around 3 million people use the respective app daily.
Using the 10 Usability Heuristics for User Interface Design, following is an interaction design evaluation of the Daraz app:
- Visibility of system status: The users are informed about what is going on and receive suitable feedback within relevant time.
Being an app that supports purchasing of goods, Daraz keeps its system pretty much transparent. Customers can choose from a variety of products, which they can add up for buying. The products are available mostly with their details that the customer might want to see before making the choice, e.g. its size, quantity, warranty, ratings, price and shipment cost etc. After the items are ready to be checked out, the app asks the users to provide their contact information, address and further data necessary for the billing process to be complete. After confirming the order, it shows the users the estimated delivery time and a graph for the progress of the item’s shipment, i.e. if it has been picked up from the suppliers, is it on its way to the customer, or has it been delivered. Additionally, they send important notifications in between the process, like confirmation message and delivery updates, to the provided phone number and/or email.
It also offers live support chat, incase the customers want to complain about something or simply make a query.
- Match between system and the real world: The system uses common and easy language and concepts that are easily understandable by the users.
Like most modern apps, Daraz tends to use graphical images of real-life objects for icons to represent the controls along with a brief text describing them, for example “Messages”, “Wallet”, “Promotions” etc. as well as for item categories like “Electronic devices”, “Babies & Toys” etc. The app uses real images of products to provide the users with a complete idea of what they are going to buy, although having it depend on the seller what image they choose to provide, the delivered items sometimes vary from what were pictured.
- User control and freedom: The users are allowed to easily undo or redo their actions.
With the Daraz app, the users are free to add and remove items from their selected-item list, called the “Cart”. After confirming the order, one can also successfully cancel it only until it has not been shipped to their address yet. After the goods are on their way to the buyer or have been received by them, they can be returned the product though, which can then be refunded or replaced according to the circumstances.
- Consistency and standards: The system does not use different elements to perform identical functions to prevent confusion among the users.
The procedure of buying items from the Daraz app is not so complicated, yet the availability of the same products from different links can be somewhat confusing for the users. While the products can clearly be viewed from their respective categories, their presence in other sections such as “promotions” or “brands” might make the customers think of the same product as two different ones. Other than that, the controls for the usage of the app, such as selection and checking out of the products are simpler in terms of usage.
- Error prevention: The system takes appropriate measure to avoid errors and other problems.
Daraz makes its buying procedure rather straightforward for the users. Once the desired items are selected, they can be confirmed for purchase from the cart section. Hence many problems are avoided. In case the user is in a mood to explore but lands on a page he did not want to be, the app provides a clearly visible “go back” button on each page. It also provides constantly available support for the customers to report any kind of complaint or to provide their feedback.
- Recognition rather than recall: The system relies on compact action flow and clear controls which can easily be understood and remembered by the users.
As with other e-commerce services, Daraz follows the traditional steps, from choosing the required items from their categories after viewing their details, descriptions, user ratings and reviews, to confirming the order and checking them out for delivery. The users can add the desired products to their cart, from which they can later checkout the items to have them delivered at their doorsteps. At this point, the user can also choose to make an advance payment. The users can make their accounts, and once signed in, the app uses their saved contact and billing information along with their address for their future orders, so the users are saved from the formality of adding the data again and again.
- Flexibility and efficiency of use: The users are allowed to perform actions with their own will and choice.
The Daraz app allows the users to select from a wide range of products. The users are provided by the facility to add filters of brand, cost, color etc. to customize the product range according to their requirement. They can make the choice after considering all the important aspects such as size and costs of the products etc. They can also view the seller’s name and city. They can also view the product’s ratings and reviews provided by other customers, that whether they were satisfied by the real product, or did they find some flaws with it. The users can also save the products they like into an in-built list called the “Wish List”, in case they want to ponder over an item later before buying it. The customers also have a choice to pay for the items in advance via their debit cards, or pay with cash on delivery.
- Aesthetic and minimalist design: The system does not display irrelevant information or extra styling of the interface to the user, as it might overwhelm them.
In contrary to most apps available in the market, the Daraz app does not follow the simplicity approach when it comes to its design. The app is much similar to its website in terms of the interface and look, if not more complicated to use. The bright colors, excess of tabs and links makes the users overwhelmed. Sometimes it is also unclear that a functionality would be available from which page. For example, the customer support feature is available in the Personal Account section, which should rather only be displaying the user’s information, his wish list and previous orders.
- Help users recognize, diagnose, and recover from errors: The system provides error messages and other alerts in simple language. It is also better to suggest solutions wherever possible.
There is not a vast range of error messages that come up during the usage of the Daraz app.
Still, alerts in simple words do come up in various cases, like the opening the cart or wish list while them being empty, or error in network connection. Users also see a message when products are out of stock or no longer available.
- Help and documentation: The users are offered instructions or similar kinds of help manuals to assist them in interacting with the system.
Although not clearly visible on the main screen, the Daraz app provides a help section by which the users are assisted with answers to frequently asked questions about common topics like issues regarding prices of products, rules related to order and delivery procedures, and information about Daraz’s special features such as imported products, promotions, and sales etc. Furthermore, if neither of the provided answers help, the users can contact the Daraz support by email or live chat feature, through which a representative answers their questions as soon as they are asked.