There are a number of restaurant and map apps on the market, however, there is very little truly live information that can help users decide which restaurant to go to where they will not have to wait and will have an overall pleasant experience.View Prototype
Yelp, Google Maps, Open Table, etc all provide users information about reviews, location, hours, menus, and general restaurant details, however, there is no current app on the market that provides real-time, live information about a restaurants wait time, line length, or noise levels. Restaurant goers are left in the dark about this type of information until they arrive at the restaurant. Arriving at a restaurant that is too crowded or busy can mean restaurant goers turn away and go somewhere else.
Hangry is the only user-submitted, and community-based app (similar to Waze) that provides real-time details about a restaurants wait time, line length, and noise levels so that users can know ahead of time if it is worth going to that restaurant or if they should go somewhere else. This information is reported by actual users, rather than in partnership with the restaurant, so others can trust the information to be accurate.
To begin, I surveyed a wide range of users across multiple demographics, age groups, and professions, in order to get an understanding of their current use of restaurant, search, and map apps, to get an understanding of their likes, dislikes, frustrations, and to get an understanding of the limitations that each felt regarding their app(s) of choice.See full survey results >
Do you think that if an app had a feature where users submitted information about how crowded a restaurant/bar was, you would find this helpful?
I performed competitive analysis and SWOT analysis of 3 different restaurant/search type apps, including Google Maps, Yelp, and OpenTable given that those were the 3 most popular based on survey results. Additionally, I also performed competitive analysis and SWOT analysis of Waze, given that this app will be based on its workflow. Some analysis highlights are below.View full analysis >
Google Maps: Popular times information is not truly “real-time” or “live” - it is based on aggregated data that can only truly be an estimate
Yelp: Yelp recently acquired a company called “Nowait” - which offered users the ability to join a restaurants waitlist from their phone, prior to arriving at the restaurant
Waze: "One of the unique aspects of Waze is the ability to direct users based on crowdsourced information. Waze users are able to report a multitude of traffic-related incidents from accidents to police traps. This data is used by Waze to help other users either by alerting them of the condition ahead or even rerouting the user to avoid the area entirely."
Open Table: When you book and honor reservations through OpenTable, you can collect Dining Points. These points can be redeemed for Dining Rewards that can be put toward meals at many OpenTable restaurants. You can also redeem points for Amazon Gift Cards* and, from time to time, donate points to charitable causes.
Based on user surveys and the competitive analysis performed, representative user personas were developed in order to portray the ideal audience for this app idea
26 | Male | Charleston, SC
31 | Female | Richmond, VA
Based on product demands, user research, and user personas, tasks were developed that indicated what new users, returning users, and all users, needed to accomplish. The tasks were then organized into high, medium, and low priority to form user stories.View all user stories >
Based on research, competitive analysis, and user stories, user flows were then developed in order to map out the ideal user experience. These were first sketched out by hand and then digitally.View all user flows >
Referring back to the user flows, wireframes were created for each task. Firstly, sketches were drawn of the initial design ideas and then they were produced digitally. This was a continuous process until all user flows had been successfully wireframed.View all wireframes >
At this point, I decided to do an initial round of usability testing with the app’s wireframes to ensure that I was going in the correct direction and to ensure a good user experience. Firstly, I used “Marvel” to test 5 different scenarios for the user to go through: 1. Learn about the app, go through onboarding, and sign up or log in; 2. Search for a restaurant called “Don’t Look Back” and go to the restaurant page; 3. Submit restaurant details; 4. Go to the rewards points page; 5. Review notification and submit details.View full round 1 usability test results >
After wireframes had been created digitally, I began the process of creating a brand concept for this app. I first started with mind-mapping & word association to begin the branding process which ultimately led to the name as well as some logo concepts. I then developed a moodboard to further the branding process and to help with the look and feel of the app.
Based off of the moodboard, I developed some logo ideas and went through some iterations. Initially, I had 2 logo ideas, the wolf and a crab. I ultimately decided to A/B test these concepts to see what other potential users preferred based on the concept and brand idea. The wolf had a slight preference overall at 58% so from there I continued iterating on the wolf logo concept.
Once that process had been completed, I developed an overall app color scheme. The last step in the branding process was the creation of a style guide that included detailed information about the logo, color scheme, typography, UI elements, and overall brand look and feel.
Once I had a clearer idea of the product’s identity, I started the process of building out the high fidelity mockups so that I could ultimately develop a prototype and begin usability testing which could then lead to further iterations and improvements.See original mockups >
Original mockups and iterations of login screen
Original mockups and iterations of restaurant popup
Original mockups and iterations of the restaurant details screen
Original mockups and iterations of submit screen
Once the high fidelity mockups were complete, the testing commenced so that design iterations and changes could be implemented based off of those results.. Tools such as InVision, Maze, and Usability Hub were utilized for usability testing as well as A/B testing in order to ensure an ideal user experience was achieved.
User testing results:
To begin testing, I conducted a number of remote and in-person usability tests as well as deployed Maze tests. Overall, users thought that the app was easy and straightforward with only a few recommendations:
The biggest takeaway from testing was the ease at which users were having, which was very encouraging! The app itself seems very user-friendly and familiar to users. The biggest challenge is to ensure users are motivated to utilize the full functionality of the app as its success relies on user input. It is crucial to ensure that users are aware of the benefits and rewards of submitting information into the app.
Based on all of the usability and A/B testing, additional changes to the layout of each page were made based on those results.View Prototype
What worked? Iterating and in-person/remote usability testing. Based on feedback and usability test results, further changes became clear and improvements were made to further enhance the overall user experience of the app.
What didn't work? Maze testing. Given that there are multiple ways to use this sort of an app, it was difficult to create a “mission” and have there be a successful ending point when in reality this is not necessary for this app. I was able to still use the results as I analyzed users click patterns and heat maps, which showed that users were actually completing the mission successfully.
Doubts going into the project: That I would be the only one that would find an app like this helpful.
Most surprised by: Based on survey results, an overwhelming majority of those surveyed listed live wait time as a feature that they wished their current restaurant app had.
What would I have done differently if given more time? I would redo the Maze test and try to find more participants to do in-person/remote usability testing. Maze allowed for saving time, however, the results were a bit skewed and with doing in-person or remote usability testing, I am better able to get direct user feedback rather than asking users at the end of a Maze test to voluntarily provide feedback.
What I learned: That not only myself, but others think that this app would be useful. The feedback was very positive and now find myself wishing that this were a real app.
Future use: Producing projects based on real-life frustrations or coming up with something that is lacking in your own life can make for a successful project, as it becomes clear that you are not the only one wishing this were an actual app. This is also backed up by the fact that Yelp just purchased the NoWait app for $40 million!!