Subtle changes — like changing the default reservation time — have big impact in OpenTable's latest mobile app redesign.
— Kristen Hawley
OpenTable has a new iOS app, designed to serve the hangry — that is, anyone who is looking for a nearby restaurant right now. According to the company’s vice president of marketing, Scott Jampol, 56 percent of OpenTable’s reservations are made on mobile devices. Of those, roughly half are same-day reservations, and a quarter are made within three hours of dining.
“The redesign is a direct response to be able to help with that use case of, ‘I am traveling and I open my app and I want to eat right now,’ or, ‘I have an hour for lunch and I want to find out what’s around me right now,'” said Jampol.
This product change came after user research, diner feedback, and feedback from OpenTable’s own team. “Once we saw this data that shows how many people are booking within three hours, it became a good opportunity for us to take advantage of that behavior with the new design,” he said.
The app’s home screen features two options: book and discover. Book allows you to find and book a restaurant immediately, with the help of a surprisingly fast map-based navigation. The discover tab currently features curated lists and guides, helpful for browsing. And both tabs take the current time into account. “Before we used to default to dinnertime if it was afternoon, or lunch time in the morning, Jampol said. “Now we’re using real time so it’s going from what we think is the next big meal to ‘you can eat right now.'”
The company has bigger plans for the app’s discover tab, too. While it’s currently populated with mainly editorial content from OpenTable and partners like Eater, it’ll soon become more personalized based on a diner’s history and preferences. It might also evolve to feature user-generated content, Jampol hinted.
“The discover tab is about inspiration,” he said. “OpenTable is thinking about how else we can help people discover restaurants. Helping them earlier in their decision-making process is a big theme for us.”
Subsequent Android support will be launched shortly, according to OpenTable.