STARTUPS, TECHNOLOGY

An Engineering View of Zomato

 

view my food journey on zomato!

 

This is me on Zomato. And like the widget says I’m a big foodie.

Frankly I don’t really like apps that ask me to do stuff like take pictures of the food I’m eating, or rate the place I’m eating at, or post reviews about the place etc., I really only use such apps for place discovery and rating. I’m not really a participant. You could call me a leecher in torrent parlance – but thats slowly changing with zomato. I really find it useful to read reviews and ratings on restaurants and want to give back to the community.

Things I love about Zomato.com – the website:

1.) The UI and UX – Probably one of the best websites out there. Everything you need is right there where you need it to be. Clean, neat, great!

2.) Collections and suggested searches- Yes I might not want to search a lot of the times , I’d rather see a list of the highest rated places depending . Mine and Spock’s favorite collection is “Pet friendly”.

3.) Speed dial – Yep, this is a life saver. Particularly in a startup where I work, with no catering, I just call up someone from the speed dial and have food ordered.

4.) Turn off the background lights on clicking  the menu – nice(small things matter) 😀

Things I dont like on the site:

1.) Gamification – Yes its the ‘in’ thing, and drives user engagement, but for me gamifying food reviews doesn’t make too much sense unless there is an incentive for large scale gamification. And really gamification shouldn’t drive reviews which can easily go haywire(Yelp anyone?), whereas good reviews should drive the site. The good thing is that everything is modded, but that system needs to improve.

2.) Numerical rating system – I understand the logic behind having this, but quite literally . I dont know whether Sattvam, a place I went Earlier is 3.5 or 4.0 . No real objective way for me to rate. My suggestion, do A/B testing with a 5 star feature, and also with one with no decimals points. And get feedback. Rating systems are hard to master.

3.) A bit too ballsy marketing campaigns – Hit/Miss as we know by now. Generally, mathematically, misses are costlier.

What’s missing:

1.) Open tables like reservation system – If I am going to use the website religiously, I need to be able to reserve tables in crowded restaurants for sure.

2.) Offers Zone – Hey if you are going to have a website on which are the best restaurants might as well tell me where I might get a good offer tonight.

 

Things I love about  Zomato – the android app:

1.) Again great UI/UX , The app is very very neat, and it shows you everything you need on the front page. Plus on a slow connection it still manages to pull through, though its quite image heavy

2.) Nearby – Of course, you gotta love this one. Very accurate, which is the biggest need of this feature.

 Things I hate about the app:

1.) Nothing yet really. Maybe it needs the old splash screen image back, but thats about it 😀

Whats missing:

From a UX standpoint, for the android app,  I’d love to have the complete restaurant experience with Zomato app. i.e. Search for a great restaurant that suits my needs(or better yet, suggest them to me based on maybe my mood), tell friends about it and make plans, Reserve tables at the restaurant, Split bills with my friends and see who owes who and what, rate and review the restaurant once done.  This is where maybe Zomato should head towards in my opinion. Not just another Yelp wannabe.

So there. I’m not an iOS User, but I’m planning to make the transition at some point this year, so no inputs there.

Disclaimer: This post is only 20% motivated by the prize.

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