Google & IBM Design Challenges

1 week projects that I worked on during my job application process. (Both "passed")

Duration: 1 week

Partners: None, individual

My Role: UX Research, UX Design, Visual Design


Google Design Challenge - Restaurant System


The prompt of this 1 week individual project was to create a way for diners to submit positive comments and constructive suggestions for wait staff, and allow servers to use this feedback to both improve and help to secure new employment


After reading the prompt, I thought about what customers would currently rate the service based on, what waiters would really need feedback on (or do they already know what they should / shouldn’t do and it’s just a matter of motivation), and what would help make the customers’ experiences better so that their positivity is reflected in the reviews of the wait staff. I didn't want to create a stand-alone app, but to have the ratings be seamlessly integrated into a system that would fit into an improved restaurant experience.

Research & Analysis

To gain a better understanding of the problem space, I did some online research about general problems associated with waitressing. I then used this research to craft survey questions that I sent out to customers and wait staff. I also interviewed 5 waiters and 1 manager to get a more personal understanding of their needs. I synthesized my research by going through these interviews and surveys, jotting down some key points, and then affinity grouping these insights. The green post-its are waiter pain points, the orange post-its are customer pain points, and the pink post-its are potential opportunities.

Some key insights from my research:


They don’t give us the opportunity to correct a problem. We could cook it again, or get them something else but if they don’t say it, then we can’t fix it.

Customers get frustrated but we’re not cooking the food and can’t decide how long it takes.

Sometimes they don’t acknowledge me when I go to the table. Mutual respect would be good.

We’re trying to get to people as fast as possible, not purposefully ignoring anyone.

Since these problems occur during different stages of the meal service, I decided to map out the whole customer journey to identify where and how interventions can be made.

Existing User Journey
Solution Development

My solution solves the key findings from my research by tying together the identified opportunity points. It builds customer / host(waiter) relationships via repeat service, increased understanding, reduced impolite waiter-calling, and reduced errors. It improves the restaurant experience for the customer via reduced wait times, meal service transparency, meeting food expectations, and easy bill splitting and paying. Customers can easily rate and give suggestions to hosts at the end of their meal, which syncs to the host's online profile, boosting morale and helping them secure new employment.

User Flow
After making a solution journey map, I made a user flow to sort out the details of how all the digital parts would work together. I thought through how each type of user would go through the onboarding process, and how the in-restaurant system would look at each user interaction throughout the meal.
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If I had additional time to improve this project, I would:

IBM Design Challenge - Craigslist Furniture Shopping


The prompt of this 1 week individual project was to create a better shopping experience for students who want to buy furniture on Craigslist. I thought about what currently is wrong with the furniture shopping experience, what needs students specifically have (vs. other furniture shoppers), and what I could do to Craigslist to make it work for students but work equally well for other user groups.


My brief research yielded these main takeaways:

I wanted to find out if and how Craigslist deals with the above needs and problems, and did a task analysis.


I observed a user (who doesn't use Craigslist) browse and pretend to buy furniture, before going through the buying & selling processes myself. I wanted to see if the current Craigslist is difficult to use according to the research findings, and also see what other problems I should solve in my redesign. The red post-it notes are painpoints that I identified, and based on my previous research takeaways, only the "price" was presented by Craigslist.

Solution Development

I thought about all the goals that people have while furniture shopping (online or in-store) and how Craigslist can help users accomplish those goals. As I was making the user flows and wireframes, I referred back to this map to make sure I successfully incorporated all the key points.

User Flow
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If you have any questions about my process or design, I'm always happy to chat! (Ask me how I managed to do half of this project while on vacation in Mexico!) :)