This past summer, I interned at UNOapp, a tech startup dedicated to streamlining and enhancing a company's customer relationships. One of their services includes offering a mobile ordering platform for Quick Service Restaurants. During my internship, I was tasked with re-designing the interface of the mobile app that was used by UNOapp's clients (i.e. the restaurants). This was a complicated process to dissect and simplify, due to the number of unique orders that restaurants receive daily.
There were a number of problems with the previous app. It was overly complicated and confusing to navigate.
The most important things that needed to change were:
The system implemented for employees to estimate the time to prepare an order was too time consuming. Typically, estimates are provided in 10 minute increments. There is very rarely a need for food orders to be estimated down to the exact minute, and the time that it takes to provide such an estimate is inconvenient in a fast-paced restaurant atmosphere.
Restaurants commonly have several ordering options for consumers, including (but not limited to) delivery, takeout, catering, and so on. It's important for a restaurant employee to be able to see which types of orders they're receiving, so that they can ensure that the food is prepared accordingly. The app needed a way to show the employees what type of orders the customers were inputting.
The "Customer Details" section in the previous app wasn't noticeable at all, and could have easily been a source of frustration for any employee. When information about customers is bunched together in a small section, it's harder to find the necessary information needed at a given time.
This app's largest users are restaurant owners and employees of all ages. It was important to make sure the the app was usable to people who:
- Don't have extensive knowledge or experience with mobile apps
- Don't have the time to learn a complicated new system
- Operate the app on any sized tablet
Figuring out how to design such a complicated app in a simple way was definitely a challenge. I had to balance the necessity of having sufficient information on the display, keeping in mind that I was designing for tablets that could be as small as 7 inches. I decided that the best way to overcome the challenges of the previous app were:
- Visual menus that included both text and icons
- A bottom bar dedicated to simplified order times
- Categories to organize each type of order
- Customers' contact information and location displayed clearly