A final major project at Bournemouth University – Rhombi is a new type of delivery container for bicycle food delivery riders.
The container was designed as a response to the explosion of new food delivery companies such as Deliveroo and Uber Eats using cycle couriers to deliver food from eateries who wouldn’t traditionally offer a delivery service.
My pannier-style design addresses the problems caused by the ‘backpack-style’ delivery boxes, namely a high centre of gravity which causes accidents, back injuries and spilled food.
The growth of the food delivery market is staggering – Deliveroo alone was crowned as the fastest growing tech company in Europe in 2018, with year-on-year growth of over 600%. But perhaps this self-classification as purely a ‘tech’ company has lead to some miopia regarding the actual nature of their current business.
“The health and happiness of riders is of enormous importance to their commercial viability”
The reality is that their current rider network exceeds 30,000 workers worldwide. Until they can automate them out of existence (as hinted in press releases regarding their future business model) The health and happiness of this workforce is of enormous importance to their commercial viability.
Because of the rapid growth of delivery business such as Deliveroo, Ubereats, Doordash, Foodora and Grubhub, design decisions which are not immediately impacting customer experience have had to be innovated extremely quickly.
This means that whilst time and effort has been lavished on continuous improvement of UX and route-planning algorithms, the physical realm has somewhat fallen by the wayside.
And so we get to the crux of the matter: those massive backpacks.
The reasoning behind these is threefold: