Waiting time at restaurants is annoying. Making up a choice for a restaurant is difficult especially when you want to avoid long and irritating waiting time.
EatARy Assistant is my multimedia research project in which I am trying to solve the problem of reducing the time to make up a choice for a restaurant considering the long waiting times.
Project duration: 4 months
My Role: Interaction Designer
Skills: User Research
AR App development
How to minimize the time in the selection of the restaurants to evade the waiting time?
To find out the solution to the research question, I took interviews with different people. I also collected opinions from the people who were actually standing in a waiting queue outside the restaurant.
Encouraging: New resources other than online ordering and pick-up
Efficiency: Less and easy steps
User-centric: The main focus on Waiting time
Proposed Design Solution
I proposed a solution to create an Augmented Reality Application which can show the waiting time, time to reach the restaurants, and names with the use of a Camera.
The proposed design solution required consideration of various factors such as driving distance to the location, driving time to reach the restaurant, waiting time after reaching the restaurant, or waiting time including driving time. It was a little difficult to achieve the desired result within the timeframe of 4 months by considering all the factors in the scope.
to the location
to the location
Waiting time after reaching the restaurant
Changes to overcome Challenges
For the first stage of the prototype of the project, I narrowed down the scope by considering only one factor which is showing the results within the range of the walking distance.
Walking distance to the restaurant
Time to reach the restaurant by walking
Waiting time after reaching the restaurant
EatARy Assistant is an Augmented Reality(AR) application that will show the waiting time at the restaurants and walking time to reach the restaurant in the real world using the camera of your smartphone. The goal of the application is to reduce the steps to find out where to go to get their food faster by avoiding the long waiting time.
Consider Bella's journey as an example:
Task flow one/On-boarding process
Bella launches the EatARy Assistant and the on-boarding steps by showing the purpose first.
The main purpose is to avoid "waiting time" when you are hungry. To serve the purpose of using the. EatARy Assistant, Bella allows GPS and Camera Access. Then she sees how she can see the results in the application by moving his phone camera in 360 degrees.
Task Flow one/ On-boarding process
Task flow two/See the results and find out the restaurant with least waiting time
Bella clicks on the phone on the screen to understand the way to interpret results. The biggest square represents the nearest restaurant and the smallest square represents the farthest restaurant. Once Bella understands how to interpret results, she gets started using the application.
Task Flow two/ How to interpret results
Flow for EatARy Assistant
Design Decisions for
To achieve these three success metrics: Encouraging, Efficiency, and User-centric, I got motivated to take several design decisions which include a new technology called Augmented Reality(AR) and simplified User Experience.
Read articles, blogs
Used existing mobile AR applications
The technology part of a research
Usability testing with different users with the paper prototype
Sketched UI screens
& made Animations
Made Invision Studio Prototype
AR with Markers
& Markerless AR
Combined live restaurant data and animations with GPS & 3D Map
For the research, I started with using the existing AR mobile applications, and reading about the blogs, articles related to AR design. That helped me to understand the key points for AR application User Experience and development.
I also researched the technical part as I was not aware of the development process in AR and I had to learn the coding language and platforms to build the functional prototype.
I started doing user testing with my paper prototype first to create the refined version for the actual development.
First Usability Testing:
First I did user testing with my friends who were not were about my project at all and received the feedback of improving visuals for the application.
They suggested creating a more detailed onboarding process.
Second Usability Testing:
I refined the prototype and did user testing again with my classmates.
They suggested minor changes for the symbols cand hierarchy of the steps.
All the collected feedback and my research helped me to create a better version of my prototype.
For the design, I started creating the graphics for the on-boarding process as I wanted the user to understand properly how the user is going to use the application.
So I created human figures for better correlation and other graphics for waiting and walking time.
Pictures of Usability Tests
Graphics for on-boarding process of an application
Apart from that I also made few animations and motion graphics to show the actual results.
Motion graphics for showing results
Color Scheme: The first three colors are primary colors and other colors are used secondarily.
Fonts: For instructions and to create artifacts for AR I used two different fonts so that it can be identified easily.
For On-boarding instructions:
Futura PT Bold
Futura Pt Book
For AR squares to show the results:
For the development part, I started with simple Marker-based Augmented Reality as I was not aware of AR development in the beginning.
Augmented Reality with Markers
After successful of the attempt of Maker
Based on AR, I jumped into Markerless AR where I learned the use of Mapbox SDK to load the geo-location-based maps.
Augmented Reality with Marker Less Geo-Loacation
For the next step, I integrated Phone GPS and used it to load the 3D Map.
Then I integrated the point of interest on the 3D Map such as restaurants’ names using Mapbox SDK and AR foundation library.
Augmented Reality with Marker Less Geo-Location
(Showing Restaurants' names near California State University, East Bay)
Then, I used the fundamentals of physics in Unity such as Raycasting and collisions to make motion graphics appear where the actual restaurant is.
Final Prototype of showing results based on the Location
The waiting time and the walking time to reach the restaurant are not based on any dataset for the prototype. They are arbitrary numbers.
Integration of the Point of interest like (restaurants) with 3D AR Map with Mapbox SDK and World Scale AR technology.
Make animation work where the actual location of the restaurant is.
Switched to AR foundation Library instead of World Scale AR with Mapbox SDK.
Applied fundamentals of Physics in Unity such as when the ray from the camera intersects the Box Collider attached to the restaurant's boarding the animation appears otherwise it disappears.