This UX design project began with the question, “How do users find a new restaurant?” As the characteristics of the users were identified through the process of design thinking, I noticed that nearly everyone utilized online reviews in their decision making process. This inspired me to look further into the experience of looking up restaurant reviews.
Austin is a 26 year-old software engineer, who goes out to eat often with his co-workers. He depends heavily on online reviews before choosing a restaurant, and has trouble keeping track of which ones he's read and where he found them, because it's too hard to remember things when he's hungry. He needs help making his decision-making process quicker so that his team can eat lunch sooner.
After determining what the user, Austin, will use the app for and the context in which he will use it, I concluded that the ideal features for this app were to consolidate restaurant reviews from multiple sources, give Austin the ability to enter and refer to his own reviews, and provide directions to get to the restaurant he chooses.
I felt that the user should have multiple ways to view the information, so I designed both list and map views of the search results, and also made the views collapsible to conserve screen space. These wireframes were designed in Photoshop.
I shot this photo at a restaurant to show Austin entering his own review after eating.
Since Austin would most likely be famished when using the app, I wanted to use bright and happy colors that wouldn't overpower the information presented.
Edits made during mockup design included:
Adjusting spacing and alignment throughout and increasing padding on all buttons
Adding photos of reviewers
Adding color to background, buttons, and maps
Adding a link to view photos on restaurant searches.
Testing was done with a questionnaire that users filled out as they completed various predetermined scenarios.
Feedback was positive overall, and the negative comments were minor fixes, such as adding a “back” button and increasing font sizes and padding on buttons. These were addressed during the visual design process.
I was grateful for the feedback from the user testing, because it led to improvements in the design. Sometimes small changes can make a big impact.