As a part of the recruiting process with Google, I was asked to pick from the given three design challenge prompts and create an experience to solve the problems. I was responsible of presenting at least one step of the experience with high-fidelity mock prototypes.
The Prompt: "Wait Staff Reviews"
While there are many ways to rate and review restaurants, these are not focused on evaluating individuals servers. Design an experience where diners can submit positive comments and constructive suggestions for the wait staff, and servers can use this feedback to both improve and help to secure new employment. Provide a high-level flow and supporting wire frames.
Research & Planning –
Assumptions and Questions
– To determine the stakeholders
– To list out the assumptions I have through my own prior dining experience
– Drawing out any related products or methods that could be implemented in the experience
– Thinking about what other interactions could be made, not just through the phone, but also through space
(opportunities in the dining space and behind the counter)
Methods used today
Interviewing a few waitresses, a waiter, and a couple of friends that dine out a lot helped me realize that service means very different things to every person. If the service they received from their waiter was poor, half of the people would complain about it immediately, and the other half just let it go since the probability of seeing the waiter again is low.
For the most part, waitresses and waiters were open to obtaining more feedback. The only concrete form of feedback currently is through tips left by customers.
I also learned that the majority of diners do not leave reviews online, since they don't have any incentives or urgency to spend time writing reviews.
The 'Ah ha!' Moment
According to the interviews,
wait staffs want more immediate feedback.
So how do we lead the customers to leave reviews?
I wanted to find a way to guide the customers to:
1. Leave reviews without having to open another app
2. Give feedback directly to the staff right after the dinner
3. Leave a more personal response to the wait staff instead of making the reviews public
As I was drawing multiple storyboards for my initial ideas, while considering the things to tackle, I started thinking, 'what if the whole rating experience was included in the payment process?'
This way, the user wouldn't have to manually open an app to leave reviews after leaving the restaurant.
It will also encourage people who usually don't leave reviews to quickly spend a few seconds to leave a review since it is already open.
Fake reviews will be prevented since the feedback is only collected from customers who have dined at the restaurant and actually interacted with the waiter.
After their dinner, they wont reopen the app since they have achieved the goal.
User Journey Map
User Flow Charts
Wait Staff Mode (Internal tool)
Introducing Easy Dine
Easy Dine is an app for restaurants that helps simplify the dining experience. Easy Dine allows customers to instantly alert their wait staff of any concerns, pay at their table, and leave feedback for their wait staff. In return, this feedback can be reviewed by the staff, and will help identify what exactly they did well, as well as what they could improve on. There is also a leaderboard that helps wait staff and managers keep track of the staffs' strengths and weaknesses. This keeps wait staff accountable and promotes an environment of always striving for improvement.
Customer experience VS Staff experience
User Flow chart 2 (Customer Mode)
User Flow chart 2 (Wait Staff Mode)
Customer Viewpoint : Leaving a review right after the payment process
Screens walk through
1. The green 'Available' Screen
A tablet is displayed on every table of the restaurant with the app on. If the table is empty and available, the screen will be lit up green with the word 'Available'. If the table is reserved, it will lit up red with the word 'Reserved'.
2. Ordering food
Once the customer is seated, the wait staff will come to the table, greet the customer, and take any orders. The wait staff will use the app on his portable device to enter in the orders.
3. Group Picture
After the wait staff leaves, the customers will have access to the tablet with their order status and their wait staff's profile. They will also get a dialogue (pop up) window that asks them to take a group picture. This group picture can be shared on the customers' social media apps, but most importantly, it will be used on the wait staff's Table Map through the Dine app on their device. Wait staff will be able to recognize who is seated at which table, and make a mental note of the interactions between himself and the customers
4. Check out
When the diners are ready to check out, they will use Easy Dine to make the payment. Right after the payment is confirmed, they will be asked to leave feedback about how the wait staff performed. If the customer gives the staff five stars, it will ask what they loved about his/her service. If anything below a five is given, it will ask what the wait staff could improve on. There is also a section where the diner can leave a comment. Although this process is optional and skippable , it will highly encourage customers to fill it out since it is already open and they just have to select the preselected keywords.
The Rating Process
Wait Staff Viewpoint: Customer Check out Alert
As soon as the customers check out, the wait staff will be notified through a dialogue (pop up window) and will also be reviewing the rating, and what customers liked or did not like about his service.
Leaderboard Among Staffs
I really enjoyed interviewing, researching, and coming up with ideas in a crunch.
I have close friends who are waiters, and just a couple weeks ago, one of my friends was telling me how the industry is very unfair towards wait staff. Waiters and waitresses are highly dependent on tip as their main source of income, but this constantly fluctuates at the whim of the customer. If waiters and waitresses were able to receive feedback, then this would allow them to improve on their shortcomings, obtain larger tips, and enhance their way of living.
I wanted to create a product that simplified the dining process for customers, while providing valuable information to wait staff and managers.
I used the Material Design principles because I saw a lot of opportunities for Google to create a new business model for restaurants. If Google accounts could be used for this product, it will help waitstaff share their data and analysis of improvement when they apply to other restaurants.
I was able to make a seamless interaction where users are naturally and delightfully led to leaving reviews through a simple method. User testing also worked out well without any instructions given. If I had more time, I want to interview restaurant managers, owners, and higher level staff to gain their input on using AI and ML to give waiters personalized tips and analysis about their service.