Simply Reserved is a project that I built out during an online course for UX Design from Aquent. The course educates step-by-step on the principles and basics of UX Design, along with a project that incorporates these teachings. Students were asked to work towards a website or mobile app, as a product to create. It involved early research, site-mapping, and user flowcharts. After that, we worked on wireframing and basic design. The course didn’t include prototyping and final design as a part of the class, but I continued with the project, to include these things.
My initial concept with this app was to create something to quickly and easily make reservations at a restaurant. It combines the concept of Yelp or Grubhub, where you can search for different restaurants based on specific criteria, and the reservation ability of Open Table. However, I wanted it to be simple, and easier to use, than Open Table. It’s not just to find somewhere to eat, it’s to find a place that fits your needs, outside of cuisine. If someone needs to find a place that has parking, or is accessible easily from public transportation, those are options they can include in the search. It’s not about searching for one single option, say Mexican food, it’s about finding something that also is child-friendly, and is located near a hotel you might be staying at. My early wireframes really investigated how things would work to accomplish this goal.
Once I began basic design and wireframing digitally, I wanted to explore the best organization for elements within the app. My sketch wireframes gave me an idea of where things would sit, and the general flow of the app, but the digital wireframes were meant to give greater detail to how the elements would fit together visually. My greatest challenge was to find a way to visually indicate the steps that one would take to search for a restaurant, without overwhelming them with information, yet making it clear what to do next. I changed the way it worked several times, as I also ran user testing on a basic prototype built out with the wireframes.
The finished design came after several rounds of revisions, as I did more user testing, and noticed things that were missing or did not make sense while building out a finalized prototype. Even if this was just a personal project, I would love to see this app become a reality, someday.