Solutions for
Managing Restaurants.

Solutions for Managing Restaurants Cieden

Project Plan

Task

To conduct a discovery phase to identify main pain points in managing restaurants in Central Asia, identify opportunities and gaps. Based on the research findings, we were to design a new platform to support setting up and scaling of the business

Team

2 UX/UI Designers, BA

Duration

3 months

Scope

SaaS for restaurant management (Saudi Arabia): web app and mobile app

Result

The solution comprised two products (web app and mobile app) is in active implementation phase

Overview

Managing a business is very complicated work - you must keep an eye on multiple directions simultaneously, have all processes properly set up, and have the proper tools on hand to assist you while monitoring and controlling all moving parts. We tried to create a SaaS solution for an early phase startup focused on small and medium restaurants, that would help to create and run a business in the Middle East region.

Benefits

Challenges

  • Collaborations with knowledgeable subject matter experts
  • Stakeholders with technical background for validating the feasibility of decisions
  • Team already had experience in similar domain
  • Bilingual system - English and Arabic
  • Considering local regulations like requirements on salary calculations in UAE and penalties
  • Complex business logic with creating working schedules (fixed and flexible)

Step 1

Discovery Phase

User interviews & Value Proposition Map

Our client was a knowledgeable expert in the domain and, from business logic, there was an understanding of the process of how new restaurants are being created and what they needed to scale effectively. However, the process is very complex and consisted of many touchpoints. When our client addressed us with a request for a UX/UI design of a task management system, there were ideas in the form of wireframes and a mindmap of features. Since we had experience in the design of a similar solution, we understood that most of the suggested features are "nice to have" or will not provide sufficient value to the users.

In order to identify the actual needs and pain points of the main target personas, we conducted exploratory user interviews. We outlined three main target personas with different motivations, goals, and needs: owner of the business, manager of the location, and employee. The insights from interviews were synthesized into a Value proposition map, that combined user jobs to be done, pains, and gains, which were later translated into solution features. Out of jobs to be done and pain points, we focused on solving those problems that interfere businesses to grow and scale, and those problems that are not easily solved with the use of other solutions.

Solutions for Managing Restaurants Cieden

Information Architecture

After a round or prioritization of user needs and pain points to be addressed, we came up with a list of features that we documented in the form of a mind map. We considered templates of documents provided by the client, operational standards that are used in restaurants and coffee shops, as well as considered local legal requirements - for salary calculations or local hygiene standards that adhere to COVID regulations.

Solutions for Managing Restaurants Cieden

Step 2

Design

Creating Design System

The suggested solution had two interfaces for three roles: a desktop app for owners and managers, who could also perform some tasks on their mobile via a mobile-responsive interface; and a mobile app for employees of restaurants.

For each system, we considered limitations of the environment, frequency, and types of tasks performed. To ensure consistency in the user interface and create one unified brand look and feel, we created a design system that contained elements for different interfaces. 

The design system included design styles like colors and typography as well as components and elements that followed an [atomic design principle](https://cieden.com/design-systems-everything-you-need-to-know). This approach is easier to implement, maintain, and update if needed. When choosing the typeface for the solution, we considered if it supported Arabic characters and how it is used in interface design, as many fonts are adapted to graphic design, while only a few support Arabic interfaces properly.

Solutions for Managing Restaurants Cieden

UX/UI Design

Desktop

With the desktop design, we aimed to create a simple and straightforward design that would support complex tasks, such as creating a working schedule for a location, developing policies and standards, and managing employees and multiple locations. 

We attempted to use inline user experience when it was possible to make some local changes, as well as a full-screen experience for the creation or editing of complex items with multiple settings and configurations. As a result, the system is highly customizable, flexible, and scalable. 

Solutions for Managing Restaurants Cieden

Mobile Responsive design

Our primary persona never spends the entire working day in front of a computer - their primary environment is restaurants, kitchens, or with visitors, even though most of the organization and setup process takes place behind the computer.

Thus with a design, we had to allow users to perform complex features like creating tasks and shifts by the computer, while we had to provide sufficient functionality to stay in the loop, receive alerts and updates, check statuses and progress of tasks.

We created an adaptive platform with just enough features for owners and managers to oversee and monitor all aspects of employee management daily.

Solutions for Managing Restaurants Cieden

Mobile Application

One of the target personas of the solution is a member of the staff. As revealed during the discovery, this role is somewhat vague because it combines different roles, unique knowledge and skill backgrounds, and even different cultures and languages. As a result, the application design should have been simple and straightforward, with plenty of graphic hints and clues.

Solutions for Managing Restaurants Cieden

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