top of page

It all started with one question...

Can we really use drones for our day-to-day shipping or delivery needs?

Leading to more questions like


Why don't we still see drone deliveries happening around us?


What are the advantages and challenges of shipping with drones?


How would the interaction between a drone and the user happen during shipment?

Design Process

Design Process.png


Secondary Research

The secondary research aimed to explore drones as technology, focusing on their advantages in shipping and gaining insights into associated challenges.

How a typical drone delivery journey looks like?





Faster & efficient





Drone delivery provides cost-effective and efficient solutions, reducing operational expenses and navigating through traffic for swift deliveries in congested urban areas. Moreover, drones enhance accessibility by reaching remote locations traditionally challenging for conventional logistics. The environmental benefits are significant, as the reduced need for delivery vehicles aligns with sustainability goals, lowering carbon emissions.



Security & Privacy Risks


Infrastructure limitations


Public acceptance

Drone shipping confronts several challenges. Security and privacy risks loom large, with concerns about potential misuse and data protection. Infrastructure limitations in India pose obstacles to seamless integration. Public acceptance is crucial, requiring efforts to overcome skepticism regarding noise, safety, and airspace congestion. Moreover, the threat of hunters and thieves targeting drones adds another layer of risk that demands careful consideration and mitigation strategies for the successful implementation of drone shipping.

"For all this skepticism, the Indian gig economy is gearing up to embrace drones for its last-mile delivery. Swiggy, Zomato, and Dunzo have already announced plans in this direction."

Primary Research

The primary research was conducted with four primary goals in mind -

  • To identify user behavior, patterns, and processes during shipping.

  • To understand the common problems they face during shipping.

  • To understand the perception of drones and drone shipping.

  • To discover situations when drone shipping is beneficial.




Survey Responses


Reddit posts


Keeping the primary research goals in mind, I designed a short survey collecting quantitative and qualitative data. The survey was filled by 73 respondents who were aged between 18 and 34.

Not familiar at all

Very familiar

Somewhat familiar

Around 87% of the respondents are somewhat or very familiar with the concept of drone shipping

Around 73% of the respondents rated three or more than 3 out of 5 about their comfort level with the idea of drone shipping.

Additionally, shipping food items and valuable items was the highest-rated use case for drone shipping after obvious use cases like shipping medical supplies and shipping in remote areas.

Netnography through Reddit

Here are a few screenshots of the Reddit posts/comments that I studied

Goal -

The aim of conducting netnography was to understand the problems faced by the users of existing shipping services like Porter and Dunzo.

Key Observations -

  • Existing services are expensive and not worth utilizing for shipping low-cost items like earphones, chargers, food, snacks, etc.

  • People don't trust gig workers with valuable items like laptops, mobile phones, or important documents.

  • People face significant pickup and delivery delays in C2C deliveries.


Key Insights

Part A - User Behavior


Rising expectations due to 10-min delivery services

The rise of 10-minute deliveries has set new standards for prompt service in various shipping segments. Customers now expect swift exchanges for items too like homemade snacks or gadgets. However, the high shipping costs of existing services hinder these quick transactions.


Convenience but guilt trip

During the interviews, some individuals expressed discomfort when receiving deliveries in certain scenarios, for eg - from a person drenched in rainwater, an elderly delivery person, or a delivery person using a bicycle. These situations tend to induce guilt and negatively impact users' emotions. 


Female users being extra cutious around delivery partners

Many people have experienced rude or inappropriate behavior from gig workers, impacting user trust. Female users, especially, exercise heightened caution when receiving orders alone at home from strangers and raised safety concerns during the interview.


People don't trust gig workers with expensive items

People don’t often rely on gig worker shipping to send high-value items for fear of the safety and security of the package. Participants in the study mentioned that gig workers are essentially third-party delivery partners independent of the service they are using and, hence, cannot be trusted fully.

Part B - User Perception of Drone Shipping


Drone: a black box

Drones are often perceived as enigmatic devices with limited communication capabilities. Imagining multiple scenarios akin to gig workers facing delivery challenges, people often wondered how drones would address such communication issues. They expressed that it's easier to interact with a human than a machine.


Association with surveillance

People during the study expressed their concern for potential privacy and security breaches through drones. One of the main reasons that came up was its popular use cases in videography and by the military as a surveillance device.


Skepticism around the feasibility

Drones, in general, are emerging technological equipment, and people have yet to realize the potential of these machines. Naturally, participants in the study expressed apprehension about the feasibility of drone shipping, especially in India, where adequate infrastructure is not yet developed.


Drone abuse and theft

Every participant in the study humorously remarked that the idea of peaceful drone deliveries in India seems far-fetched. They highlighted the concern that the visible presence of drones hovering during deliveries could attract unwanted attention, increasing the risk of theft or vandalism, especially in areas lacking adequate surveillance.


Drone shipping? Wouldn't that be costly?

Many individuals perceive drone shipping as a costly alternative primarily due to the initial high expenses associated with advanced drones. However, what often goes unnoticed is that the operational costs linked to drone shipping are considerably lower than those incurred by current delivery services relying on vehicles.

User Personas

TL;DR Personas

Ishika, the homesick student, Kapoor

Goal - Delivery of food (or other personal stuff) straight from her home in Gurgaon to her hostel in Delhi.

Challenges - Rude behavior from delivery boys and food spillage due to mishandling of the lunchbox.

Advik DP.png

Advik, the photographer with connections, Singh

Goal - Exchanging expensive camera equipment with other professionals.

Challenges - Lacking trust in delivery partners with expensive items and unavailability of delivery partners in his area.

Ajay DP.png

Ajay, the project manager at a startup, Yadav

Goal - Sending parts to vendors safely and on time.

Challenges - Delays in pickup and delivery, no option to schedule, and team account sharing.

Ishika Kapoor.jpg
Advik Singh.jpg
Ajay Yadav.jpg


Final Problem Statement

To design a reliable (drone) shipping service that lets users send items from one point to another safely.

Guiding Principles

The research findings and insights have played a pivotal role in shaping a set of principles that should underpin the design of the service. These guiding principles not only facilitated my navigation through the ideation phase by effectively categorizing and prioritizing ideas but also played a fundamental role in defining the overarching character of the service.


Secure yet transparent


Intelligent yet friendly


Advanced yet human


HMW Statements

Although many potential ideas came up while mapping the user journeys, a fresh start to the brainstorming session was necessary to have more holistic ideas complement the service and the app.


At the end of the persona-making process, I had many actionable insights. Framing the HMW statement helped me reframe those insights into opportunity areas while staying focused on one problem at a time. Some of the HMW statements that I framed are written below.

  • How might we ensure secure drone deliveries?

  • How might we increase the trust of the users in drone shipping through app UI?

  • How might we help users book a shipment easily?

  • How might we make the service more transparent?

  • How might we make people aware of the advantages of drone shipping?

  • How might we include human touch in the drone shipping process?

Competitive Audit

Goal -

To compare the shipment booking experience of each competitor’s app

Since there are no drone shipping services available in India, as of now, a competitive analysis was done between the existing popular services providing instant shipping, which are - Swiggy Genie, Dunzo and Porter Bike.

Conclusion of competitive analysis -


No focus on package safety

None of the apps, by any means, tried claiming that the parcel would be safe during transit, leading to overall customer dissatisfaction


Clean vs informative user interface

While Swiggy's app interface was simple, Porter's UI was too informative. None of the apps had the balance between simplicity and the amount of information.


A friendly tone always works

Swiggy's friendly and approachable tone made the app stand out from the rest.

Brainstorming and ChatGPT

After every brainstorming session, I used ChatGPT to bring in new ideas and perspectives. It often gave me broader categories, which acted as a starting point for the next round of brainstorming.


These ideas were then sorted (based on the guiding principles that I established earlier) into four categories - Must have, Should have, Could have, and Won't have.

A further categorization was done based on the drone features (Yellow) and the app or UX feature (Grey).

The Big Idea

Earlier, while reviewing and reading about drones and related technology, I came across a 2023 report by Gartner comparing the adoption of drones and mobile robots in the supply chain. It claimed that supply chain adoption of mobile robots will far outpace drones over the next three years. The report implied that autonomous mobile robots, powered by AI and machine learning, are becoming increasingly popular in automating physical tasks in supply chains.

08-17-23-gartner-hc-robots-drones copy.png

Certainly, mobile robots have their own advantages in terms of reliability but they are nowhere near drones when it comes to speed and accessing unreachable areas.

So, why not have a hybrid autonomous drone device that can transform into a mobile on-ground robot?


Quick and Accessible Drone

Reliable Last-Mile Mobile Robots

Hybrid drone which is more reliable and quick

Notable Security Features

Human operators montoring drones

Community verified landing zones

Live feed of the package

Pick up or drop off through Hub or Window or Ground Spots

User Flow

Design and Validate

Digital Wireframes

The focus while developing the digital wireframes was on resolving each element of screen flow while booking a shipment.

At this stage, I considered each scenario, including -

  • How would the screens look for both sender and receiver?

  • How would the screens change if the receiver booked the shipment instead of the sender?


Testing Early Prototype

The early low-fidelity prototype was quickly tested with two users. They were asked to book a shipment using the prototype. Following were a few of the feedbacks and observations recorded during the test.

Parcel launching in the air and landing softly

Inspired from drone blades

Zip, as in 'secured'

Derived from Zip-Zop, as in quick

Pssst, here is a top-secret:

Other names that were considered before 'zipzo' won the hearts of the users were - Zoomzy, Pixie, Robin, Bobbin, Senzo, and Flyzo

Card-based design system

The app utilizes an atomic design system, making it simple, intuitive, and easy to scale.

Each element comes together to form different types of cards, unifying the entire mobile app interface. Whenever the context changes, the cards change. But, the interaction remains the same.

Action Cards.jpg

High Fidelity Screens

New User

Old User

Home screen

Zipzo's home screen includes multiple useful cards powered by AI that change based on the user's interaction with the app.

It helps the new user build trust in the service while, on the other hand, it helps old users do quick tasks and encourages them to explore more.

Start entering shipping details

Users are shown clear information on what they can expect when booking a shipment.

Select pick up and drop location.

While choosing ground spot

While choosing hub

While choosing window dock

Select precise spot using AR

Enter time and item details

Zipzo lets you do more because it is much more flexible than other services. 

You can schedule your shipping and even measure your parcel using AR.

And voila! You have booked a shipment successfully.

You don't need to switch multiple apps just to be in touch with the receiver or navigate to the hub. Zipzo lets you do it all while staying on a single app.

Hi-fi Usability Testing in Progress

Learnings (till now)

  • Designing for scalability through atomic design- I implemented the atomic design system with this project. With card-based elements (that are made of smaller repeatable elements), the design process became simpler and more scalable.

  • Upgrading my Figma skills with Variables - This project happened after the great 'Variable' update on Figma. It turned into a perfect opportunity to learn and practice variables first-hand.

  • Collaboration with users - If getting insights from users is great, asking for solutions and feedback is even greater.

bottom of page