Case Study: Bagel Express

As part of the UX/UI Design course, students were tasked with conducting a case study of a local coffee shop. We applied concepts such as analytics & research to identify the client persona, customer persona, affordances & limitations, white space, User Centered Design, and other UX/UI principles. Building on this information, we were to create a re-brand that addresses the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (S.W.O.T.) & included a new Value Proposition.

The Client

Bagel Express is situated in Historic Pawtuxet Village, a destination people go to for outdoor & seaside leisure, usually activities around eating.

A historic look at Pawtuxet Village.

Nearby are restaurants, cafés, and small businesses in a quaint, pedestrian-friendly “main street” neighborhood. In this business landscape, Bagel Express competes directly against one other coffee shop, Beans & Buns. As there are no Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks in this area, Bagel Express could be seen as the Dunkin (value) brand compared to Beans & Buns as the Starbucks (premium) brand.

Customer profile is mostly local community, which is a mix of middle to upper class residents, majority homeowners. The weekends see more tourist traffic, especially during the summer months. These are people who are traveling to the area usually to meet with friends or family who live or have roots in the area.

Their Challenge

Bagel Express has two challenges that can be avenues of opportunity: strengthen their existing IP & capture part of the local lunch market. We will achieve a greater user experience for their current loyal customer base as well as capture the increased new traffic through these rebranding efforts.

Strengthen IP:

Consistent branding across all media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Google, Grubhub) will help to cement a stronger brand identity, better helping new & returning customers to identify with the company. This can be achieved with a logo creation that drives home their Value Proposition & Unique Selling Point (fresh bagels). A Bagel mascot that can drive weekend traffic & participate in Social Media Campaigns can be a great way to strengthen their Bagel Express IP.

Lunch Market:

Looking at their customer flow trends, they have the best opportunity to increase traffic during lunch. The local competition (Felini’s, Poco Loco Taco, O’Rourkes, Crepe Corner) are sit-down dining experiences. By offering a Grab-n-Go lunch array, they can capture the lunch dollar of their morning customer as well as offer a faster but quality lunch option (Fast Food +) for the on-the-go weekend warrior/traveler.

They have no trouble with breakfast, but traffic dies before lunch.


The research that was conducted really helped steer the direction of the UX/UI Rebrand for Bagel Express. It was immediately clear that they were missing that unified branding across the web.
Their name is different between Facebook & Instagram, and they don’t have the awning picture as a profile picture on Grubhub.

Facebook, Instagram, and Grubhub landings for Bagel Express

Before we could create a strong Brand Icon, we looked at what they already are known for, what they do best. This Unique Selling Point is right in their name: Bagels. The other half of their name is Express, which worked to lean into as a Value Proposition. The White Space in the local market for the lunch crowd is a fast lunch option, so driving home the “Express” factor was key.

I started with 5 different sketches that play into the themes of “Fast, Fresh, Bagels, Express”… Trains would be a good tie in to the historic aspect of the community as well as their “on the go” and “timely” nature.

I also considered the seaside nature of the location:

A couple abstract ideas that played up symbolism & motion were tried as well:

After workshopping the ideas, the modern sports-themed train graphic was further refined:

Artboard showing the iterative progression from sketch to vector asset.
First pass at complete vector logo.
Refined logo with added Value Proposition

Final Logo Design

Final Logo Design with color

Now that the logo design was solidified, we were able to think about ways of driving home this new take on the branding. Using a Bagel mascot costume, Bagel Express could create a positive buzz about the business, and help create awareness & drive traffic to the cafe. The mascot could also take part in a campaign similar to DuoLingo’s TicToc campaign that helps drive awareness to their brand.

Bagel Mascot for St-Viateur Bagel & Cafe, Montreal, Canada.
DuoLingo has amassed over 4.5 Million follows on TicToc through the use of their mascot’s antics.

The strengthened brand awareness should help drive traffic and introduce the new lunch options, which will further capitalize on this new foot traffic.

Final Considerations

Our research identified other areas of improvement, such as creating a website & mobile app to better facilitate the on-the-go orders for their new fast-lunch. We also looked at deepening their breakfast lineup to increase their average ticket & attract more customers with a wider range of options.

Journey Map exploring the customer journey experience.
Developing additional options to strengthen their core menu.

Turning their strongest weaknesses into opportunities and positioning away from threats will put Bagel Express in a great position to continuing improving their customer experience.

Re-Brand visualization.

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