Let’s face it. In a world of so much variety, its hard to settle for what to order. I, for one, am terrible at it. So we took up this project to help people like us, to not be at the mercy of their friends every time they want to go out to have something decent to eat.
A survey of a random group of people was done to know their eating habits whenever they go somewhere out for dining. Further, to build empathy with users, it was followed by a set of casual interviews. This resulted in a preliminary set of requirements and creating User Personas.
The Interviews and the User Personas helped us to discover a list of main requests of the users:
‣ If the food ordered will satisfy the appetite
‣ Time used for the preparation of the dish
‣ Ingredients and if the resulting taste will match the expectations
‣ Anxiety to choose from a lot of available options
After penning down and brainstorming over a few of the possible solutions, one came out to be the simplest to implement in the most effective way. What was needed was just some basic tweaks in the regular restaurant menu and that can make all the difference. How?
The final menu card design must solve all the identified problems while keeping in mind the following points:
- Must be economically viable
- Should not require significant changes to the current protocol
- Must not require special on-boarding and must be aesthetically appealing
✓ Broad sections for low and high appetite
Thinking in a hierarchical fashion, we first make different sections, broadly classified as Starters, Main Course and Desserts. Under each section, there are subdivisions distinguishing the food for low and high appetites helping a customer plan their entire meal based on their preference.
✓ Sorting based on preparation
Food items listed are further arranged based on the time spent in their preparation, least on top.
✓ Ingredients and the resulting taste
Once the common, basic problems are solved, we can move on further to the specifics. Under the name of each food item, there can be the ingredients mentioned as the subtext so as to let the customers know what its made of. To specify the resultant taste, there will be a marker for sweet and spicy.
At last, for the few people who still can’t settle on what they want, there will be a special corner having the Recommendations by the chef which takes away the anxiety of choosing out of so many available options.
• Color Palette
The palette used for the final design majorly consisted to warm shades of cream contrasted with earthly brown. Shades of brown are known to help guests relax and feel comfortable. It can also give customers a sense of support and stability.
The final design needed to be well suited for all possible groups of users. Serif fonts were used to maintain elegance while specially curated script styles were added to the title to increase visual appeal.
• Scanning Patterns
High-end restaurant menu cards make use of conventional eye scanning patterns. According to research, menu cards have a “sweet spot” enjoying the maximum attention amongst all items. Dishes have been arranged to take advantage of this, thereby improving business.
Conclusion and Future Scope
The aim of this project was to ensure an easier dining experience for customers regardless of the kind of restaurant they choose. As a part of this goal, we tried tackling the decision paralysis involved in the process of ordering food by simplifying the menu card such that it’s easily implementable and just as familiar to the customer as a normal menu card.
In the future, a special version of the same can be re-imagined such that its more elaborate, while slightly easing down on the price constraint. The entire project also needs to be thought through a business perspective incorporating incentives for existing restaurants to switch to the new format.
And… That’s a wrap!
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