If you’re just joining us within our design thinking series, we recommend starting your reading at our first post, Design Thinking Exercise in Real-World Application. There, we cover the purpose behind our team’s design thinking, empathy-building experience.

Specifically, this article will cover the challenge, insights and recommendations of Persona C, Jennifer: 35-year-old office worker going somewhere new for lunch (walking).

The challenge

In this challenge, Persona C was a 35-year-old woman who worked in the area and was looking for a new place to eat lunch. Given that Persona C and her co-worker Persona D only had an hour for lunch and parking is difficult on Mill Ave, they needed a quick lunch option they could walk to from their office.

To find something local, they used two different restaurant apps. Along with dietary restrictions, time and distance were the two biggest factors in the decision. While the apps could tell them how far the restaurant was, average dining time was more difficult to determine.

The insights

Ultimately, Persona C chose a small non-chain restaurant that a past reviewer said was fast; a crucial factor for both personas. This led to the following insights:

  • When pressed for time, users look for quick options.
  • While there is a plethora of information on food quality, menus, parking, locations, etc. there is nothing to tell users how long they can expect their dining experience to last.

The solution

A simple solution for this conundrum would involve adding a feature to existing mobile applications, like Yelp. This addition would measure the dining experience length at any given restaurant.

This addition would be a simple fix to Persona C’s frustrations. When a user leaves a review, or checks in to a restaurant, they’ll be given a multiple-choice list of times to choose from: less than 30 minutes, 30-40 minutes, 40-50 minutes, 50-60 minutes, 60+ minutes. These times represent how long the user took at each restaurant. The application can then display the average amount of time chosen by all users, breaking it out by time of day. This information will give users an idea of how long their meal might take.

In addition to lunchtime diners on a clock, this addition to a mobile application may also be helpful to evening diners who may have other restrictions, such as a movie time or a babysitter.

In conclusion

As we noted earlier, it is practice that makes perfect. Practice, not just in the sense of using design thinking skills, but in experiencing the results of design thinking and building confidence in the fact that they do indeed often, if not in general, lead to unforeseen insights and solutions.