Creating a user experience for a restaurant without customers.

Gentle Harvest is an organic restaurant which was opening 2 new restaurants within an 8-month timeframe. The stores were close to being finished, but there was tons of work to do without much time.

My Role

Interface Design, User Flow, User Research


4 Weeks | 2016


Android App, IOS App

The Problem

How I got mixed up in this

I was brought on in the later part of the project when the client decided they also wanted an IOS and Android app for online ordering.
I was offered the project by a local creative company that I met at a hack-a-thon. They witnessed first hand me designing whole user experiences within 24 hrs, and they needed quick prototyping on their project. They asked me to create designs, and user flows for both platforms within 3 weeks.

My Challenge

I had previous experience working on e-commerce solutions; however, never with restaurant products. I 'didn't understand the expected user interaction with customers placing orders online for pickup. Secondly, there weren't any customers, so testing 'wasn't an option. Also, even if they did have customers, I only had 3 weeks to create a reliable user journey, an interactive prototype and high fidelity mock with approval.
GEEEEZZZ….. Now hearing the task, a half sane person probably would have turned this project down with good reason. However, I was intrigued by the opportunity to flex my UX muscles. I also felt the need and purpose were clear enough to create an excellent product.


Tons of research, in not tons of time.

I grabbed my iphone and a spare android phone and began to download every restaurant app that I could find. I was looking for a few things.

These were my primary things I wanted to understand.

  • 1. Did I need to spend time creating a user experience that already existed and was proven?
  • 2. What was the consistent flow of these apps from splash screen to payment?
  • 3. Did any of these apps have similar functionality as what I needed our app to do?
  • 4. How easy was it to place an order with complex menu items?
  • 5. How did the the design make me feel? Was it consistent with the type of food served? Did it match the brand?


Im Empowered and Inspired

Now was the fun part, I dumped everything useful I discovered onto the team in a whiteboard session. I call them “ BRAIN SMASHERS” (trademark pending). We came out with a bulletproof user flow.

My Magic Wand (mouse pointer)

With the direction set, I created a high fidelity set of wireframes for our team to present to the client and development team for review. The client loved the wireframes so much they thought they were the final designs. After convincing them that it actually gets better, they offered a set of colors we all felt would be perfect for the finals designs.

Final Mocks

A minor paint job

I adjusted the colors and created a UI Kit for the development team. I then applied the changes to the mocks and used Invasion App to link the mocks together for a full interaction review.

Take a test drive


The Shortest 3 Weeks ever

I actually finished my part of the project in 2 weeks, and used the extra time to play with app Icons.
I really enjoyed working on this project. The problems 'didn't require reinventing the wheel but instead being resourceful and leveraging the time others spent in creating excellent products that already existed. I 'didn't have to do design over and be a super solver to create a great result. I saved this small shop a week of development time and added some confidence and comfort to the customer. This makes me smile!
The apps a currently in both App Stores and the 1st store is now open. Check it out!

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