About

Sometimes, finding new unique and interesting restaurants can be a chore. While there are tons and tons of apps present in the food industry, I wanted to make something unique, just like the restaurants that it will help people discover.

I ended up designing Chow:
an app made for foodies.

Role

  • Research
  • Problem Validation
  • Ideation
  • Wireframing
  • User Testing
  • Visual Design
  • Make it easy for the user to find new unique restaurants
  • Motivate the user to keep on finding and trying out new places to eat

Business Goals

Design Process

Target
Audience

For my target audience, I’m looking mainly at people who enjoy food, who like to explore a lot of food cuisines and types, like to eat out and get takeout as well, and tech savvy enough to be using apps and other tools in their food life. It’s important that they do interact with the food industry (and not just mainly cook and and eat at home for example) as I am looking to create something that will benefit the restaurant market, for the establishment and also the consumer.

Learning
Goals

TAKEOUT

What are the most important factors that influence your experience getting takeout?

Tell me about your good & bad experiences.

What are your pains and joys during the takeout process?

EATING OUT

What are the most important factors that influence your experience eating out?

Tell me about your good & bad experiences.

What are your pains and joys during the eating out process?

FINDING A NEW FOOD PLACE

What are your motivations when you decide to try somewhere new?

Walk me through your process in finding and deciding on a new place to eat.

What are your biggest factors and concerns?

Tell me about your pain points and frustrations when finding a new place to eat.

If I give you a magic wand, what would you change/fix about the overall process?

Research
Begins

User Quotes

Sometimes I don't have any specific idea of what type of food to eat, which makes it really hard to decide. If you has a specific idea of what food they want it's easy but when you don't it's hard.

Deciding on a place takes a while because of the research, I have to look thru multiple apps and windows to look for ratings and reviews, and even then, the recommended food might not suit me.

Some reviews on google and yelp can be fake and misleading. 
I tried a place with 5 star reviews, but the food and service was really bad, unlike what the reviews said.

I don’t like using a map view (like on yelp and google) because it’s too cluttered. I end up endlessly scrolling for food based on location and eventually I just pick one so I don’t take too long.

Learning Goal

Tell me about your pain points and
frustrations when getting takeout.

Learning Goal

Tell me about your pain points and frustrations when eating out.

Learning Goal

Tell me about your pain points and frustrations when finding a new place to eat.

Learning Goal

What are your motivations when you decide to try somewhere new?

Findings

Most of their frustrations revolved around logistics related issues, such as delivery drivers not being quick enough, or the food not being packaged well. Very few found any problems with the overall process of getting takeout.

Findings

Similarly, most of the people I interviewed did not have many issues with the process of eating out. Some issues such as the food being inconsistent between repeat visits and sanitary concerns were mentioned, but I didn’t really find a problem across the board.

Findings

This is when the problems and frustrations really showed up. Most people had a lot of pains and problems when it came to the process of choosing a new food place. Their main frustrations stem from either indecision (thinking of what/where to eat or choosing between two or more options), and lack of certainty and speed with the available restaurant info from apps such as yelp and google maps.

Findings

From my interviews, I found that there were two main motivations and factors in someone ending up looking for a new place to eat. One is the foodie motivation: They like trying out new foods and cuisines, and also follow food trends/hype surrounding new and unique places. The other is more for convenience: They are outside of their local/home area, whether it be because of a social gathering with friends or being in the office, they need to look for a place to eat that’s convenient for them but also be satisfactory and to their liking.

Persona

FIONA FOODIE

Fiona, age 29, is a bonafide foodie. She is college educated and works at a magazine company in the city. She lives with her longtime boyfriend in a quieter area outside of the city. One of her main passions is food. Besides cooking, she loves to go out and find new food experiences, whether it be with her friends or by herself.

Behaviors & Activities
  • They regularly eat out.
  • The location depends on who they are meeting up with and their plans.
  • They watch a lot of food content, which lead to to have cravings and wanting to try new types of food or new food experiences.
Needs & Goals
  • Difficulty in finding a place that stands out.
  • They try to achieve this by going through multiple sources of information for reviews, pictures, and other factors.
  • Their goal is to be able to find a place that matches what they want at that time. This could be a specific cuisine of food, trendiness, restaurant environment and atmosphere, or level of uniqueness.
  • Their main trigger is being someone that loves trying out new food experiences.

Problem
Statements

Fiona Foodie wants to find new unique dining experiences that are highly rated or in the “know” from local foodies like her but she can’t because she has eaten at all the good foodie restaurants that she knows.

Fiona Foodie has recently moved or is traveling to another city and is looking for unique places to eat around town that are highly rated or in the “know” from the local foodies in town.

The Solution

To create something that will help Fiona Foodie find the unique and interesting new places to eat that they are looking for, that are highly rated by foodies just like them.

Sketches

Find a restaurant
and look through it.

Does the home screen make sense to you?

Does the home screen make sense to you?

Is anything lacking in this page?

Is selecting the weekly food picks section intuitive?

Does the restaurant page offer you enough info about the restaurant?

Do you think the order and way the info is presented makes sense?

Check in at restaurant & leave a review.

Is the checking-in flow/process intuitive?

How do you feel about the number of steps it took to check-in?

Does the place where you type the review make sense?

Do the steps in posting the review & picture to instagram feel natural?

What do you think about the overall checking-in, leaving a review, and posting a picture user flow?

Check your monthly rewards progress.

Does the monthly challenge/rewards screen make sense to you?

Is it easy to locate your rewards progress?

Are the bars for each rewards level intuitive and easy to see?

Did you think that the rewards section was clickable?

What do you think of the expanded reward section? Was the extra info expected?

User Testing

Home Page

One of the biggest issues was the info presented on the home page. Most of the users tried to scroll down on the home page when they wanted to browse thru restaurants. Another big issue was that the ‘Last Visited’ card confused them and did not fit in the home screen.

To fix these issues, I moved the ‘Last Visited’ card to the monthly challenges tab as it fit the purpose of that screen more. Also, I made the home screen scrollable and made the function of it solely to browse through and select restaurants.

Monthly Page

Another big issue that users found were in the monthly page. The page was too similar looking to the home page, and one particular issue was with the ‘Current Top 3’ section. This section was meant to show the top 3 rated restaurants from the month, but some users found that it looked like something from the home page or a top 3 restaurants of the user, not for the month.

To fix this, I kept the ‘Current Top 3’ on the page, but I changed the way it looks to a podium/leaderboard style. This makes it clear to the user that it is a top 3 of the month ranking and not a user list/restaurant selection.

Leaving a Review

Users found the checking-in and leaving a review process to be slightly confusing and unclear. The check-in flow should lead more into the review flow.

I improved this by adding a review button to the ‘Checked-in’ status screen, so that users can immediately go to the review screen, as well as changing the start review flow to be more visually significant.

Link to Prototype

Visual Design

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