Food is at the center of our culture. Free time is limited. For people who value positive experiences while dining out, available tools for finding the right restaurant can be hit or miss. One can ask friends for recommendations, browse websites or randomly choose. For people who travel, or eat out frequently, remembering places they enjoyed or places recommended by friends can be challenging. This process often leads to needless repetition. Once people find a place they enjoy or a dish they like, they tend to visit the same places and order the same things repeatedly. This pattern creates a missed opportunity to experience and explore the world of food fully. SparkEatz believes there is a better way to bring people together around food with less wasted time and frustration.
SparkEatz is an app for finding and celebrating "the very best of food." It's a journal; it's a social network; it's a time saver. SparkEatz allows users to bookmark restaurants they enjoy or want to try. Users can rate the restaurant, specific dishes, and experiences. Reviews can be straightforward or more detailed. When photos are included, SparkEatz feels like a memory book. The ratings and reviews allow users to recall their opinions about restaurants and dishes and keep track of future places to try. SparkEatz Discover also enables users to share experiences with others and view community ratings for restaurants and dishes. Unlike Foursquare or TripAdvisor, a user's own opinion is at the center of SparkEatz. This information considered in context with one's own opinions will allow users to make informed dining decisions and enjoy "the very best of food."
Ever forget what dishes to get or avoid at a restaurant? Or what places your friends have recommended? SparkEatz helps you bookmark places to eat and record your perspective on various dishes. Track your best food experiences and optimize your dining with SparkEatz. – SparkEatz Founder
SparkEatz, engaged Flower Press Creative Studio to design an app to help improve the situation. The initial concept was akin to a food journal so users could more easily document their dining experiences. We started with stakeholder interviews to learn more about how people find, select and remember their experiences at restaurants. Most people relied on memory or notes. Some people kept spreadsheets with long lists of places to try. Everyone acknowledged that a tool to track one's own experiences at restaurants and mark places on a list to try did not yet exist. While Foursquare or TripAdvisor may feel like a proxy for this, they do not keep a user-focused log of places one wishes to visit or has visited. These are public review engines.
Following user interviews, we mapped out the desired experience using a workflow diagram and customer journey map. Once we understood the user path through the tool, we created wireframes and a prototype. Stakeholders reviewed the prototype and demonstrated functionality to end-users.
We worked with the founder to craft the brand identity and color palette. We chose rich orange and blue tones to speak to the experience of being excited about food. We chose a clean, modern font and icon style which pairs well with food photography. We also created custom onboarding illustrations to introduce users to the application and features within it. Once visual designs were completed, the founder, an engineer by trade, built the app using React Native. We conducted regular reviews and provided design guidance throughout the app's creation to ensure that everything was uniform, consistent, and easy to use.
SparkEatz launched in the app store recently and showed high reviews. SparkEatz Discover will expand social sharing features within SparkEatz so users can explore other people's experiences. We expect to see big things from SparkEatz as they get more attention from the community.
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