Designing and developing Yodle Restaurants was a great experience and provided an opportunity to touch every part of a project from start to finish. I learned a lot along the way and the product continues to be successful.
The project started with an iPad application for capturing restaurant reviews and was eventually developed into a client dashboard for review monitoring, configuring the reviews website widget, and promotion distribution. The final piece created was the marketing website, used to drive sign-ups as well as give users a sense of the caliber of the product before using it.
We needed the identity of Yodle Restaurants to feel branded under the Yodle umbrella, but stand out as it’s own entity. By keeping with the same primary blue and adding our new friend “Hans the Yodeler”, we arrived at a unique treatment that works really well as a brand mark and standalone app icon.
The core focus of the application is to capture reviews with as few screens as possible. In addition to capturing reviews, it was also important to be able to track whom was collecting reviews. Within the dashboard, review collectors are managed and progress reports are sent to managers, by simply tapping the restaurant logo, a dropdown becomes available to switch between multiple users.
The secondary screens are focused on administrative interactions — specifically logging into the appropriate restaurant (many restaurants have multiple locations they can track using a single login). The other specific task the app does is allows staff to track promotions.
Typically, customers receive promotional emails offering discounts. The app doesn’t tie into POS systems, so having a way to track which promotions have actually been activated and pushing those results to the dashboard was crucial.
The client dashboard was one of the most intricate parts of the project. Two variations of the dashboard were created — one for restaurant managers (the ‘blue’ dashboard) to interact with reviews — and a second variation (the ‘gray’ dashboard) used by Yodle to manage individual restaurant accounts. They are visually similar but serve very different purposes.
The client dashboard is predominantly about reviews, so we made it easy to sort, filter and interact with reviews straight from the overview page. Often managers will try to reach out to customers who left a negative review and find out more information. Customers can continue communicating with managers through email and the whole conversation gets pushed to the dashboard for history.
The admin dashboard is for getting an overview of all account activity and associated devices. Because Yodle manages every iPad that goes out with device-specific credentials, a representative can deactivate a faulty device or help manage device operators. Another really useful customer service feature of this dashboard is that there is a quick access button to log-in to a customer’s account to help with troubleshooting.
The emphasis of the marketing was to focus on users interacting with the product using different devices. While the application is for iPad only, the dashboards are fully responsive and can be installed on a device as a web-app.