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Sushi Sakura App

Reservation App with special instructions.

Enable users to address issues such as wheelchair-accessible seating options and modifications to existing reservations.

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Project Overview


  • To design an app that allows customers to easily make reservations with special requests.

  • To design a solution that simplifies and creates ease in reservations for special requests.

The Challenge

The challenge was to understand the users ideal reservation and to implement those options in the design.

The Result

I was able to incorporate both the restaurant’s needs and the customers’ needs by conducting a total of three usability testing sessions.

My Role

  • UX/UI Designer

  • UX Researcher

  • Solo student project for Google UX Certificate Course

3 months, October - January, 2022

The Problem

The customers are very picky when making a reservation

The customers might make multiple special requests, anything from the location of their table to a birthday dessert surprise. The restaurant needs to ensure that the staff do not forget the customers’ requests.


Special request option for an ideal reservation

The Sushi Sakura App will allow users to input any special request—for example, letting the restaurant know if it's for a special occasion or choosing the exact table location.

Reservation reminder


modify-and-cancel button.

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Account page  includes all the   information users will need on the day of the reservation.

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Special requests for users who have specific needs.

Like buttons for users to see what is popular.

Design Process

From the initial research through the final solution, user testing on people who frequently make reservations was key to my process.

👇 Click on a process below to skip👇

1. Research

  • User Research

  • User Interviews

  • Affinity Map

  • Competitive Analysis

2. Define

  • User Needs & Insights

  • Defining Problems &

  • Solutions

  • User Persona

3. Ideate

  • User Flow

  • Low-fidelity wireframes

  • Usability Testing


4. Usability Testing & Prototype

  • Style Guide

  • High-Fidelity Wireframes

  • Usability Testing

  • Prototype


User Research

Understanding the users’ ideal reservation

I interviewed eight participants, ages 24 to 60, to understand the common challenges people face when making a reservation when they have a special request. Adding to my personal experience of being a waitress at a sushi restaurant, I was able to understand more about what features customers found most helpful, as well as their frustrations.

Target participant characteristics:

  • Ages 21-60

  • People who make restaurant reservations at at least once a week

  • People who book large parties

User Research Results

87% of users wanted a good table location for an ideal reservation

After gathering 80-plus data points, I was able to identify frustrations and needs during the process of making a reservation at a restaurant.

Common customers’ needs:

  • Choosing your own table (Seating location—how big the table is to how quiet the table is) 

  • Easy to modify reservation

  • Notification if the reservation is delayed

  • Special requests for birthdays and celebrations


Competitive Analysis

Reservation Apps in the market

I researched two groups of competitors: 1. Reservation apps for any restaurant, such as Open Table, and 2. Sushi restaurant reservation apps, such as Nobu and Kura Sushi. My goal was to understand the information architecture and market design trends for reservation apps.

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Defining the Problem

Identifying and prioritizing pain points

From the user interviews, I was able to pinpoint four major problems the users were facing.

Location of Table

All interviewees mentioned how important the table location is.

Delayed Reservation

Customers get  frustrated when their reservation is delayed and the restaurant does not notify them.

Special Reques

Requests, such as having a birthday surprise at the table, are often forgotten by staff.

Changing Reservation

Many said it is hard to make changes to online reservations.

User Persona

Meet Tiffany!

Using the findings, I created a user persona named Tiffany. Tiffany is a young adult and knows how to use technology very well. She has a short attention span and is a perfectionist, so the more that she can quickly customize her reservation the better.

Ideating the Solution

User Flow

Mapping out Tiffany's experience

I created a main user flow for Tiffany's reservation experience. Later, this will be used in my usability testing.

Low-Fidelity Wireframes

Wireframing the main user flow

I created the low-fidelity wireframes based on customers’ needs that were confirmed through the user research.

What customers are looking for BEFORE making a reservation:

  • Choosing your own table (Seating location/how big the table is)

  • Special Request: Notify the restaurant about birthdays and other celebrations.

  • Special request for customer needs.

  • Select table and occasion

What customers are looking for AFTER making a reservation:

  • Modify reservation easily

  • Notification when reservation is delayed

  • Directions to the restaurant

  • Restaurant address

  • Cancel-and-Modify button

Reservation Page

Special request for customer needs.

Select table and occasion

Confirmation Page

Restaurant address

Cancel and Modify button

Usability Study

Testing the low-fidelity wireframes

I conducted a usability test on six participants for the low-fidelity wireframe. I categorized the users’ comments and created an Empathy Map. Then I used the categories to generate insights.

Task #1: Make a reservation.
Task #2: Modify your reservation.
Task #3: From the home page, cancel your reservation.
Task #4: Find the direction to the restaurant.


Finding 1:
I observed that five out of six participants had trouble finding the “cancel” button from the homepage. This means that the cancel button is hard to find from the home page for almost all users.

Finding 2:
 I observed that two out of six participants had trouble finding the directions. This means that some users are unsure where to look for directions.

Finding 3:

I observed that one out of six participants had  a little difficulty finding how to “modify” the reservation. This means that a few users don't think to scroll when looking for the modify button.

Possible Solutions

Solution 1:
The cancel button should be in the reservation tab.


Solution 2:
Make the direction button more visible on the home tab and put directions under the upcoming reservation.

Solution 3:
Move the modify button higher on the reservation confirm page, include an arrow that shows users to scroll

Usability Testing & Prototype

Usability Study

Improving usability in my designs and testing the solutions

From the usability testing on the low-fidelity wireframes, I was able to improve my high-fidelity designs. After creating the high-fidelity mockups, I conducted another usability testing to make sure the problems were fixed.


It was observed that 5 out of 6 participants had trouble finding the “cancel” button from the homepage.

After change:
It was observed that 0 out of 6 participants had trouble completing the task.

Before usability study #1

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Added a notification reminder of the reservation on the home screen so users will not miss it.

Before usability study #1

It was observed that 2 out of 6 participants had trouble finding the directions.

After change:
It was observed that 0 out of 6 participants had trouble.

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By adding the address on the account page, all the information the user needs will be in one place when the reservation day comes.

Before usability study #2

It was observed that 2 out of 6 participants did not open the “special request” tab when making a reservation.

After change:
It was observed that 0 out of 6 participants had trouble.

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Have the “special request” tab open when user first clicks on reservation.

High-Fidelity Mockups

High-fidelity mockups and Prototype

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Takeaways + Next Steps

Next Steps for my old employer at a sushi restaurant.

Since I was a waitress at a sushi restaurant and I also took reservations over the phone, I was able to incorporate both the restaurant needs and the customers needs by conducting usability testing. I will be showing the prototype to the sushi restaurant I used to work at and get feedback. I am excited to hear what they will think about this reservation app!

1. Research
2. Define
4. Prototype
3. Ideate

Thank you for your time on reviewing my work on
Reservation App Design!

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