Bringing Hawker Centre Dining to a whole new level
Imagine you are a Business Traveler coming to Singapore to attend meetings and conferences.
Within this short stay in town, you would like to try out some locally famous dishes in the Hawker Centre so long the dish doesn’t contains nuts.
Here, I will be walking you through the whole dining experience both digitally and physically.
- 5 mins to lunch and you overheard your colleagues discussing about the good food in Amoy Street Food Centre which is directly opposite your office.
- You took out your phone Google ‘Amoy’ and you are presented with this page.
- You started swiping under the ‘Weekly Amoy Must Try’ to view more food while also noticing some numbers tagged to each food images.
- Nothing interests you under the category and you move on to swiping down to see what the app has to offer.
- You know that it is a two level hawker centre and there is basic amenities like toilet as the map has marked them out clear and concise.
- You saw the first dish in black, read the description and showed keen interest to try it later on.
- Not wanting to disappoint yourself on the pronunciation, you clicked on the red speaker button to hear the voice over.
- You also know that you can try this dish because it does not contain nuts.
- Feeling hopeful, you packed up and make your way to Amoy Street Food Centre.
- Upon reaching the Hawker, you immediately recognize the billboard because you have seen the similar food recommendation layout in the Web App.
You crossed the road and went in.
At Amoy Hawker Centre…
You are walking around and a million thoughts came to mind.
- Wow, Queues everywhere, it’s so crowded!
- I only have 40 mins to eat before the next meeting, will I have enough time?
- Should I find a seat first or should I order first?
- What should I eat?
Your thought is disrupted by a signage you see at the far end of the hawker. ‘Lockers to your left’ .. “WHAT?” you thought to yourself. A locker in the hawker centre? Lugging your laptop, you thought why not check it out.
‘First 45mins Free’ was displayed on the touch screen. “Why Not” you thought. So you make selection on a simple touch interface with just 4 screens and got yourself a locker for your laptop.
Walking back to where you came from, you take a second look at the crowd and tell yourself, maybe you should just join the shortest queue.
While walking towards a queue with just 4 people in the line, you saw black marking on the floor just outside each stall.
Footprints on the floor indicates where you should be queuing. You joined the queue and look up at the signboard to see what you can order.
- You kind of want to try the Curry Chicken dish because the image looks appetizing and you know that you can have it because it just contains dairy and not nuts.
- You know that you can afford to wait and queue because you see that the average waiting time is 10mins.
- Although this is one of the shortest queue in the hawker centre, you do know that food quality shouldn't be too bad because you saw a QR code sticker which is tagged to a ‘Vote for me’ screen and you figured that the figures on the screen is the amount of people whom may have ‘like’ the food.
You grab a seat after purchasing your food, finished and walked back to the locker.
There, you clicked on retrieve your item and you are presented with a familiar interface.
You collected your laptop and left the Hawker.
The above is an example of a Service Prototype.
How It Started
Before coming up with a Service Prototype, I did a Site Analysis at Amoy Street Food Centre to observe mainly:
- The Crowd
- The Queues
- The facilities
- The interaction
I also did up a User Journey and Service Blueprint to understand user’s thought process and how a digital service in this context will be provided.
For every User Thoughts, I try to find a feature or a solution to fix it.
I also did Open and Closed Card sorting exercises with 5 Foreigners to understand how foreigners group hawker foods in Singapore so that I could better come up with a category tab for my Web App.
Takeaways from Open Card Sort:
- All testers have a a category for Drinks
- Most tester have a category for Snacks
- Most tester have a category for International Food
- Most tester did not group food that they haven’t heard of — mainly Local Food.
From there, I came up with 5 category and did a closed card Sorting:
- A category for Local Delights
- A category for International Food
- A category for Drinks & Juices
- A category for Desserts
- A category for snacks On-the-go
Takeaways from Closed Card Sort:
- All tester sorted well under the given category.
- Testers who hadn’t seen a particular food dish before group them under Local Delights (Good Thing!)
- The use of ‘On-the-go’ tab was was understood by all testers.
I then proceed to do up a Content Inventory list, the process and the result of cataloging the entire contents of a website.
After confirming what category and content I would have for my Web Tab and App, I moved on to sketching the features that I have in mind for the Physical implementation.
Why these features
- To give Food Recommendations to both Foreigners and locals for those not knowing what to order.
- To allow a better dining experience for patrons carrying heavy or bulky items, instead of holding on to them.
- To also free up seats for other patrons.
- Patrons will always know where to queue instead of crowding around the stall.
- Food Allergy icon beside food image to gives visual cues of what’s in their food.
- Waiting Time LED board to allow patrons to see if they can afford to wait
- QR Code and ‘Vote for me’ screen with figures to give patrons an idea on the quality of food.
Web App Version 1
Digital Touch Screen interface for locker Version 1
This solo 2 weeks project definitely challenged me once again, pushing my limits into thinking of features that will create a better culinary experience for foreigners in Singapore yet at the same time giving fair consideration to the amount of money and investment needed to implement new features.
Always looking forward to the next one!