ATHENA GRILL RESTAURANT
Athena Grill is an Ipad application that was created for a chain of restaurants.
So how does the App work? A customer selects their meal from a stationary iPad menu on the counter of a casual to fast-food restaurant. The order is then placed via the touch-screen interface and is sent electronically to the kitchen to be prepared.
I used the following User Experience design principles in this project:
Athena Greek Grill serves imaginative, contemporary fare with an emphasis on healthy and organic ingredients that come from local farmers in the area. Our cuisine is fresh, made-to-order and adds a creative twist to Greek cuisine.
The Athena Greek Grill App for iPad features:
• Self-service, build-your-own meal
• Intuitive touch screens
• Images and titles for menu items
• Nutrition, allergy information and ingredients for menu items • Customizable dining options
Some of the questions used to develop the personas:
• What is most important element for you when you look at a menu?
• How would you feel about ordering your food on an iPad?
• What are your likes and dislikes during the food ordering process?
• What are some suggestions you have to improve your food ordering experiences?
• Are there any cool experiences you would like to have during your food ordering process?
Examining the competitors took place on three levels:
• Comparing restaurants similar in price point
• Comparing Greek restaurant menus with build-as-you-go style ordering
• Field research of touch-screen ordering interface at a restaurant and a casino
Card sort results
Over 20 respondents organized the food into several categories via the online card sorting resource. I further refined the cart sorting results in to a usable site map.
Taxonomy & Sitemap
Sketching the interface – horizontal or vertical?
Test the user – what I need to learn
Answer these questions during the usability test:
• Can the participant easily get started in the process and navigate the menu?
• Does the participant struggle to choose food options he/she likes?
• Is the payment process simple regardless of a person’s age or iPad experience? • Is the experience pleasant and desirable?
• Would the person enjoy ordering a meal this way?
Usability test – research objectives
• Test the user’s ability to perform common tasks on the iPad
• Draw from a sample participants from different genders, ages, financial backgrounds, ethnic makeup and Internet savviness
• Observe participant’s actions, reactions, confusion, struggles and pain points during key tasks
• Listen to dialog about each success or failure in the interaction and implement where possible • Record each user’s audio commentary and summarize actions in notes
Usability test – logistics
• Test at the participant’s house, public places or a coffee shop
• First sketched paper prototypes, then computer-generated paper prototype • Record each session with the permission of the participant
• Note non-verbal reactions and clues immediately following the interview
Testing users with sketched paper prototypes
I tested users with sketched paper prototypes. I learned several lessons about “ease of use” from the users:
• Reduce choices on home screen
• Update menu descriptions to reduce confusion
• Make it clear that the user could add as many vegetables as they would like to their meal • Institute the term “Preferred Customer”
• Change the option to just “rice” after user confusion with “basmati”
• Change “Special notes” to “Notes to chef”
• Allow users to choose rice (brown or white) and sandwich temperature (cold or toasted) • Simplify the “Finalize and pay” screen for easier checkout
Testing users with paper prototypes
I learned even more valuable lessons from guerrilla testing users on the street. I jumped into the wild by testing people with paper prototypes created in InDesign. I made the following changes with my discoveries:
• Computer generated text on pages
• Create obvious placeholder blocks as buttons
• Make nutrition button more noticeable
• Streamline check out process with less options
• Add confirmation of payment
• Change some menu steps to simplify ordering
• Allow for more customization and flexibility to write notes to the chef
• Include prices
I used Adobe InDesign to create the wireframes because this has several advantages:
• Robust functionality, with the ability to make interactive PDFs
• Clean design and simple typesetting makes it easy for the user to read
• Apps can be created directly in InDesign and no code is needed
• Just design the App in InDesign and upload directly to the App Store – seamless process
Principles of heuristic evaluation
Several of Nielsen’s “10 Usability Heuristics for User Interface Design” principles could be applied:
• Visibility of system status
The side “Order” column keeps users informed about what is going on, through visual order accumulation.
• Match between system and the real world
The buttons and instructions speak the users’ language, with familiar words, phrases and concepts.
• User control and freedom
Users select the food items they want and remove it if they do not want it.
• Consistency and standards
Consistent language and buttons placement follow platform conventions.
• Recognition rather than recall
Minimize the user’s memory load with menu items pictured, nutritional information available and clickable item titles.
• Aesthetic and minimalist design
Descriptions do not contain information which is irrelevant or rarely needed. For “more information,” an interested user can open an additional nutritional information box.