Takeaway Tom Waltham Media Ltd
The client came to Waltham Media with a single idea – to create a service that allows the ordering of takeaway meals by means of either a home computer, mobile phone or interactive digital television. The service would allow a visitor to first enter their post-code to see a list of restaurants that deliver to their location. The visitor would then instantly be able to view an interactive version of that restaurants menu and be able to place items from the menu into a ‘basket’ for ordering. The order would then have to be sent directly to the restaurant for processing. Ultimately the user would receive their meal 30 minutes later and pay by cash at their door upon delivery.
- To design and build a website that can store and display the menu’s and details of all takeaway restaurants delivering to any given UK post-code.
- To design a website that allows a non-technical audience to create a meal-order with optional custom food preparation instructions.
- To find a technical solution to the challenge of delivering the food order to the restaurant for fulfilment and delivery.
- To design a brand for the website that would have mass appeal.
- To design a website that can be displayed in both mobile and digital television formats to allow service usage across as many platforms and devices as possible.
- The final design of the service was the result of an intensive phase of user testing and re-design. The client wanted to make sure that the branding used appealed to the largest audience. Due to the interactive aspect of the service, the Waltham Media team had to make sure that it was ‘visually’ easy to use. Over 50 problem areas with the various designs were identified and removed during user trials. It was important to the client that the learning curve be as small as possible and for user intuition to be catered for as the number one priority.
After an intensive stage of research and development, Waltham Media identified fax-technology as the best way to deliver the orders to the restaurant since phone line infrastructure was already present in the restaurants and no technical knowledge or training would be necessary for restaurant staff. An infrastructure of Microsoft™ based platforms running across four dedicated servers was designed, built and hosted by Waltham Media. Waltham Media staff also designed and built the bespoke software applications running alongside specialist Dialogic Brooktrout™ fax hardware. The software systems created were necessary to control the sending of up-to 40 fax orders to the restaurants simultaneously via ISDN connectivity provided by BT™.
Waltham Media’s research and development was successful in identifying and addressing the technical issues for the new concept. After a number of iterations Waltham Media succeeded in delivering a fully tested and functional version of the service ready for commission. The client then progressed onto launching a two month test franchise in two neighbouring towns in the North-East region of the UK. Waltham Media then assisted in the necessary task of educating users in the new concept alongside marketing and promotions to foster user adoption. A total of 21 restaurants participated in the trial seeing hundreds of users place their very first internet takeaway order. The system also saw a large number of users register interest with the service whom lived outside of the test franchise area. With the concept proven and the technical issues realised and addressed, the client progressed forward with finding a buyer for the concept and working system.