TOM is a simple yet powerful platform to help businesses streamline their processes, reduce errors and increase their efficiency. Tom is an online ordering platform for restaurant owners to ” I noticed a gap in the market as my accounting software did not offer the tools needed to grow my business, whilst larger accounting packages were simply out of reach due to cost and complexities around implementation.” says the managing director of TomSoft. TOM website connects farmers to restaurant owners directly, where a farmer can provide a list of available stocks of fresh products and a restaurant can order them directly and expect a fast delivery. This removes the middle-man from the process and makes the transaction faster and cheaper for both parties.
As Yarra Valley Farms grew, so did TOM’s features to help us create efficiencies and get greater visibility of our performance. It also gave our thousands of customers an easy to use online ordering platform that meant they could place orders anywhere, anytime on any device.
I was introduced to TOM when it has been up and running and had its own user base community. many users had difficulty understanding the application and use it. some even would call customer service and ask them to login as the user and perform tasks like ordering or updating stocks. this was apparent to me that there is a genuine need for this product however bad user experience led users to ask for help.
In order to understand depth of the problem I started talking to the customers and customer service since the old system made it hard to draw the line between where “the user” and support staff. I spoke to several customers that order in different size and frequencies, and a customer service person. I learned that when orders grow bigger and product become diverse, managing inventory becomes very hard. Some of the major pain points came from the way information is organised and presented. For example, there were no centralised view where suppliers and restaurant owners could see deliveries and notifications.
Next step was to understand internal process to be able to produce a through process map. one of the problems with earlier version of TOM was many features that the application presented introduced a layer of complexity to the website. over several years, TOM added many features that only specific users would use. I tried to tackle this issue and focus on a process map that covers common business transactions rather than customer specific needs. this way the new UX can focus on common tasks as should haves and customer specific as could have.
After talking to the customers both restaurant owner and supplier along with product owner we developed flowcharts for major activities (tasks) in TOM to be used as reference for UX. this was an essential part as it serves as a fantastic discussion piece for me and the product owner to get a collective overview of common processes. Identifying customer specific processes became easier with flowcharts and it also helped with clarifying the scope of the common processes.
user journey map is a visualisation of the process that a person goes through in order to finish a task. I have specified common task for the user both supplier and restaurant owner. I started the journey map by compiling a series of actions over the timeline of the task. for example, in the case of restaurant owner placing an order was selected as the common task. Then, I fleshed out the timeline with the user thoughts and emotions in order to create a coherent narrative which I later polished and presented in the journey map.