First things first, I love Zomato! As a food-lover (understatement), Zomato is one of my top most used app (we love eating out, trying and reviewing new places)on my Phone and needlessly to say is on my home screen.

A lot of things they have done and continue to do, are very well executed as far as Food-discovering and Food-ordering goes.

Though there is one thing which always causes me a lot of friction and then and there I decide, let me give it a try and see how can I make it better.

That thing is when I want to know the prices of Buffet.

Earlier there weren’t too many slabs for Buffet prices, but now the Restaurants wants to capitalize on each variable (which day people eat out more, what time) and hence the amount of slabs they have introduced is crazy.

And in this post I present a few options which I have explored.

So lets have a look at how it is currently (both Android and iOS) –

So what exactly is the problem, you may ask.

Let me give you a use-case, or rather make it two –

  1. I want to see today’s prices. First I have to spend a few seconds recalling what day is today and then read a lot (Amount, Day, Time, Veg/Non Veg, etc) of the above to figure out which one is applicable to me.
  2. I want to see price of Buffet lets say over the weekend. Again, a lot (Amount, Day, Time, Veg/Non Veg, etc)to read over and figure out what exactly will be the price.

The problem in my view is that the way the layout and information is design is driven by the amount as a category. Whereas it should be driven by the day as that is what most (assumption) users would first scan by.

Think for a moment what info would you filter first till you can find the amount. For me it is (sequentially) —

Day then Veg/Non-Veg then Time

But in the above, the first filter/category is price which is irrelevant at first sight as I am yet to filter further whether that price is for the Day, Veg/Non-Veg and so on.

If the prices were in ascending order, one may extrapolate that high prices imply its for weekends and for Non-Veg, but again its entirely possible that a price for a Thursday Non-Veg Buffet is more than the price for a Veg Buffet on a Friday. Or that the price of a Veg Buffet for Saturday Dinner is more than the price for a Non-Veg Buffet on Monday Dinner. So this won’t really solve the problem.

So what will?

I do not have a definite answer, though let me take you through some of the design explorations I have done —

  1. Option-1

    This is the least change which can immediately help in helping the user to scan the info faster.
    So as a user, avoid RED if you are a Veg person and focus only on RED if you looking for Non-Veg prices.

  2. Option-2

    A continuation of the above, there is a color even for Veg which to me feels more complete.

  3. Option-3

    This was the first ever design which came to mind. Looks way too cluttered.
  4. Option-4

    To reduce clutter, I chose a card-based layout where each day is a different card. And to highlight what day is today, added a ‘Today’ next to the Day. Looks less cluttered than the previous one, though not quite for it.

  5. Option-5

    Similar to the previous one, the text is now colored based on Veg or Non-Veg to further help to scan the information.
  6. Option-6

    Here information is separated by Days, where one can see one day at a time. And Today is highlighted. Each Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner is a separate card and Veg and Non-Veg is separated.To see Previous and Next day one can swipe on either direction or tap the Day on top.

  7. Option-7

    Same as above, instead of “Today” it shows the Day and is highlighted.
    I am gravitating towards the previous one more as I don’t need to remember what day is today as it shows Today, assuming I am looking to dine-out today.

  8. Option-8

    Here I have chosen simple Text instead of Card for Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner, it looks much simpler and easy to read. Besides the first two options, this one is my preference if I had to re-design.

    Let me know which design you would have gone for or have something else in mind to solve this problem.

    As a Product/UX Designer and a food-lover, this was quite fun to give a shot at. 🙂