Restaurant Technologies

With 17,000 customer sites and a sea of data, this client needed a human-centered approach to designing a digital platform to help customers optimize operations.

Restaurant Technologies, Inc. (RTI) works with restaurants across the U.S. automating the storage, handling and disposal of frying oil, with plans to expand into total operations management. With over 17,000 customer sites, RTI produces a huge quantity of data on a daily basis. While their team expertly manages all of this information, RTI needed help synthesizing it into a clear digital format for restaurateurs to easily access, understand and take action.

Azul Seven was asked to help RTI redesign the product interface that would allow clients to better remotely manage their oil intake, outtake and filtration systems. As we began to craft a solution, we realized that the product requirements needed more clarification. In order to successfully operate such a complex system of data input and user permissions, we worked with the RTI team to identify concrete business rules that the tool would follow. Using an iterative human-centered design process, we worked through potential scenarios and adjusted the design to meet newly recognized demands.

Once requirements were defined, we worked to clarify and simplify RTI’s interface, using user-friendly data visualization techniques. We uncovered what was most important to the user in a sea of data and presented it in a simple to understand, intuitive to find manner. Our design team continued to improve the experience by designing an interface that updated the RTI look and feel, while creating a clean visual context that complemented, rather than competed with, the data visualization system. The design also offered flexibility to accommodate future system requirements as RTI’s offerings expand.

Azul Seven also designed specific tools, like a filtration monitor. Users needed to quickly drill down into data and identify areas of non-compliance at any given restaurant. This element had been redesigned and developed by multiple teams previously, without complete success. Applying our knowledge of the system and data visualization techniques, we were able to solve the challenge and develop the filtration tool to meet user needs.

Not only did we need to consider the function of the tool as it exists today, but we also needed to account for model changes in RTI’s future, as it shifts to total operations management. Our platform followed a component-based architecture in which various pieces of the system can be lifted out and replaced without disrupting the overall operation. These components can be replicated as the system expands, to include new tools and content. To help the RTI team with implementation and development on the back end, the Azul Seven IA team created a detailed site map, wireframes and page archetypes.

One of the higher level outcomes of this project was a shift in RTI’s workflow approach. Starting with a project-focused system, they began to think of their work more in terms of product development cycles. With this perspective, products and services are continuously improved and refined with consideration for future growth.

  • Research
  • Digital Business Strategy
  • Service Strategy
  • 
User Experience Design
  • User Interface Design
  • Interaction Design
  • 
Content Strategy

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