Requested App Pivots and Updates Tone and Voice

Over the summer I wrote an analysis  of an app called Requested. The app did many things well but it could do better. I was honored to be hired by Requested to help them refine the way they talk to and interact with their customers. Here’s what we did…

Define the Brand Persona

The brand already had some hints at a persona based on the folks behind the scenes, it just need put to paper and spread to throughout the growing team and their daily initiatives. We started by talking basics…

What is Requested?

We went through some very basic branding exercises…

  • What does your company do?
    Helps restaurants fill seats with patrons, Helps diners make reservations at a discount or priority.
  • Why do people visit your app/website?
    To book a reservation at a discount, to pay online, to pay more for a table when it’s busy.
  • If your brand were a person, how would you describe him or her?
    Confident, outgoing, clever, knowledgeable, hip, fun, sexy, sassy, thrifty, selective, a trendsetter, disruptor, leader.
  • How do you want people to feel when they visit your app/site?
    Taken care of, special, in the know, capable, delighted, like they saved time and know a secret, hip and cool.

This But Not That…

I really like this easy exercise! I came up with a number of this but not that statements and the team chose the ones that fit best.

  • expert but not bossy
  • clever but not exclusive
  • confident but not arrogant
  • cool but not alienating
  • outgoing but not annoying
  • powerful but not complicated
  • informal but not sloppy
  • helpful but not overbearing
  • informed but not boastful

Who is Requested like?

Imagine your brand as a  person… what comes to mind? Here are some responses from the team:

Someone who knows where the best deals at the best places are. Someone who you’d love to go out with. Someone who makes you try new things, and you never regret it.

Hella talented, serious when need be, funny and self effacing at times, and spanning generations, still getting the youth, but titillating the moms  too. And confident, no matter what anyone says.

What famous people embody this?

  • George Clooney
  • Jimmy Fallon
  • Jack Black with a touch of James Bond
  • Russell Brand
  • Justin Timberlake

Value Proposition

This has shifted again after the branding redesign, but here are the ones we dreamed up.

  • Your Table Is Ready. Snag a deal, skip the line and pay on your phone at the best places in town.
  • Your table is ready.    “Skip the line, pay on your phone at awesome restaurants.”
  • Requested allows you to choose an awesome restaurant, Enjoy, Save and Pay  with two clicks
  • The right table at the right price. Simple reservation and payment through your phone.

Content Tone & Voice

“Our voice makes us unique, and our tone makes us sound like humans.” – Kate Kiefer Lee

This is where the real work came in. I went through every screen of the app, every page of the website, every text message, email notification, app store screen, and dialog message and compiled them all in one document. I numbered each screen for reference and in some key screens hypothesized how the user might be feeling, then made suggestions on content and layout to improve the user experience. Here’s some before and after shots to illustrate. Keep in mind they were also in the middle of a significant change in their model, from an auction-style request to a set discount based on time. In every release they update the look and feel too so the results are dramatic.

Screenshot 2015-10-28 16.32.15

Removed the instructions since there was no longer an auction for the table (just preset discount amounts for reservation windows). They updated the colors and layout to show the discount or priority pricing.

 

Screenshot 2015-10-28 16.33.02

We simplified the profile screen by regrouping and moving some settings elsewhere.

 

Screenshot 2015-10-28 16.32.32

Perhaps in the works is to allow a user to book the same reservation again and share the reservation details with others in their party. I also suggested adding the total they paid and they discount received for reference.

 

Screenshot 2015-10-28 16.32.23

The Book it Now! button is a favorite of mine. I love the clear call to action to confirm the details of the booking.

Closing Thoughts

The Requested team is on fire! They move so fast its dizzying. I was honored to hop in there for a bit this summer and connect some dots on the voice, tone and user experience side of the house. Since they released their new branding things have really taken off. If you haven’t tried the app, please do, it’s great.

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