In my final course at York University myself and two other students were paired with TableReady, an Atlanta based restaurant reservation and waitlisting app to work on their UX and redesign the UI. This project took place during an 8 week course starting in July of 2020.
The work completed:
- Requirements Gathering
- UX Research and Strategy
- Rebranding & Design System
- Information Architecture
- Wire-framing & Prototyping
Glenn Pritchard: Team Lead, Research, Mobile App UI Design & Prototyping, User Testing
Sewon Bahng: Visual Designer, Tablet App UI Design & Prototyping, Presentation Design
Adedamola Awotundund: Project Management, User Testing
TableReady is a restaurant reservation and waitlisting app that turns smartphones into table pagers. Customers can map restaurants, explore with filters or search by name, then book a reservation or reserve a spot on the waitlist all without stepping foot in the restaurant. When a table becomes available customers get a notification to their smartphone letting them know it’s ready. TableReady also has a complimentary Restaurant Dashboard tablet app that acts as a seating management system and helps restaurant staff manage their reservations and waitlists in real time. TableReady revolutionizes the way restaurants interact with their customers, it helps hungry customers get into their favourite restaurants faster and allows restaurants to seat guests with increased speed and accuracy.
Research: Stakeholder Interview
We began this project by conducting a stakeholder interview with our client in order to learn more about the product. The interview helped to reveal great insight into how the two apps would work and compliment each other. The client provided us with a detailed Statement of Work that outlined many features, modules and expectations, including separate portals for restaurants, event spaces and coffee shops as well as functionality for paid push notifications, a news feed and a direct message feature. In addition to the Statement of Work, our client also provided us with screen mocks she had made in past.
We knew we had our work cut out for us but we we're excited to get started!
We wanted to learn more about how restaurant customers currently use reservation and waitlisting services and how restaurants manage reservations and the flow of guests. In order to understand the thoughts, opinions and behaviours of both customers and restaurant staff, we sent out two surveys, each one tailored to our different user groups. The key insights were:
Restaurant Customers Survey (34 respondents):
- 18/34 respondents said they have used restaurant reservation apps in the past
- Most people described positive experiences when asked about using reservation apps
- People are willing to be waitlisted but they want communication and updates about wait times and table availability
- 49% of respondents said reservation apps are very efficient in comparison to other methods of booking
- 40% of respondents say they check online reviews of restaurants before going
Restaurant Staff Survey (12 respondents):
- 35% of restaurants said the majority of their reservations are made through OpenTable or similar app
- Most restaurants described reservation apps as useful, efficient and an overall good experience
- 62.5% of restaurants said they frequently follow up with customers after good or bad reviews
- The majority of restaurants expressed the need for better means of communication with customers before and after their visit
- Several restaurants said they would like reservation apps to help with marketing and promotion
After reviewing the insights from our research we had a lot of feature ideas and design recommendations but knew we wouldn't be able to complete everything in 8 weeks. To solve this we employed the MoSCow method to prioritize important features that would help us deliver a minimum viable product to our client at the end of the course.