OpenTable, a member of The Priceline Group, is the world's leading provider of online restaurant reservations, seating more than 20 million diners per month via online bookings across more than 38,000 restaurants. The OpenTable network connects restaurants and diners, helping diners discover and book the perfect table and helping restaurants deliver personalized hospitality to keep guests coming back.

My Role

Senior Experience Designer, OpenTable, 2016

The Challenge

Market and customer demand were driving the need for OpenTable to expand into the casual dining market.

This feature required constant communication between design, development, and management because we were rethinking the entire business and development model for OpenTable. Sketching on whiteboards created transparency and trust.

The Solution

In 1999, OpenTable started serving a limited number of restaurants in San Francisco by providing online restaurant reservations. By 2015, OpenTable had grown to serve more than 32,000 restaurants in 8 countries. This growth, along with a growing casual dining market, created a demand for a service that allowed diners to join a restaurant’s waitlist.

OpenTable user profile
The final product allowed diners to join the waitlist before arriving at the restaurant, see their wait time, and when their table was available.
The join the waitlist feature was a major update to the OpenTable app. It required my team to think about how each workflow and component in OpenTable might be affected.
Often there were several different ways a problem could be solved. Quickly sketching the options allowed the team to move quickly without investing too much time or energy into design and development.
OpenTable waitlist collection on iOS
A collection was created to make it easier for diners to discover restaurants that offered the waitlist service.
Variations of OpenTable search on iOS
Diners could also search for restaurants using the "now" time parameter to discover what the current wait was at restaurants that offered the waitlist service.
OpenTable restaurant profile on iOS
Restaurants could offer several services including reservations only, waitlist only, or waitlist and reservations. Each page of the booking process required several variations to be designed as shown here with the restaurant profile.
OpenTable reservation details on iOS
As the diner completed the booking process they could enter special requests, similar to the booking flow for reservations.
OpenTable dining mode expanded in iOS
After joining the waitlist the diner could see their wait time, when their table was available, and when their visit was confirmed.
OpenTable dining mode collapsed in iOS
If the diner needed to continue to use OpenTable, the information about their wait could be minimized.
OpenTable user profile
It was also important for diners to distinguish between waitlist appointments and reservations in their dining history because waitlist appointments were not elligible for dining points.
OpenTable waitlist on web
The waitlist service was also extended to web so the diner could join the waitlist from any browser. For example, the diner can join the waitlist from their laptop in the office.
OpenTable mobile web
After the diner joins the waitlist on the web they receive a text message on their phone. That allows them to continue to track their waitlist visit while traveling to the restaurant.
After the waitlist service was released to the web and iOS I also designed the waitlist service for Android. This required some visual changes to fit within Google’s Material Design guidelines. I worked with developers and product managers to produce a set of designs and animations for each stage of the service.