My story with Eat starts back in 2014 with a basic design-inquiry for a few iPad screens. Today, Eat is one of Middle East’s fastest-growing startups, with over 20 employees. It began with the B2B platform for the restaurant management system, but lacking good consumer solution for booking restaurants in the region, management decided to dive into that area as well.
The initial idea was turning restaurant booking experience from old-school phone calls to mobile app automated with restaurant booking systems. Today Eat reservation is available on multiple platforms and having partnerships with Google, Zomato, Tripadvisor, Uber and many more.
The first step was a testing experience of the application in Bahrain-market and getting ready for cities with hundreds of restaurants like Dubai. For a few years, the app was available in Bahrain & Dubai only, but as the company was growing fast, there was a need for expanding the market, so today you can use Eat to book a restaurant in 14 cities/regions.
Research results showed that most of the target audience were using Apple iPhones. That was good to start building an App for the App Store. The first version was quite simple offering a decent number of restaurants and booking engine.
As the mobile industry was insanely growing in that period, we had to design and bring restaurant-booking experience to the Android platform as well. Even with the large expansion of the mobile world, business requested web/desktop version for the customers. Making it available on desktop and mobile platforms we have successfully covered all personas/users of the app.
Moving from small touch devices to web experience could be challenging sometimes, but in our case, it helped us a lot to understand user-behaviours and needs.
For a long time, Eat’s sales team was bringing more and more restaurants to the platform, but as the design remained unchanged, it became more difficult for our users to find somewhere to dine. Along the way, we added a "Discover" section that featured custom curated collections of restaurants, but it wasn't performing as well as anticipated so we decide to make the move.
Redesigning an app is always a challenge. We figured out that we have a lot of content built into the app that we weren't utilizing fully for our users. So the main challenge was to deliver a much better experience to discover, search, and easily book restaurants. The app had to be easier to navigate as well, as many users were struggling. After we created a design system, we wanted to apply it to this platform and stay consistent with the design language of our products.
In the process of redesigning, making a new information architecture was our main focus. We wanted to create better organization & structure of the information, label content to represent information more effectively, improve navigation (how a user browses or move through), and search (how a user looks for information).
After we created a design system, we wanted to apply it to this platform and stay consistent with the design language of all our products.
Thank you for taking the time to read (or just 👁scanning project above). Eat is a startup company and a lot of things are changing almost weekly. A lot of things is also in development so it might not look the same on the current build. For sure, there are some confidential details that I’m not able to share online.
If you are curious to hear more about my process designing digital products of (almost) any kind or view more of my design work, please feel free to contact me.