Loelle's LookBook

Google UX Exercise

Wait Staff Experience

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Phase 2: Explore

After outlining goals (Why) and who I'm building for (Who), I continued to explore the user and their unique set of needs (When & Where), in preparation for solving for them.

Secondary Research

With my newly-found user insights in mind, I did some secondary research into the restaurant world and server profession. Some of my takeaways include:

  • High turnover, so job prospects are generally good
  • Doesn't require formal education or training, but competition is greater at upscale restaurants
  • Base pay is quite low at ~$10/hour or ~$20k a year, but better at upscale restaurants
  • The environment is busy and high pressure
  • About half of waiters worked part time (as of 2016)

I continued on to conduct comparative analysis, as well as look at the following analogous experiences:

  • Grate App (dead App)
  • Yelp
  • Google
  • Facebook ratings
  • Netflix
  • Analogous experiences
    • Styleseat
    • Uber
    • Lyft

These experiences were vital in inferring mental models and what features may be incorporated/eliminated into the product I created.

Utilizing the research

Secondary research showed that my subjects well represented subsets of my audience. In addition, my interviews were thorough and a great place to start in creating personas. As one of our research managers puts it...

Focus on quality... two hours of direct exposure with one participant could be as valuable as eight participants at 15 minutes each.

The two hours with that one participant... can drive a tremendous amount of actionable value to the team.
— Rachel Walsh, Research Manager @ MailChimp


Using this approach, I created two personas– Wendy and Jordan. I'd say that Wendy is the primary persona, as research shows the many waiters are working part time to supplement their income. Jordan, however, represents another subset hoping to perhaps stay in the industry, but rise up the ranks.


Scenarios/User Stories

After creating personas, a few scenarios emerged that I could begin to solve for.

Scenario 1: A waiter wants to continue to excel at their job

  • As a waiter with good experience and other commitments, I want to get more/continued feedback on my performance so that I can maintain and maybe even improve in my current role.

Scenario 2: A waiter is trying to secure employment

  • As a waiter building my experience, I want a better way to convey my skillset so that I can move on to a better role in the near future.

Scenario 3: A waiter is trying to build a positive reputation

  • As a relatively new waiter, I want to know what my patrons think of me and where I can improve so that I can better establish myself in this industry and maybe even become a manager one day. I need transparency and I want to stand out, but for the right reasons.

With these user scenarios in mind, it was time to begin thinking of potential solutions...