When Yelp acquired NoWait (NW), the Yelp Reservations (YR) and NoWait teams merged. People refer to this team as WYNR to this day, and yes, that is confusing. Both of these teams' products contain a ton of functionality overlap, and we determined it would be in our best interest to combine applications instead of supporting two separate web and iPad apps. Using Yelp Reservations as the base, we would bring over particular features from NoWait to support front of house management for restaurants of all kinds: walk-in-heavy, reservation-heavy, and everyone in between.
A particular use case that NW handled well, but YR didn't support, is defining server sections. During a shift, a restaurant will schedule a certain number of servers depending on how busy the restaurant will be. To be as efficient as possible, the servers will be assigned a section of tables for the night that are typically clustered together. The vast majority of restaurants use this concept, with several well-defined layouts of sections to account for any shift.
As an example, the floor layout below contains 5 server sections. Color-coding is one way to visually discern between sections.
NoWait’s implementation of this feature resulted in many flaws that weren’t worth repeating. In order to get this right, we interviewed several different types of restaurant owners, front of house managers, and servers to fully understand this concept. We identified patterns, requirements, edge cases, and compiled a list of customer feedback and affinity mapped to identify opportunities.
I created user stories and flows based on 4 areas of the customer's journey: setup, pre-shift planning, in-service, and post-shift analysis. Check it out on Realtime Board.
While working on this project, my manager informed me I would be switching to a team that never had a dedicated designer (Yelp Cash Back). Many things have happened since. Most notably, the Reservations and NoWait team is in the process of rethinking their consolidation strategy. I’m proud of this work even though it hasn’t been picked up where we left off. I hope it's starstuff in some shape or form.