Just a moment

LINC

A fun app that facilitates decision-making and restaurant selection for diverse palates in group dining
Role
Product Designer
Advisor
Jacob Ferguson
Timeline
Oct - Dec 2022
Skills
Interaction
App
UX/UI

CONTEXT

HOW DID IT ALL START?
"We often fought over deciding what to eat and we used a lot of the alternatives out there like Yelp, Google maps, and we kind of realized that the process of deciding was flawed."

Born out of frustration between two roommates, LINC was created as a new app to help customers find the right place to eat and less back and forth discussion and arguments.

solution

The go-to app for all group eaters

A mobile app that helps group eaters easily decide which restaurant to go to. The app only has the host-end being built out. Users can find a restaurant that suits everyone's needs, if they cannot come to a decision, there is a fair game to decide what to eat for the group.

Shared platform

LINC streamlines group discussion by eliminating the need to switch between multiple social media platforms. Group members can use a shared whiteboard to make notes and decisions, and can choose their preferred restaurant under the organizer's defined circumstances.

Price, Distance, Ratings, Deadline

Based on the research results, people usually consider cost, proximity, evaluations, and food images when choosing a restaurant. The organizer can filter options based on budget and location, then group members can choose based on images, reviews, and preferences.

Fair choosing game

The organizer chooses the game after the deadline passed. One click results eliminate arguments and ensure a fun, enjoyable experience.

Problems

IMAGINE...

1. Different dietary restrictions - food allergies, follow a specific diet (e.g. vegan, gluten-free), or have cultural food preferences
2. Budget constraints
3. Time constraints

You're part of a group of friends meeting up and wanting to catch up over a meal. One of your friends, Sarah, is a vegan. Another friend, Rachel, wants to try the new Italian restaurant that opened last week. A third friend, Alex, is on a tight budget. And there is Chrissy, who is in a hurry and only has an hour for lunch and is thinking about having fast food. The diverse needs and preferences are making it difficult to agree on a meal.

Research

Define target audience

"People who eat out with others" was the subject in this design. I realized scenarios may vary depending on income and how willing the person spend on a meal. According to NRA,Millennials and Gen Zers tend to dine out at least 3 times/week. To keep my scope clear, therefore I decided to focus on college students and older, which I have easy access to and they also have the portion of money to spend.

Interview

All participants place the highest value in seeing visual imagery first, otherwise it is discarded. Secondary priorities (other factors such as reviews, distance, and pricing) depend on who to go out with to decide which is more important. The interview script can be viewed here.

I coded the response and analyzed it with affinity map and story map

summary

1. Photos of food help decide faster
2. Likes to see whats popular or trending
3. Ways to reduce communication efforts and time to come to a decision
4. Care everyone's voices to make the selection fair

Insights

1. A shared application to communicate and discuss  
2.Being able to see whats popular or trending  
3. Surface critical information faster (eg: Prices, reviews, distance, stars, images)
4. A fair selection technique while groups cannot reach to a consensus

Ideation

Sketch out the ideas

I held a session with other designers to ideate on the layout and flow of the product

The idea of the flow
The idea of games (II)
The ideas of games (I)

Testing

Usability Testing

Main tasks are assigned:

1. Add friends into your contacts and form them into a group
2. Define the requirements(critical information) with the group and send the link
3. Play the game and tell the group the selection results

100%

Participants complete the task

80%

Participants were unsure the purpose of the application at first.

100% 

Participants complete the task by misclicking outside the hotspot multiple times.

23.3

Seconds
Average task completion

Insights

1. Landing pages to show the purpose of the app
2. Consistent design in color and fonts
3. Visual and motion design
4. Larger clickable area

COLORS & fonts settings

The primary colors were chosen to increase appetite, intake calories, and a convey of warmth. Poppins: fun and playful, suit with the brand personality traits. Both fonts are very simple and easy to read.

ui and motion design

Twisting UI details

Slot machine

Using After Effects to create the animation making it fun and engaging

Starting screen

Using animation when opening the app

Color Wheel

Smooth the animation

Before
After

Final Designs

Final prototype

I tested the prototype using Useberry. The feedback we got from the testing helped us to improve our design. 80% of participants were able to complete tasks faster compared to the original version. Those who needed to click the target more twice were able to achieve on this prototype.

“Using LINC is a delightful and interesting experience.”

Wrap-up

The Outcomes

The generative research phase and usability testing measured two significant metrics: ease of use and user satisfaction. Although the design solution was not fully developed for invitees part at this point, it was observed that users had a positive experience with the solution.

Easier to use

36% reduction in task completion time after iterations

Increased satisfaction

40% of increasement in users with the redesigned flow and visual of the product

More complete products

I believe these improvements will help group eaters and increase the desire they are willing to use LINC.

Learnings

Think more...

A brand new design is different than a redesign project. I realized the idea and the operation process being put in the application was hard to understand for some users because they never see such design before. It would be a learning curve for them. User testing allowed me to see the problems from users' perspectives and how to make it more intuitive even for first-time users.

Next steps

In order to further complete the experience on LINC:

  • Another round of usability testing
  • Complete the invitees part.

thank you🫰

Hoping you have a good one 💐

Thank you for reading this case study! If you’re interested, feel free to check out my other projects below

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