DCM1022 A4 — Final Report

Background

Initial Topic

When starting on this project, I was an avid foodie that would frequently use food reviews to help me decide on places to eat in Singapore- whether the reviews were on line websites or social media. However, in recent years I noticed that many food reviews are starting to get less authentic due to sponsorships from the food outlets themselves, and this sometimes leave people disappointed when trying out the food they found on online reviews.

Therefore, I wanted to create an app or website that provides user-based food reviews and provide people with a platform to share about good food in Singapore. This app would also hopefully create a community of passionate foodies who are willing to share their favourite haunts and counteract the saturated sponsored food review websites now available in Singapore.

Stakeholder Map

Stakeholder Map

For the Stakeholder Map, I identified Foodies and Food Bloggers as the main users of the app or website. With these two users at the core, the app can help create a community of Singaporeans that are passionate about food and uncovering hidden gems in Singapore. With more users, more reviews will be posted and we will be able to cover many establishments in Singapore.

Internal stakeholders will include the Marketing and Public Relations Team, and App and Website Development team. These two teams will help promote our app and encourage more users to join in, fix any issues our users may face while also looking for opportunities for collaborations/events. Lastly, external stakeholders would be governmental agencies and the food establishment owners themselves — as these two groups can be considered for future collaborations. On the other hand, we are also able to gather Food Store owners’ feedback and improve on our algorithm or prevent too many negative reviews on their store.

Link to Original Article

Competitor Analysis

Google Search for ‘food review singapore’

In my Competitor Analysis, I looked at the current available food review sites in Singapore that would have similar offerings to my project. For the analysis, I wanted to identify if there was a community aspect within these competitors — as I hope to incorporate it to distinguish this app from the rest. The websites are also the top ranked in Google Search when searching ‘food review singapore’, and these are the findings from my Competitor Analysis.

  1. EatBook
EatBook Homepage

For EatBook, their website was simple to navigate and allowed users to customise their search with many different options such as Location, Price, Ratings, etc. They are also a media company and thus frequently post articles on new food establishments in Singapore with some reviews being sponsored.

In this example, the review was an independent tasting as seen at the top

However, they are lacking in community engagement as seen in the shares on their posts and some articles are sponsored for which is usually indicated at the bottom of the reviews.

Pros:

  • Website has many articles for readers to find what they are craving
  • Simple navigation and search bar

Cons:

  • Lack of community engagement
  • Some articles may be sponsored or paid for

2. Burpple

Burpple Homepage

Burpple is a good reference for the kind of website I hope to create as they were able to incorporate the community aspect into food reviews- and maintain the review’s authenticity via its users.

Burpple Beyond (premium membership)

They also offer premium memberships for discounted prices at certain food establishments and frequently post articles on foods to try in Singapore-this encourages users to join them in order to enjoy incentives which may deter some people.

Search Bar with the word ‘Japanese’ brings up recommendations but leaves little customisation to user

However, their free-to-use website is already sufficient as seen in their strong user-base. On the other hand, their website’s search might be a little difficult to use due to the many options they provide but it does provide more details for users. It also requires users to type in the search bar and doesn't really allow for customisation

Pros:

  • Community Driven reviews left by users
  • Features and articles for Burpplers to visit new places

Cons:

  • Difficult navigation under ‘Neighbourhood’ and ‘Categories’
  • Premium membership to enjoy incentives

3. The Dining Advisor

The Dining Advisor Homepage

Lastly, for The Dining Advisor — it is a premium-looking website that features food reviews from Singapore’s top food bloggers/connosieurs. Most of the reviews on this website are done by well-known food reviewers but tend to be on the more expensive side and this is evident in the collaboration with UOB cards as seen in the logo. Thus, the reviews on this site may be limited to the more expensive foods in Singapore.

Search Page and Review Page Experience GIF

Overall, the website has simple to use navigation, customisable searches, and provides a unique user experience in the review page. However, the website does have the option for food establishments to be featured which my dilute the authenticity of food reviews as they may be more biased. Lastly, there isn’t much of a community aspect as the reviews are done independently by the food bloggers.

‘Get Featured’ page for restaurants to be featured and reviewed

Pros:

  • Unique user experience
  • Aesthetic website
  • In-depth and reliable reviews from Singapore’s top food critics

Cons:

  • Website catered for pricier food establishments and UOB card holders
  • Lack of user engagement and reviews
  • Restaurants can choose to get featured on the website

Link to Original Article (Stakeholder Map and Competitor Analysis):

https://medium.com/@shermangohcf/stakeholder-map-c6d9c8e5f29d

User Research

Research Plan and Challenge Statement

Challenge Statement ‘How might we…’

For this app, the focus is on overcoming the saturated scene of sponsored food reviews in Singapore. Thus, the idea is to help users filter out sponsored reviews, provide unbiased reviews from community members and lastly to create a community of foodies passionate about different food and cultures in Singapore.

Therefore the challenge statement is:

“How might we leverage on user-generated content to create a food recommendation and review app. In order to help Singaporeans make informed decisions on places to dine out.”

Research Plan

For the research plan, the objective is to improve on the current food review scene in Singapore (website and apps). This will be done by incorporating user-generated content and creating a community. With the key customer segment being Singaporean youths (18–35 years old), who dine out frequently with family or friends, and uses food reviews to help them make decisions on places to eat.

In this research, I wanted to find out if the target segment’s current perception of the food review scene is similar to my assumption — there are too many sponsored reviews now due to social media’s boom. In addition, finding out the process of which how people find new places to eat — whether it’s through word-of-mouth or online searches. Lastly, understanding what they are looking for in food reviews such as photos, ratings or any other factors.

With this research plan, two interviews will be conducted based on our target segment of Singaporean youths who are avid foodies. Additionally, I will also get their opinions on the current food review websites in Singapore and find areas for improvements to better my project.

Link to Original Article (Challenge Statement and Research Plan):

https://medium.com/@shermangohcf/research-plan-f4b2c746f43f

Discussion Guide and Interview Insights

Discussion Guide for Interview

This discussion guide was created to find out what I was unsure of in my research plan. Questions asked will help to gather insights and will be implemented into the project. The two interviewees were recruited from my social circle and fit the key customer segment of Singaporean youths that are avid foodies, and use websites to find foods to try. Through the interview, it will also help me gain a better understanding of a user’s process when looking at food reviews to better design my app’s interface and user experience.

Insights from Interviewee 1 — Mike Thang(24 years old):

  1. Potential to incorporate video format into reviews (short-form videos)
  2. Community-driven food reviews feel more authentic compared to potentially sponsored content
  3. Beneficial to include a good search system that allows user to filter and find a food establishment that meets their requirements

Insights from Interviewee 2 — Tan Ding Kang (24 years old)

  1. Sponsored food reviews may not be trustworthy
  2. High number of community reviews outweighs reviews from famous food reviewers

Overall, both users expressed that community food reviews feel more reliable compared to sponsored ones and it gave me better insights and things to that can be incorporated into my project (e.g -videos, community aspect, better search system).

Link to Original Article (Discussion Guide and Interview Insights):

https://medium.com/@shermangohcf/discussion-guide-and-interview-insights-e7be5a318e16

Persona and As-Is Journey Map

User Persona

The User Persona is based on a youth Singaporean foodie that is tech-savvy and is adventurous in exploring for food in Singapore. The persona is also based on the psychographic of the two interviewees. So it should give us an idea of what a young Singaporean foodie thinks like.

As-Is Customer Journey Map

For the As-Is Customer Journey Map, I used the user persona we created to better understand their process in looking for food reviews and identify pain points. For the service provider, I based my understanding on what the website would do when a user accesses it (e.g — recommend articles based on algorithm). As a result, this journey map would depict a typical user journey when using currently available food review websites in Singapore. And the pain points identified will be noted in order to improve on my app/website.

Link to Original Article (Persona and As-Is Customer Journey Map):

https://medium.com/@shermangohcf/persona-and-customer-journey-map-b15ceb58775

To-Be Journey Map

To-Be Journey Map

The To-Be Journey Map was created based on the Customer Persona and As-Is Journey Map. This iteration would help address the pain points and be the ideal journey our user would take when using our app or website.

From the Competitor Analysis, we also identified the flaws of currently available websites (EatBook, Burpple etc.) and we will take note of these when working on our project. Overall, the journey map will serve as a guide to help simplify the food review search process, give users a better variety of food reviews based in Singapore and encourage user-generated content while building a strong community of foodies.

Link to Original Article (To-Be Journey Map):

https://medium.com/@shermangohcf/to-be-jour-fb885bc19dcb

Prototyping

Site Maps

EatBook Sitemap and Flowchart

EatBook’s sitemap shows that the navigation of the website is simple with only 7 pages and various subpages under. The information on the website is organised based on what the user is looking for such as Reviews, Recipes, etc. And for the Website flow, it allows the user to explore for the aforementioned options, the choice to customise their searches and continue reading review articles till they find one they are satisfied with.

Project Sitemap and Flowchart

For the project’s sitemap, I wanted to keep it simple with just 6 pages in total and incorporating the takeaways from Competitor Analysis and the Journey Maps. These features would include a better search bar, creating a community and making the food review process simpler. However, based on feedback and user testing, we have made changes and added new features/pages:

  • Added Review Page
  • Added food recommendation feature with a ‘Surprise Me!’ page

More changes will be made after the final user tests and prototyping to understand the pitfalls of the current project.

Link to Original Article (EatBook Sitemap and Project Sitemap):

https://medium.com/@shermangohcf/site-maps-15ac786306ad

Design System (Fonts, Colors, etc.)

Design System

The Design System used two web-friendly fonts from Google namely Poppins (sans-serif) and Lora (serif) to help contrast between design and paragraph texts. The serif font will be used for text throughout the project while sans-serif will be used for design or headers. Colours used were intended to give users a sense of reliability and joy when using the website or app — the colours will be used consistently through icons, buttons and textfields. And lastly, images of food will be varied between landscape and portrait while profile pictures will be in circles.

Low-fidelity Wireframes

Link: https://www.figma.com/proto/fG9SPVRU6SlKhuZFMol94y/DCM1022-A4-Before-and-After?node-id=0%3A1&scaling=min-zoom&starting-point-node-id=2%3A7923&show-proto-sidebar=1

The Low-Fidelity Wireframes created included both the original as well as coloured version with the design system incorporated. These would be used to create our user stories and user testing, and thus improve on future iterations as well as final UI design.

User Stories

User Stories based on Key Customer Segment (Food Hunter and Food Reviewer)

The two user stories generated are based on the potential users of the site namely the Food Hunter — who is on the lookout for places to eat, and the Food Reviewer — who wants to share their recent food adventures with fellow foodies. The user story was created using Figma and depicts the ideal user flow when people are using our app. These two stories will be utilised in user testing and give us a better idea of how we can improve on the user experience as well as usability of the app.

Link to Original Article (Assignment 3: Design System, Wireframes and User Stories):

https://medium.com/@shermangohcf/assignment-3-design-system-wireframes-and-user-stories-food-hunter-and-food-reviewer-89549a301b1c

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