case study:

OpenTable

Decoding the problem of restaurant reservations. 

OpenTable is an existing product that let's individuals book reservations at restaurants. I decided to redesign parts of the application that I discovered through research to be time-consuming and difficult to use.


The Challenge

OpenTable is the world's leading provider of online restaurant reservations, seating more than 17 million diners per month via online bookings across more than 32,000 restaurants.

My challenge was to create a more streamlined and simple way of letting users get the information they need by eliminating unnecessary steps in the process of booking a reservation while also adding functionality.

 

The Approach

With the information I was able to gather, I decided to create a version of the app that eliminated many of the confusing and unnecessary elements while still maintaining the core of what makes OpenTable great. I also added in the option to order food for take-out with a delivery option when reservations were fully booked.

I started my process by defining who the users were and observing a group of users complete tasks of the existing OpenTable application. I sketched out the redesign based on improvements I saw could be made. I made lo-fidelity wireframes and created a site-map to define the structure of the site. I conducted user-testing on my interactive prototypes. Finally, I created hi-fidelity wireframes with imagery and text based off the feedback I received from the conducted tests.


 

User Research

The initial step in the project was to define who the users would be and creating a goal statement: “My user is a young, working professional, who wants to find a restaurant and book a meal reservation.” I then observed users completing tasks using the OpenTable application. I identified commonalities and differences amongst the participants and included a revised goal statement that showed the results of my research: 

“My user is a young, working professional, who wants the option of finding a restaurant they have never been to and book a dinner reservation or be able to order food at their convenience.” 

 

Sketching

 

After creating a goal statement and completing my initial research, I started to sketch how I envisioned the app would look and function. The design decisions were based off findings from the initial analysis:

  • Navigation was too complicated

  • Booking process was confusing and time consuming

  • Filter and Searching weren't easily findable

sketches1.jpg
sketches2.jpg

Wireframe & Sitemap


I took the sketches and digitized them. These initial wireframes were lo-fidelity, similar to the sketches. I also created a Sitemap to illustrate my redesign of the navigation. The current model was too complicated and I wanted to compare my version with the current one through user-testing.

 
Portrait.jpg
Artboard 9-100.jpg

Interactive Prototype & User-Testing

By creating interactive prototypes, I was able to test the functionality of my enhancements and receive feedback and was able to make improvements based on that feedback. I created a report on my findings, including highlights, what I tested, what I learned, and what I would recommend for changes.

The changes I made to the booking process increased the speed for users to find an available time at the restaurant they were looking for. Also, the redesign of the navigation enhanced the findability of categories and settings buried deep in the original navigation.

During my observations, I watched users consistently go back to the home page to find new restaurants, instead of using the search and filter abilities. This allowed me to focus on the homepage redesign and make sure it would be effective and easy to use.

 
food.gif

 

Hi-Fidelity Wireframes

I took the findings from my evaluation and made improvements on the design which included hi-fidelity wireframes with imagery and text.

 

 
opentableiphone.jpg

 

Conclusion

The new design became more streamlined but also added functionality that enhanced the user's life. On the home screen of the app, I got rid of un-used sections that were confusing. I also moved the navigation from the top to the bottom since users were having a difficult time navigating with one hand. I discovered the search function was not typically used over finding restaurants from the main screen, so I redesigned that section for users that might be in a new city or an unfamiliar location. The filtering process was also improved by eliminating unnecessary options. Since my interactive prototypes weren't full-fledged designs and lacked certain functionality, I was able to observe participants and discover new pain points. The added functionality of being able to order delivery was well-received by users.