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Streamlining Customer Service

with Facial Recognition

Verizon 5G Innovation Lab x NYC Media Lab


5G Retail Challenge





7-Week Design Sprint, Nov - Feb 2020

Graduate Design Fellow

Strategy, Research, UX/UI Design, Prototype, Pitch & Demo

Designed independently, field research with Leslie Lopez, guided by mentors at Verizon, collaborated with CEO and tech team from Facenote and Coffee Project

5G has the potential to transform the retail experience. Faster mobile connectivity will unlock and scale new experiences that offer customers and retailers new ways to shop and run their business. Paired with a startup which focuses on facial recognition, we identified scalable solutions in coffee retail, and presented demo solutions on the 5G node during the National Retail Federation in January 2020 at Verizon 5G Labs in NYC.

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Design is not a linear process. Without a defined problem statement and only 7 weeks of time, we decided to adopt a Double Diamond structured design approach to tackle challenges in order to understand and respond to the users’ needs.

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We did market research and observed multiple New York popular coffee chains to identify their advantages and disadvantages. We interviewed baristas and managers to gain insight and look for possible opportunities to enhance experience with facial recognition and 5G.


with 10 avid coffee lovers

Loyal customers are five times as likely to make a repeat purchase, that is, they feel valued for their loyalty.

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Loyal customers are five times as likely to make a repeat purchase, that is, they feel valued for their loyalty.


Multiple field trips to coffee stores, yay✌️

18/20 customers weren't aware of a reward stamp card to collect rewards. Customers who are interested in rewards, often forget or loose their cards.

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Customers enjoy the music played in the coffee shop.

More than half of customers who sat in took a photo before drinking their coffee.


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How can our design benefit different customer types?


I'm a paragraph. Click here to add your own text and edit me. Let your users get to know you.

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Customers want to be recognized and awarded for their loyalty. However, loyalty programs are time-consuming, lacks personalization and expensive to implement.


Based on value propositions of customers and retailers.

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​Journey Mapping

Mapping emotions across the user journey

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What features can be implemented to personalize the experience?

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Test & Compare Results

The Phone as a Burden

Through user testing we realized the phone's use for security measurement was unnecessary and delays the process.

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Time spent from walking in to finding seat (or walking away with coffee) decreased 50%,45%,65% for The Regulars, Efficiency Coffee, and The Insiders.

Significant Decrease in Wait Time

Waiting time as a major success metric (since it was the main issue in initial context inquiry).


UI Prototype

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Greeting Page

Facial Recognition Screen

Coffee Reward

Digital Stamp

NRF X Verizon Showcase

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Design for Inclusiveness

​I want to consider for "user" types, such as a persona for baristas and managers who take a huge role in coffee experience too. Moreover, I would like to account for edge personas and scenarios with further research and testing.

​Technology is not necessarily human-centered

I want to conduct A/B testing on the different emotional effects when:

  • The customer is greeted by a device, by name.

  • The customer is greeted by the barista, by name.

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