A better experience for people who eat alone
Academic / Team of 2
2017.05 (3 Weeks)
Eating by oneself can be frustrating and troublesome. Ordering food for one person, sharing a table with others and killing time while waiting make it hard to enjoy eating alone. So, we designed a service which was helpful and friendlier to single customers and an App to solve these problems.
We conducted a survey on campus and restaurants nearby about the experience of eating by oneself. Among 329 valid questionnaires we received, all people said they have that experience. Most of them didn’t prefer to eat alone, but they have no choice.1/3 of them didn’t enjoy it at all, mainly because they felt lonely and has less appetite. What concerned them most was the privacy and food choice. Also, most people held a favorable view towards the idea of “one-person-only” restaurant. Considering our focus was service design, we would create a special service rather than planning a new restaurant.
Then we did quick interviews with 15 people to collect keywords about eating in the restaurant. Waiting, choister, lonely, embarrassed were frequently mentioned. So, we analysis customers’ pains and identified significant contradictions. The size of the circle reflected the importance of each pain. The biggest pains included poor personal space, inefficiency, difficulty in choosing food, etc. These pains would be the focus of our design.
We abstracted persona to specify the basic needs of our target user.
We listed the problem scenario by three phrases, before eating, enjoying the meal, and after the meal. Then we discovered the strategies of improving the user experience.
Upon our research results, we decided to concentrate on solving the problem of waiting and efficiency, choister, private space,food quality and quantity.
02 SERVICE DESIGN
To solve the pains we discovered, we developed user journey through added services and the modification of original ones. The main idea was to provide a reservation and recommendations through a mobile app. Thus, the customer wouldn't have to wait for a seat and have difficulty in choosing what they want. Also, special seats for customers who visit alone were offered, they could be booked online.
Based on research and user journey, we created throughout service blueprint.
03 APP DESIGN
In the next step, we designed the App for the new service. The fundamental functions of our App included recommendation, reservation, order management, personal settings and game etc. The app recommended food based on weather, personal preference, and location. And the food came in combos, providing more variety but less quantity for each dish. Customers can arrange the time and ask for a private seat through the reservation.
To create the efficient and enjoyable user experience, we adopted simple and clear user interface. The primary color was green, representing healthy and fresh. For the recommendation and menu screens, we made visual elements look like a real menu, providing the similar experience of ordering food in the restaurant.
The inspiration for this project came from my personal experience and observation in daily life. In this project, I managed to make the design decision step by step by user research. If time allowed, I would have interviewed some restaurant owners and dug deeper into the psychology of users. I would also do usability tests and iterate my design.