Mock Up Image

Critic

A restaurant reservation app that allows its users
to select the exact table of their preference

Role
User research, visual design, prototyping
Type
Mobile app design for personal project
Duration
July 2020 - September 2020
Tools
Adobe XD, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop

"I did not make a reservation a month in advance to be seated by the restroom..."

Context

Visiting high-end restaurants can get pricey, but nonetheless, people visit for the experience. As much as the price they are willing to pay, they expect quality food, good service, and nice ambiance.

However, a simple “table misplacement” could potentially ruin the otherwise perfect dining experience.

Hypotheses

If guests are able to preselect the tables of their preference at the time of their booking,
Then the problem of getting assigned a table at an undesirable spot will be eliminated.

If guests knew in advance that the tables of their preferences are not available at the time of their booking,
Then they will have the choice to either compromise to one of the next best tables or choose another restaurant.

Solution

Critic is a restaurant reservation app that allows its users to select the exact table of their preference at the time of their booking. ‍

Moreover, users will also have easy access to the restaurants’ full menus as well as 360° views of the interior. ‍

With these features, users will be able to plan their visits thoroughly in advance for smooth and enjoyable dining experiences.

Key Features

Reservation + Table Selection

Users are able to see the floor plan of the restaurant and choose the specific table they want to be seated at during their visit.

Full Menu

Users have access to the restaurant's full menu so that they don't have to rely on the photos that previous guests took. These menus will be the most updated, accurate menus from the restaurant, which will help users be even more prepared for their visit.

360° Restaurant View

Users have access to the restaurant's full menu so that they don't have to rely on the photos that previous guests took. These menus will be the most updated, accurate menus from the restaurant, which will help users be even more prepared for their visit.




User Research

User Assumption

Brainstorm (Who would want to use this app?)

People who...
∙ Eat out regularly / foodies
∙ Like exploring new restaurants
∙ Enjoys fine dining
∙ Live near cities / more established areas
∙ Like to travel
∙ Willing to spend more money on food

∙ Ages 18 to around 60 (elderly people may not prefer an app)
∙ Don’t like calling
∙ Want to plan ahead of their visit to a restaurant
∙ Care about which table/ area they sit at in the restaurant
∙ Have important appointments

Interview Insights

Q. Do you usually have a preference for where you sit at the restaurant?
A. Yes, if there’s a view then next to the window would be nice. Or just in an area that’s not far from all the action? I don’t like tables that feel isolated from the rest.

- Jade (51)

Q. If you had an important dinner appointment, what kind of restaurants would you look for?
A. I would definitely look for somewhere with good ambiance. Somewhere nice but not awkward? Maybe somewhere a bit well-known or a place I’ve been to before so I don’t have to worry.

- Tess (22)

Q. Do you usually make reservations before going to a restaurant?
A. Yes, I like being prepared and making sure I have a spot when I visit the restaurant. I would even make same-day reservations if its possible.

- Jae (30)

Findings

1. People do care about where they sit at the restaurant = there could be a demand for a service like this
2. People want to be able to plan ahead of important meal appointments and are worried about potential obstacles that might ruin the meeting
3. People like the feeling of knowing that there will be a seat for them when they visit a restaurant and they would try to minimize potential changes to their plans

User Flow / Wireframe

User Flow

This is the task flow that I first started with but after several rounds of testing, I realized that this was a very linear task flow. It doesn't exactly reflect how the users might actually go through the app.

For example, there's a high possibility that the restaurant the user is looking for will not be on the homepage. So in this case, the user would go to type out the name on the search bar. Or, many times, the user might not even have a restaurant in mind. Then, he or she would browse by cuisine or location to decide on a restaurant.

Rapid Prototype / User Testing

The users were given a task to complete through Adobe XD.
The task was to make a reservation for Minami Restaurant for 4 people on August 31st at 6pm and select a table by the window.

Jade (51)

Jae (30)

Feedback from Users

1. There should be multiple ways to get to the desired restaurant (through browse by cuisine or through one of the choices on the home page) ‍
2. Somewhere in the review or confirmation pages, there should be a space to put the user info in (name, phone number, etc.)






Hi-Fidelity Mockups

Hi-Fi Hi-Fi Hi-Fi Hi-Fi Hi-Fi Hi-Fi Hi-Fi Hi-Fi






Final Prototype



Reflection

I thoroughly enjoyed building this app from the perspective of a potential user. The idea of this app came from my own experience of being seated in unwanted areas of the restaurant several times and starting my dining experience on a negative note. I figured there would definitely be others like me, who care about where they sit and through research, was glad to find that there could be a demand for an app like this. ‍

Some areas that I could improve on in the future would be expanding on the table selection feature and conducting more research from people outside of my social circle. Since the main selling point of this app is the users ability to choose the exact tables they want during their reservation process, I think there could be more ways amplify that feature. Due to the time constraints of this course and COVID-19, I was not able to conduct as much research as I wanted to, but more research would definitely help brainstorm new ideas add more depth to this app.

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