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Copyright © 2019 Jose Arias. All rights reserved.

Work: TableApp

Redesign

An all-in-one solution for diners, TableApp provides value for its users via restaurant reservation capabilities and restaurant reviews on desktop and mobile platforms. For restaurateurs, TableApp provides a guest management solution to ensure a seamless diner experience.

Role

Lead UX Designer & Researcher

Platform

Web

Tools

Paper, markers, and AdobeXD.

Project Goals

Improve the 5% click rate of paid conversions for TableApp Elite membership without decreasing the current amount of total reservations per month.

User Background

Malaysian food enthusiasts who enjoy dining out and sampling new cuisines; busy professionals who have a constraint of time. Consumers have the option of using the desktop site and mobile app to make reservations and review restaurants. Partner restaurants will use TableApp as a guest management solution.

Discovery

In Malaysia, food is revered and is as diverse as its cultural demographics; the numbers reflect that. According to census results published by the Department of Statistics in Malaysia, there were 167,490 food and beverage establishments as of 2015. That represented an annual growth rate of 5.1% since 2010. Further, the gross output created by these businesses was RM66.4 billion; that translates to an annual growth percentage of 12.2% in the same period.

 

TableApp currently processes approximately 10,000 restaurant table reservations per month. However, they saw an opportunity to provide value to customers in the form of a yearly membership called TableApp Elite. Of the 10,000 table reservations per month, there is only a 5% click rate for membership sign up. 

 

My partner and I were tasked with improving the click rate but also given the freedom to redesign elements we deemed necessary to create a cohesive and improved user experience. The first thing my partner and I performed was an expert review. It was important to know what elements of the site were good in their present state and what needed to be corrected. We began to conduct secondary research while arranging our stakeholder interviews. The stakeholder interviews I conducted yielded important insights, both into Malaysian business and culture.In addition to secondary research, we were able to conduct interviews with stakeholders to get a better sense of Malaysian business and culture, the target audience, and expected project outcomes.

Define

Using our findings, and considering the timeframe required by our client, I created proto-personas to help guide our design decisions.

We created current user flows that showed the TableApp Elite onboarding experience and how users make reservations using TableApp.

Creating current user flows for the onboarding and table reservation experiences allowed us to see any additional opportunities to develop a more straightforward user experience. 

While aiming for as fluid a user experience as possible, we were mindful of the constraint our client gave us. So we left the table reservation experience relatively untouched. One of the priorities with respect to onboarding was to eliminate redundancies such as entering user information more than once. The more we continued onward the more we realized that if we wished to create a more cohesive user experience, we needed to redesign some elements of the TableApp website. Fortunately, our client gave us the green light to go forward.

Ideate

With the objective of generating ideas that would be equally beneficial for users and stakeholders, I began to ideate rapidly.

Using a combination of markers, pencils, and paper, my partner and I generated as many ideas as possible. One of the things foremost in my mind was creating a unified experience throughout the site. Immediately after, we began iterating on our solutions that yielded subsequent wireframes. 

Design

Using Adobe XD to create low-fidelity wireframes, we brought our ideated solutions to the screen. It provided us with a visual representation of what users can expect when using the desktop site.

There are several touchpoints where users can come across TableApp for the first time: restaurant partner sites, search engine results, and app store search results. As such, first impressions matter because you may not have another opportunity to communicate with users. So that is why the home page is important.

 

Clear communication is important in any endeavor. It was important to clearly communicate what value users will receive as members of TableApp Elite. The Elite landing page necessitated a redesign as a result. So were the restaurant partner listing pages within the TableApp site.

One of the pain points of TableApp Elite onboarding was the redundancies inherent in the experience. We aimed to make it a more streamlined and straightforward process.

After users are onboarded, they have no way of noticing whether they were logged in; nor did they have any sense of an established relationship between themselves and their TableApp Elite membership. So I attempted to rectify that by giving the TableApp Elite member profile more prominence.

The prototype we created was made using Adobe XD, where we looked at the TableApp Elite onboarding experience as well as what a user would experience when reserving a table. It provided us with an opportunity to refine our ideas to create a more delightful user experience.

Test

As with research, testing is an important element of what I do. Guerilla usability testing was conducted with 6 participants to uncover insights and opportunities to further refine our solution.

Conducting a guerrilla usability test in a café with a participant in New York City.

Note: This photograph was taken and published with the consent of the participant.

"That was cool, the sign up process. The process made sense – it was logical."

– Participant 4, describing the redesigned TableApp Elite onboarding process.

The onboarding experience was straightforward to testing participants. However, we were able to glean insights that helped us to make a more compelling user experience. 

Headline

Before

After

When participants first saw the TableApp Elite landing page, it seemed to take them a bit longer to try and understand the information being conveyed, especially at the very top. So I decided to include text within the hero image so that everything would be vertically aligned. Subsequent participants showed improvement in their initial impression and comprehension of the information being conveyed.

Usability testing provided us with an opportunity to refine our designs, correct anything we may have unaccounted for, and give the best possible solutions to our clients.

Outcome

Our clients liked the work we produced and will be incrementally adopting our work and our feedback into their company. They were receptive to my point of view of design as a competitive advantage. I also expressed how both the web and mobile user experience should be as consistent as possible. As a result, they gained a more nuanced understanding of how a clear and delightful user experience, and clear communication across every touchpoint, will translate into a successful future for their company.

Retrospective

Although it was the first time I had collaborated with someone remotely, the communication between my partner and I was fluid. It was immediately evident to us that while we had constraints to consider, we had the freedom to make decisions that we felt would ultimately help our clients achieve their goals. We focused on clarity of content, consistency, information architecture, fluid interactions, and a simple user experience. Tying that all together would be the communication of TableApp through storytelling. There are things in the trajectory of a project that you cannot account for, so you do your best to adapt. Unfortunately, my partner had to bow out at the midpoint of the project due to a personal matter. But it did not stop me from completing this project that was started collaboratively. Overall, it was a personally rewarding experience to collaborate across several time zones, and work with clients who were collaborators and gave us leeway to make decisions we felt would help them achieve their goals.

Client Retrospective

"Jose has delivered an excellent work with limited resource. He was able to conduct user research in a creative way, despite located at a different continent. As a team member of two and with limited resources, the work is impressive; we appreciate Jose's work which gives us a new perspective in looking into our product UX."

Wan Yu Leo

Head of Marketing, TableApp