Bringing big flavor to customers.
Chipotle encourages a culture of collaboration and design with Adobe Creative Cloud.
Stand apart from competitors through continuous innovation and improvement
Support a culture of design companywide
Encourage collaboration with stakeholders who are closest to solutions
Grow rewards program to 30 million members
Fine-tune experiences with extensive testing
Focus more energy on testing by creating information architecture and prototypes quickly and efficiently
Share ideas and feedback with collaborators through shareable documents
Chipotle is known for real food that is better for people and the planet. For three decades, the fast-casual restaurant chain has made a name for itself with its customizable dishes made-to-order for each guest. While food always comes first, a culture of design permeates the company to support the customer experience.
“Our mission at Chipotle is to design unique, intuitive experiences that engage people in an authentic and delightful way,” says Bobby Nemati, Director of Digital Product Design at Chipotle. “Everything we do is designed to support our employees and our guests.”
The digital product design team focuses on the ways that technology can enhance the employee and guest experience. The team collaborates with stakeholders across the company to help design better consumer-facing apps and websites, internal software for employees, and systems for crews. Adobe Creative Cloud apps enable the design team to communicate ideas with collaborators companywide and constantly discover ways to deliver more meaningful experiences.
“Technology is at the forefront of innovation, enabling us to stay competitive and drive the business forward,” says Nemati. “The role of the digital product design team is to look at the big picture and help solve problems through accessible and simple designs that empower people. Adobe Creative Cloud has all of the tools that we need to continually improve how we deliver services and information.”
“Collaboration is key to our design philosophy. By making it easier to share designs, Adobe XD supports the collaboration that we need to deliver thoughtful, innovative products that people expect from Chipotle.”
Director of Digital Product Design, Chipotle
Building intelligent designs through collaboration
Members of the digital product design team use Creative Cloud apps every day for digital design. Many assets are created in Adobe Photoshop, with Adobe Illustrator and After Effects used to turn graphics into dynamic animations. “What makes Creative Cloud so great is that it’s a full collection of products that work well together,” says Nemati. “We can always find just the right app for whatever we’re trying to accomplish.”
With Adobe XD, Chipotle supports innovative experience design—beyond just visuals. The digital product design team starts by looking at the information architecture and processes. Then the team measures data and tests hypotheses to help fine tune each experience. At every stage, the design team collaborates closely with stakeholders to ask questions, gain feedback, and refine processes with a goal of continuous improvement.
For example, several years ago, Chipotle lead the industry with a new innovation it called the “digital make line” (DML). To accommodate an increase in online orders, Chipotle utilized its second prep line in the kitchen for crew members to make online orders, right on time, without impacting customers waiting in restaurants. The digital product design team supported the design of the DML by interviewing crew members, watching them work on site, and designing a flow that improves productivity.
“The idea of the digital make line has been copied by fast casual restaurants, but Chipotle was the first,” says Nemati. “Our ability to deliver online orders efficiently helped us stand out during the pandemic and continue expanding. By leading the industry with great experiences, we’ve helped grow our rewards program to more than 30 million loyal members.”
Using Adobe XD, designers can visualize their ideas, outline the flow of each experience, and share it with stakeholders ― as somewhat of a living online whiteboard ― for input and new ideas. Wireframing and prototyping capabilities let them design user interfaces for any digital systems within the same shared document.
“Collaboration is key to our design philosophy,” says Nemati. “By making it easier to share designs, Adobe XD supports the collaboration that we need to deliver thoughtful and innovative products that people expect from Chipotle.”
“Creative Cloud gives us the tools we need to collaborate, communicate and innovate new experiences for guests.”
Director of Digital Product Design, Chipotle
Continuous improvement through prototypes and testing
One of the biggest benefits of working with Adobe XD for experience design is how the digital product design team can use one app throughout the design process. When redesigning the Chipotle mobile ordering app, the team used it first for information architecture, and then to create a working prototype.
“The ability to create prototypes in Adobe XD is very powerful. It allows us to better communicate to developers exactly how the app is meant to look and act,” says Nemati. “We can create robust prototypes efficiently and easily. Just as importantly, we can use the prototype to test the app and gain feedback with little time and effort.”
Chipotle takes testing seriously as part of its mission to continually improve the user experience. The digital product design team works with the company UserTesting for its usability studies and user research. Using the UserTesting plugin, designers can quickly launch a user test, share the prototype with audiences and view results directly from within Adobe XD.
“There’s so many excellent plug-ins that extend the functionality of Adobe XD and allow us to create even more efficient design environments,” says Nemati. “Because we can build out designs and prototypes more easily, we can spend more time focusing on research, testing, and improving our digital products.”
Building a culture of innovation and design
The digital product design team contributes to all types of digital experiences, from improving messaging on the Chipotle chat bot to supporting marketing campaigns. The team is highly collaborative by nature, with daily meetings and weekly reviews involving teams throughout the company.
“Chipotle has been around for 30 years, but the culture of innovation, growth, and support is very similar to a startup,” says Nemati. “The entire company has embraced the idea of customer-focused design and continuous improvement as a way to set ourselves apart from competitors. Creative Cloud gives us the tools we need to collaborate, communicate and innovate new experiences for guests.”