The challenge: 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.
The proposal: Google Dine is a dual service that allows customers to review and rate their experience with their servers. These reviews can then be viewed by wait staff to boost their performance, or support their resumes.
- When: January 22 - 29, 15 hours
- Skills: User research, rapid prototyping, UX/UI
After reading the prompt, I started brainstorming to get my head wrapped around the problem space. Waiters have no direct source to gage their performance other than their tip percentage, or sifting through numerous comments on review sites. Both resources are vague, and provide limiting critiques to improve their performances. I began to ask questions like:
- People grow up with different standards and beliefs. Therefore, service can be really subjective. How can waiters be categorized without closing them into a box?
- Is it beneficial for waiters to know everything a diner was feeling?
- Fake reviews is still a huge issue when it comes to online reviews, how do we overcome this?
- Google currently has a way to review restaurants, should this new service of rating waiters be incorporated or separate?
Research Goals: By the end of my research, I wanted to understand what diners generally think good service means. I also wanted to discover what would be the best way to display this type information.
After the card sorting activity and interviews, I created an affinity diagram to pull insights. From this point forward, I was able to visualize the design opportunities. Here's what I found:
- Attitude, awareness, knowledgable, and professional were traits that diners felt were necessary for waiters to be successful . Traits like kindness are a bonus.
- A combination of overall rating, category rating, and open ended commenting is best in order to paint the full picture.
- Waiters need to be able to view from a high level their performance, but also view individual reviews.
I went through ideating, sketching, user testing, digital sketching, then final high fidelity prototyping. There are two users that I had in mind when designing Google Dining. Customers reviewing the wait staff, and the wait staff viewing their ratings.
- Review and rate their servers in a constructive and helpful way.
- Streamline the process of rating a specific person.
- View ratings from customers from a glance, and also high detail.
- Know how they're doing compared to other waiters in a motivating manner.
- View their progress over a period of time.
First, I briefly outlined the flow from the consumer side and waiter side. The features and actions were evident after the research.
- I then moved to quick sketches to flesh out the layout and interactions.
- I then moved onto Sketch for a final flow of both the diner and waiter's actions.
high Fidelity SCREENS
This flow shows a diner, Hailey, who wants to leave a review for their server, John, at Luca Restaurant. Hailey ate at Luca last night and wants to leave a review. Once she enters the date and time period she went, the waiters on their shift during that period appear. She easily finds John. Overall, the service was great - the waiter wasn't as attentive as she needed him to be. She rates him accordingly in the categories, and leaves a comment to explain her reasoning. Before submitting, she can review her entire rating.
John receives a notification from Google Dine that he has a new review. His new review from Hailey shows that he wasn't attentive. John wants a closer look into that review, so looks into his categories. He then goes to his overall ratings to see how it has affected his overall score.
It was a lot of fun designing this application! The most surprising thing I learned from my research was how diners don't expect hospitality. (Good waiting service doesn't necessarily have to include a warm smile.)
As I mentioned in my previous question, "Fake reviews is still a huge issue when it comes to online reviews, how do we overcome this?". A receipt is big touch point for a dining experience. It also validates that a user has eaten at that establishment. If I were to go back and do this exercise again, I would explore the interaction and flow of how a receipt could be incorporated to the application. Maybe a diner could scan a code within the application, and be directly brought to the "rate your waiter" page. Maybe a unique 6 digit code can be entered to also validate the review.
I would also have loved to integrate Google My Business app to show managers how well their waiters were performing. One tool I would have loved to utilize from Google would be it's data mining abilities. It could have validated my studies to find the best words to describe service during my research.