My Role: product branding, product design, product management, product strategy, interaction design,
Mechanisms used: competitive research, direct customer interviews, A/B testing
Team: 3 designers, 4 backend developers, 3 frontend developers
Enlighton was established to create digital tables for the hospitality industry. The primary goal was to build white-label software that could be easily deployed for existing hardware.
Self-service is becoming more prevalent, but the customer experience in hospitality is flawed. Customers typically had to order from a kiosk or in advance via an app, and then sit at a table. These experiences add technology layers and require more work for people who may not be tech-savvy.
This was no ordinary project. There was no direct competition to study or learn from, and no one on the team had extensive experience developing software for hospitality. We gathered all our assumptions and reached out to our network to conduct generative interviews.
I conducted several rounds of generative interviews to gain a deep understanding of their context by identifying their needs, goals, and pain points. This was done through one-hour long remote and in-person interviews.
I worked behind the bar to better understand how a venue operates.
While the focus remained on building digital tables, we had to build three different apps synchronized through a back office to implement this properly:
Our ecosystem ended up having four products that worked seamlessly together:
The goal was to build a white label app, but our interviews showed us that wasn’t enough. We had to add complexity without adding complexity.
Building a set of prebuilt components that could be activated or deactivated by restaurants. We also decided to build our app menu in a way in which it allows us to add more items, either generating additional revenue for Enlighton through custom development, either by opening web apps through iframes.
The hardware we decided on using is the 55’ 3M digital table. This accommodates 4 people easily and it’s roughly the same size as a regular restaurant table.
The app was designed to have a menu that allows people to use individual apps or together. Venues would get their level of customization not just by changing backgrounds and colors, but also by allowing them to deploy new custom apps over the air.
Venues already have a POS from where they control most of their operations. But, we need a way to allow users to customize the appearance of items on the table.
Building an ecosystem synchronized with POS. When a venue would update their food menu, description or pricing everything will be pushed onto the table. Customers would use Enlighton’s backoffice to add further customization to their food menu (eg pictures) and make adjustments on other items.
As Enlighton’s software was developed in stages, I developed a component system that would allow fast deployment for new features.
Since we’re talking about many apps working in sync, I designed sections for easier access. Also, our clients would be able to focus on some single task at a time.
Digital tables are fun, but they have one big problem. They don’t work well outside or they can’t be cut in 2 to fit that small space in the corner. Mixing self ordering tables with traditional waiter served tables can create an issue with operations.
Offer tablets to customers to order. The software is connected to Enlighton’s already powerful backend, so building an app to allow ordering would not be that hard.
Not everybody wants to use self ordering tools. Some venues take orders at the bar, it’s a bad customer experience for bartenders to hand customers a tablet instead of taking the order directly. We need to close the gap.
We’ve transformed the customer self ordering tablets into tools employees use to take orders. Additionally, we realised we can use these tools to allow the kitchen to notify waiters when an order is ready and offer a unique set of analytics to venues.
Venues recorded an average 34% increase in check size
Advertisers were open to new opportunities, paying for the new technology
Enlighton became MasterCard preferred partner in Europe
Enlighton won Bar Tech’s “Best Use of Technology” Award