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Food Court Service System Design

A complex system design; which helps local small restaurants to expand their business during the pandemic.

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Project Brief

Food Court system design helps small local restaurants expand their business during the pandemic. It assists owners to locate appropriate delivery platforms and collaborates with professional chefs to tailor-make delivery-friendly meal kits.

Our design is gratifying to us and the restaurant owners. By understanding their struggles, we solve their issues by creating web landing pages and an app platform to showcase our idea.

High-level Timeline

June 15, 2021

6 weeks


User Research

System Design

User Interface Design

My Role

UI & UX Designer

Design Researcher

Team Members

Weidi Qi

Letian Jiang

Key Features

Browsing Posts on Food Court

Users can keep track of recent events or activities on the app. Our news feed system updates real-time information shared on the platform. Users can interact with Food Court staffs

Selecting Services for Your Plan

Registered users can choose their services among three plans, which include the registration to the food delivery platform, a meal kit design, or full service.

Upload the Dish for Designing Meal Kits

Registered users can upload images, videos, and recipes of their dishes.

Check the result of your meal kits design

Food Court affiliated chefs can provide feedbacks and finalize the designed meal kits based on users’ demands. Food Court Staff will upload the chef’s recommendation (as video and instructions) to the restaurant owners.

Other features mockup

Sign in & Sign up

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User Profile

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Service Contact & Setting

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Ideated Website Landing Page Mock-Up

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Our Design Process

Design Research

Our first step is to identify and solve the current financial hardship encountered by the culinary industry with our design. We are determined to expand their business to cover their loss (during the pandemic).

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Our research data (from Womply) points out that a majority of restaurants suffer from significant loss of revenue. Dine-in services come to a complete halt as reservations continue to plummet.

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On the contrary, our research finds that food delivery service surges during the lockdown. The trend of online food-ordering is expected to increase in the subsequent years.

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Then we questioned ourselves, why don't those restaurant owners all start to use the food delivery system during the pandemic? Therefore, we did some interviews with some local restaurant owners, and here are some quotes we collected from them.

Why don't you start a food delivery business?

"We can only deliver to nearby areas by ourselves, otherwise the cost of delivery would be higher than the profits."

"Because the main business of their restaurant is holding parties, so the price of the menu is relatively high, which is not suitable for food delivery services."


Why don't you work with the food delivery platforms?

“We have never cooperated with those platforms before, and we have no idea how to start (to work with the platform). It’s kind of risky for us.”

Our design goal is clear after knowing the issues experienced by the local restaurant owners.

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To solve the restaurant owners’ concerns, our goals are

The Goals:

  1. Make online delivery platforms more accessible to restaurant owners.

  2. (Recommend) suitable meal kits for those restaurant owners who have trouble designing their delivery-friendly menus

We conceptualize the design of Food Court to cater to the need of restaurant owners. This interactive platform offers online food delivery registration assistance and meal kit design consultation.

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Food Court System Design

Concept Map

When we build a system from the starter, a concept could help us identify the potential features or opportunities the platform should include, such as the customers, the services, and the business involved with our platform.

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Stakeholder Diagram

The stakeholder diagram identifies the relationship between the personnel in Food Court. It represents how the entrepreneurs interact with different sectors in the business, which helps us elaborate our system further.

Connection Circle Diagram

The connection circle diagram points out the feedbacks loop in the Food Court system, and there are two reinforcing loops and one balance loop for the customer flow. The reinforcing loop means the factors that increase our the customer's flow, and the balancing loop shows the factors that decrease the customer's flow.

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Feedback loop diagram (A more clear version from connection circle diagram to identify the loops)

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Food Court Ideated Personas & Journey Maps

After we defined the Food Court system, we created several personas based on our system map and interviews, and we also use journey maps to showcase our ideated personas walk through our Food Court service.

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Storyboards base on our Journey maps

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Food Court Interface Design Process

We created diagrams and flowcharts for the users of our apps after we gathered all the required materials for our Food Court system. We created the user flow and site maps, then we made the rough wireframes to prepare our finalized prototypes.

Information Architecture (Website landing pages)

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Information Architecture (App terminal pages)

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Food Court service platform user flow

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Food Court rough wireframe Design

Food Court Poster Mockup

The poster design to demonstrate the platform advertising concept.

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 Upon completion of the Food Court app, we see the necessity to refine the interface and system. We plan to conduct user testing to optimize the users' accessibility of the app (in the future). The current design of our app largely models an interface that is targeted for social use. To further maximize the functionality, we plan to redesign it to suit business use more fully. This project inspires us to explore further on how our design can benefit business owners through mutual understandings.

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