Entio iOS App
Entio's mobile app is a consumer-facing product that complements the company's primary web-based SaaS solution for restaurants. It provides Entio’s clients with another way of reaching customers while offering consumers an intuitive mobile solution to discover nearby restaurants and review up-to-date menus on the go.
Business Objectives and Problem Identification
Before getting started with building the app it was important for us to figure out how a mobile product would fit into Entio’s business, and what value it would bring to our clients. After numerous conversations with existing clients and brainstorming sessions with the team, we came to a conclusion that building a mobile app would be a reasonable investment of time and resources. Next we researched potential competition in the form of other mobile apps that offered ways of discovering local restaurants and identified a set of problems with these products. We spoke with a number of people who actively used competing products, and identified exactly what these apps were missing that would be of great value to the end-consumer. We organized all of the insights gathered during conversations with our clients and users of competing apps, and distiled these findings into high-level user stories that helped us identify key features of the app.
Sketching and Wireframing
It was my responsibility to translate high-level feature discussions into easily digestible task flows that satisfied our user stories. As always, I started in low-fidelity, sketching primary app screens and connecting them into a coheseve whole to understand how users would move through the app. High-fidelity wireframing followed in preparation for initial concept validation and hand-off to engineering.
Early User Feedback
As a designer who strives to create excellent product experiences, I’m always determined to get my wireframes in front of as many people as possible before any coding commences. This time around it was definitely well worth it, because the first concept was not received well. After getting solid feedback, I had to re-design the main screen of the app to make the process of browsing and sorting restaurants much more intuitive.
Visual and Interaction Design
Once the team agreed on critical product components and all technical requirements were outlined, our engineers ramped up the development efforts, while I focused on visual design of the UI and app's micro interactions. As always I spent some time examining competing products, evaluating apps in several geographical markets and even exploring products in other verticals for inspiration on interactive elements. In addition to visual design of the user interface, it was also my responsibility to design the app's icon for the App Store.
The app was completed in less than three months. During the development phase we decided to cut out a feature that would pull restaurant ratings from platforms similar to Yelp. The technology for this functionality was in place, but we encountered legal issues that prevented us from implementing that feature. The app was released on schedule and according to the original spec. We launched the app in the Summer of 2014, but unfortunately we could not secure financing for our startup, and even though we received great feedback on the mobile app from a few dozen users, we decided to shut down both of our products and pursue other opportunities.