Planning a dinner out with friends isn’t easy. It involves looking for a place, a date and time that satisfies everyone.
Communicating with friends to decide on where to eat often involves sharing screenshots of different food review apps. How can you find a place that a meat lover and a vegetarian will both like?
Having this issues too often among our friend groups, my team decided to create a concept mobile application where friends can organize meals easily and effectively.
Current restaurant review apps don’t provide enough tools to plan a meal out with a group of friends.
Planning a meal with friends doesn’t stop at looking for the right restaurant, as the above customer journey illustrates. One of the major pain points is coordination and logistics. While planning for any dinner event, users have to ask themselves and their friends: How many people are going? What day would work for everyone? Is anyone on a diet?
There are a plenty of restaurant review apps that provide useful ratings and tips, but doesn’t help the users answer those questions. Currently, they have to switch back and forth between restaurant rating apps, calendar, and messaging apps among others in order to plan a meal. We realized that they need a platform to help put all these different pieces together.
As the only visual designer on the team, I was in charge of every design aspect, from information architecture to high-fidelity prototypes.
My team planned to bring elements of restaurant review, calendar and messaging apps into one single app. Therefore, one of the bigger problems I had to solve was to tie different capabilities of the app together without making the app too complicated to use.
I started out by sketching different user flow options and looks for the main interactions of the app, including the new event page, dish review page (see black & white images on top) and the activity feed. I used these initial digital sketches to figure out the information hierarchy in each interaction, and the overall flow between them, before creating higher fidelity prototypes.
These high fidelity prototypes (left) allowed me to test different design aesthetics. For example, the animations on the left show two iterations of an interaction within the app: the movement between the messaging page and the event detail page. The design on the right was created to solve the issue of information overload on the left.
Sizzl is a concept app where users can plan every details of their next feast, from the place, date, time of the event, to the type of dish they can order.
Sizzl has two main functions: Event Planning & Dish Reviews. With Event Planning, users can plan the details of a meal with their friends and coordinate on the messaging platform. Dish Reviews is meant to engage the users during and after they have visited the restaurant. Sizzl encourages the users to leave reviews and tips of the dishes for their friends next time they visit.
1. Event Planning: Invite Creator & Messaging Platform
This is where users can create an invite to send to their friends on the messaging platforms. The invite was designed with important information (place, date, time) that is editable by anyone in the group. Invited friends can also RSVP on the messaging platform.
2. Dish Reviews & Explore
Unlike other restaurant review apps, the review platform on Sizzl is dish-focus instead of restaurant-focus. This allows the users to filter the search more effectively based on the type of food they want.