forage

Forage — Helping hungry people who are inflicted with indecisiveness.

Role: Product Designer

Tools: Sketch, Illustrator

Duration: Sep - Jan 2016

Team: Sidd Tingare — Developer

Ever been out with friends and couldn't decide where to eat?

Problem

Often when I'm out with my friends, we have trouble deciding on a place to eat, partly because we don't really have a preference, or because we legitimately don't know where to go, especially when we're out in an unfamiliar place.

Solution

We decided to create a simple app that suggests or picks restaurants for the user based on their preferences. Some key features include: 

  • Simple and easy user flow
  • Set preferences (type of food, max distance etc.)
  • Sleek and minimal UI

Contextual Inquiry

We observed five people and their process of finding a place to eat in various locations, then took notes and summarized our findings.

  • "What should I/we eat?" was a common question.
  • Familiar place: they prefered to go to restaurants they've been to before.
  • Unfamiliar place: they used Google to search on their phone to look up restaurants.
  • When Googling, the nearest restaurant was the top priority.
  • The type of food was discussed and was one of the major deciding factors.
  • Some of them had trouble deciding on a place to eat even after Googling.

Competitive Analysis

We downloaded the three most popular restaurant finder apps for Android then compared their features. We found out that:

  • Way too many options. They were great for narrowing down my choices or looking for a specific restaurant, but the process took longer than needed, and I had to know what I wanted to eat in the first place.
  • They listed a bunch of restaurants, but the choice was up to the user.
  • Information overload and cluttered UI.
ca-min

Ideation

We focused mainly on developing an app that picks a place for you to eat. We reduced features and contents to the bare minimum. The process had to be quick and simple, preferably less than 10 seconds from opening the app to getting the results.

ideation-min

User Flow & Lo-fi Wireframes

Minimal user flow was necessary. We hid contents in the sidebar and displayed only the necessary contents on the screen.

Hi-fi Prototype

I used big and bold font for the categories to make it easier to see. I included step indicator at the top of the screen so users can see which step they are currently on. Users can set the max distance and rating on the sidebar. On the result page, the sidebar displays restaurant details and photos.

A/B Testing

We ran a brief A/B test for 10 days. We found out that many restaurant finder apps used red colour, so we tried using a blue colour and it slightly attracted more people.

abtesting-min

Reflection

During the competitive analysis phase, we tried out many different restaurant finder apps and learned that they were trying to fit everything in one screen. I learned that by removing all the unnecessary features, I could reduce the process by a lot, and that helped me get started.

Although this was our first real app we developed, I am very impressed at how well it was received by the users. In just couple of months Forage has received over 5k downloads with an average of 4.5 stars.