A quick analysis of what the app does well and areas for improvement.
Last Thursday I attended Sarta’s Ready, Set, Launch. event at Drexel University where a panel of entrepreneurs talked about their challenges and successes in their startups. It was a really informative and entertaining event. While networking, I chatted with Sonny Mayugba, the CEO of Requested and he asked me to try the app and let him know my thoughts. I’m sure he’s not expecting this detailed analysis, but I actually enjoy this kind of work and wanted a sample that I can put on my website.
Sonny, I hope this is useful and you use some of my ideas (you can totally hire me to implement them :-). To other dear readers, I would love to review your app or website! Please get in touch.
Please Note: Making an app is hard work and takes hours upon hours of programming, testing, and revising. I understand that some of these things are easy to change, some may be in the works, and some just don’t fit with your plan. I’m just throwing out ideas…
Requested is kind of like Uber meets Priceline for restaurant reservations. The best parts are getting a discount, leaving without waiting for the check, and having the tip built in. Save money, no waiting, no math, YEY! I had some technical difficulties. Then it took a while to understand what I was supposed to do (I had to think and I hate that). I was able to complete a reservation and pay through the app.
What the App Does Well
It works. I easily made a reservation at a new restaurant nearby for my mom and I about an hour before we went to eat. I got a $10 credit for trying the app and I negotiated a 10% discount with the restaurant. When we got to the restaurant, there was an ad in the window for the app (that made me more confident in the app). I mentioned our Requested deal to the server, and when we left she confirmed my reservation number with the one in the app and we left. About an hour later I got an email saying that my credit card had been charged.
The restaurant descriptions are fun, entertaining, and informative. A handy flag tells me if the place is closed. When I enter my CC# it auto spaces and forwards to the next field, i love that. The imagery is mostly relevant and professional, text is readable and screens are well laid out.
Bait me with Benefits. On first open of the app there is no logo and no value proposition. I’ve installed this thing, what do I get if I continue? Perhaps a line like:
Requested: Snag a table, pay on your phone, and ask for a discount.
Sign in to reserve a table now.
Facebook | Email | Just Looking
Simplify Screens. On the home screen instructions fill a third of the screen. If you need instructions then it’s not intuitive. Consider a step by step intro for new users, such as:
Pick a city to search?
How many in your party?
When are you meeting? Choose a few places and have them fight for you!
Accessibility Issues. Low color contrast made black popups on black screen hard to read.
Geolocation. Location defaulted to Roseville. It may be smarter to default to the location with the most users, or to check Facebook, or to show all restaurants then ask the user to choose location or turn on geolocation to refine. I was annoyed by numerous messages saying that geolocation failed.
Don’t popup a warning, give a solution. I was harassed by messages about badges, but I don’t know what those are. Periodic flashes of Geolocation Failed, why do I care? What to do to fix it?
Make it Work Every Time. First I had to clear up some space on my phone to install another app. Annoying. When will all websites be mobile first and behave like apps (that would solve the updating hassle too)? Finally, I got the app installed and it failed to bring up any restaurants (it worked the next day). Later the app froze on me.
Faster Jeeves! After any action/touch, when I go back to “home” it takes 5+ seconds to reload. Thats too long. Can’t you cache that listing?
Thats not what I thought would happen. I hit the address on a listing and took me to map, thats cool but I wasn’t expecting that since the text didn’t look like a link. Now I have to wait while listings reload. If it’s a link make it look like a button or a text link.
Colors and animations are meaningful. What do the discount text colors mean? Why did it change from green to orange to red? Confusing how the whole screen swipes when I hit a discount level change- just a popup is less jarring.
Easier interfaces. I wanted to reserve for that evening but the quarter-hour jumps took a long time to adjust. A barrel or drop down interface would be easier to adjust for larger time increments. Can you even reserve for the next day?
Push Notifications. I loved the countdown to when I would hear back about my request, but then I put down my phone and did something else. I should have gotten a push notification on my lock screen that my reservation was accepted. Once I know I’m in, I’ll want to maybe add it to my calendar and text the deets to my pals. When I open the app after I’ve secured a request it should default to my upcoming reservations. Why else would I be opening the app again?
Enable sharing via text and facebook. I want to text the reservation time and location to my guest. But the share to facebook button wanted to post an ad. When the meal was over I wanted to give a shout out to the restaurant and the app but there was no button. I see I have a special code to Share the Love but you’ve given me no method to do so?
Grow your list. Add a line at the end of your listings, something like, “Is the place you want not here? Ask them to join Requested.” Then you can prove to restaurants that they are missing out.
Solicit feedback. I remember seeing a place to give feedback, but now I can’t find it again. You have a prime chance after they make or use a reservation. Ask how it went via a single text field or 1-5 star rating.
Use Consistent Branding and Colors. There is no logo on the opening screen. The colors are a bit plain, a less fleshy accent may brighten things up. The gray headers in the setting screen are hard to distinguish from the content. Try developing some accent designs or a logo graphic to visually distinguish and reinforce the brand.
333333 | WHITE | E55E5C | DED092 | 6E6952
Give it more Personality. Tone and verbiage is inconsistent. Sometimes it was formal, sometimes casual and hipster-ish.
|Instead of …||Try saying…|
|Loading Places||Finding you the best spots…|
|For Better Odds “+” More Places||Make ‘em fight for you, add [+] more restaurants.|
|Could not reset badge count, please give it another go.||[ Nothing. What does this mean? ]|
|Geolocation Failed||Turn on your geolocation for spots nearby.|
|Invite your friends to join Requested and they’ll get $10 towards their first Request and you’ll get $10 too!||Loving Requested? Shout it out and you all get $10 credit!|
|Hi Heather!I’d like to personally welcome you to Requested, the app where you can name your own price at restaurants you’ll love. We’re here to make dining out fun and affordable for you and your friends. Here’s how to get started:
If you have any questions or feedback, please feel free to contact me.
Welcome to Requested Heather!
Want to snag a table at the best spots in town – and request a discount? Easy.
We’ve worked hard to build Requested. I want to hear what you think. .