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UX + UI: Family Style

Mobile app design


Family Style is a mobile app designed to take the pain out of organizing a group of people to go out to eat together. 

It combines the convenience of showing all the invitees the selected restaurant and menu, while giving the host an easy way to track RSVPs. 

In addition, Family Style allows users to make new friends via communal dining: Users can view the brief profiles of other users of the app, and invite them to dinner. Invitees can accept or decline an invitation in one tap. 

Family Style is the place to get dinner with old friends, and make new ones. 


Young, sociable smartphone users who love going out to eat


  • Perform user research to determine needs

  • Sketch, wireframe and design the app from scratch


  • Concept, Industry Research, User Research, Sitemap, User Flow, Sketching, Wireframing (and testing), User Interface (UI) Design, Mockups, Prototyping (and testing).


  • Keynote, Photoshop

market Research and Scoping

The initial scope of this project was simply to find an easier way for users to find and book restaurant reservations. Users reported that they defaulted to Yelp, OpenTable and Urbanspoon because are the only restaurant-finding resources they know about, aside from general Google searches.

Overall, users seemed satisfied with their experiences in these apps, particularly Yelp and Open Table. But in my research, there was a big surprise that significantly impacted this app’s concept, scope and design.

Through talking to users, I uncovered an often-ignored pain point, a problem that’s hiding in plain sight.


User Research

In my in-person user interviews, my  research revealed that finding and booking a restaurant was actually pretty easy. 

The most unique hassle was keeping track of friends’ RSVPs when organizing a group to eat out together. This task is usually accomplished via multiple-texts, group-texts or group-emails, and that process gets messy fast. Some users also talked about wishing that they had more friends who enjoyed going out to eat.

I pivoted my app's focus to prioritize removing that friction. 

I focused on this problem because it was the problem the one with the most room for improvement. All of these issues combined are really in sync with my personal values of connection and community as well, so these were problems I was super motivated to solve.

Sitemap / App Map


My initial sketches were for a concept of the app that had users search first by three criteria: ambiance, cuisine, and price. At first I allocated separate screens for each of these functions, thinking it was good to only give the user one task a time. But in testing, I discovered that this made the process too long and drawn out. Later in wireframing, I combined similar search criteria and streamlined the process. 

The next focus was on the function that allows users to invite guests to dinner from either their phone’s Contacts, or from the profiles of other app users.

Wireframes & Prototypes

The first iteration of wireframes used the same ‘on-ramp’ and flow that was developed in the sketching phase. Testing revealed how this process could be tightened up by combining choice screens.

The second iteration of wireframes streamlined the selection process further, and gave users a choice up front for if they wanted to start by choosing their guests or choosing their restaurant. This version shows short user profile views as well.

I ran usability tests on both versions of these clickable prototypes.

In the third iteration (below) the Search & Select process was condensed further, with a default flow of having users pick a restaurant first and then invite guests afterwards. 

Visual Design & Mockups

Utilizing the feedback I got from testing clickable low-fidelity and medium-fidelity wireframes, I designed polished mockups of the final design in Photoshop. The final version featured all of the key features prioritized during the initial user research and incorporated valuable feedback from my wireframes’ usability testing.

Key features:
Emphasis on photography •  Yelp stars and reviews • Easy way to invite others to dinner • Great way to connect with existing friends • Low-risk way to meet new people • Easy RSVP tracking