Designing Zomato Community:


This is a personal project. While working on this project, I was not affiliated with Zomato.

Zomato is an Indian multinational restaurant aggregator and food delivery company.

“Zomato community is an online community of foodies and restaurants.

Zomato community is a conceptual feature on zomato’s app that would help users get food recommendations quickly. I believe that it would also increase food sales on Zomato. You can post pictures or videos of the food you ordered and give your opinion. You can also purchase the food item directly from there and learn about famous dishes in your area.

How did I come up with this idea?

Me and my friends have always struggled with getting proper food recommendations. We explore social media, read articles and contact our other friends who have been to a new restaurant in search of getting reliable recommendations for food in our locality. Therefore, I felt the need for a social media platform for foodies. The cherry on the cake would be the option to order food instantly from the same platform.

  • Seeing posts on social media creates cravings for food. –
  • Zomato cannot use the browsing data of customers to provide better food recommendations and custom ads for users. Therefore, having a food community of their own is more relevant than ever.
  • Social media influencers affect what we eat.
  • People might be hesitant about ordering food from newly opened restaurants. So, validation from other foodies would help them in making a choice.

1) User Survey- It helped me to identify the pain points of users and the dilemma of choices they have to navigate through while ordering food.

In order to understand the pain points of users and analyze their food ordering patterns, I conducted a survey using Google forms. I got 175 responses and here is the conclusion of the survey:

  • Frequent users like to explore new options, including ordering from their favourite restaurants or cloud kitchens.

Frequent users look for new food options in their locality by:

  • Recommendations from friends
  • Exploring Social Media
  • From Google
  • By checking ratings of restaurants and food items

Pain point identified: People have to browse through multiple apps just to get food recommendations.

Infrequent users don’t like to order food online because:

  • They want to dine in instead of ordering online — 42%
  • They were not aware of good restaurants/ cloud kitchens in their locality — 10.1%
  • Confused because of so many options — 8.7%
  • No service of online food delivery in their locality — 27.5%

(Zomato community would also make infrequent users use the app more to browse through food choices in the locality)

To view the full results of the survey click here.

Snippets from the survey

This survey was really helpful in identifying the Pain Point of users and the dilemma of choices they have to go through while ordering food.

2) User Interviews- It didn’t add much value to my project as I didn’t interview a larger set of users.

In order to understand zomato’s users better, I conducted user interviews with 4 people (2 Frequent Users — 1 student & 1 working professional; 2 Infrequent Users — 1 student & 1 working professional). Here are the important pointers which I concluded from the interactions:

  • Users follow local food bloggers for food recommendations.
  • Users watch YouTube videos to find out about popular food choices in town.
  • Users surf the internet to learn about popular and delicious food choices in the locality.
  • Users feel the urge to order food after seeing posts/ videos on social media.
  • Social media ads for newly opened restaurants in town attract users.
  • Social media advertisements for local restaurants offering discounts attract users.

It’s not easy to come up with valid assumptions just by talking to 4 people. I felt strongly that the Zomato community would help those users make better food choices. It would also encourage Infrequent users to browse Zomato Community’s feed for food recommendations. This step didn’t add much value to my project and I felt that I should have interviewed a more extensive set of users to draw any meaningful assumptions.

3) User Personas & User Journey Map

In order to understand the food delivery app users, I created two personas and mapped out their Journey of ordering food online.

Creating a user journey map helped me understand the steps and processes a user walks through while ordering food online. It also helped me to look at the problem from the perspective of different users.

  • For food recommendations, people gather information from social media and blogs. Then they have to open Zomato/Swiggy to order food. So, this is a multi-step process and the task of ordering food is generally not done using a single platform.

Zomato Community would allow foodies to get food recommendations as well as order food without leaving the Zomato app.

  • Using the Zomato/Swiggy app is not as exciting as Instagram or Facebook. If people spend more time inside the Zomato app browsing through the community feed, they’ll be more likely to order food online.

Zomato Community would make the app more fun and exciting to use.

Zomato follows the Atomic Design methodology by Brad Frost and mapped it in their design system spectrum. I tried to replicate the same Design System to make Zomato Community so it looks like a part of Zomato’s app.

After trying different iterations and experiments, I finalised the following designs.

Zomato Community’s Home Page:

Pop-up screen when someone taps on a post or on the order now button:

Profile page of normal users, influencers and restaurants:

New post screen which appears when a user presses the floating “+” icon on the first page of the Zomato community:

You can view the full prototype of the Zomato Community by clicking here.

  1. Brainstorming sessions really helped me come up with features for the Zomato community tab.
  2. Multiple iterations were also really helpful in coming up with new ideas. I also felt that I should have done more iterations to improve the overall design and features of the community tab.
  3. I strongly believe that adding a community tab to Zomato’s app would be really worthwhile for both users and Zomato.

Read the full article here

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