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Currently, I'm working on a location-based service app specialized for food. A restaurant owner can add the restaurant's opening hours in a convenient way. Also, the owner can add the restaurant's menu.

Here comes the problem: when adding a menu item, the owner can enter the serving times, the period during which that item is served.

The first question: Do you think I should capture the serving times for each menu item? The restaurant's opening hours are already listed, and serving times could confuse a customer looking at this restaurant's menu.

The second question: How should a restaurant owner add the serving times? Right now I have a time-input field in which a user can enter from an hour, and to an hour, and that is expandable for 3 of these items.

Sorry if the question is a little vague. It relates to user experience.

edit

here what I mean for expandable part: By default there is one serving meal field to be completed.

But if there is a interval which a food is not served, the owner can make another time interval for the second time the food is being served

By clicking plus button another time interval will be added. (max intervals count is 3)

filling at least one serving hour is mandatory till now,what's your suggestion, should I remove it totally since I have asked restaurant's owner opening hour once or ask to give serving hours of a meal in another way? Tnx

  • So you are setting it up so they can have, for example, a breakfast menu, a lunch menu, and a dinner menu? – thursdaysgeek Sep 14 '15 at 22:45
  • The "expandable" part of your question is unclear to me. Please help me understand. Do you mean one menu item can have up to three time-ranges during which is it served? Or do you mean that only three menu items can be limited to a specific serving time, while all the other items must be served all day? – JeromeR Sep 15 '15 at 2:22
  • Could you provide some information about the restaurant owner's needs and the customer's needs? For example, I have seen this on some combination-special menus. For a fixed price, the customer can choose three items. During the day, the customer can choose 3 of 10 items; during the evening the customer can choose 3 of 20 items but the price is higher. – JeromeR Sep 15 '15 at 2:30
  • @thursdaysgeek it's intended to be a long list of all meals without categorizing any menu item. – Mehrdad Shokri Sep 15 '15 at 6:40
  • @JeromeR all a restaurant owner can add for a menu item is name of food,price,ingredients and serving hour(which I hesitate whether to add or not) – Mehrdad Shokri Sep 15 '15 at 6:43
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I don't think asking for precise serving times is a very good idea.

First of all, you'll want to consider that in the majority of cases this is completely unnecessary. What most restaurants do is serve a specific meal at either breakfast, lunch, dinner, or all three; not somewhere in between. By including this feature, you are adding support for a very small niche of users at the expense of the large majority... that's a bad UX decision.

Then you should also think about the sheer amount of information you are asking from your users. As you said, you already asked for the place's opening hours. Instead of forcing the user to repeat that information, simplify the design and re-use it here.

Instead of presenting blank textboxes, have columns of checkboxes labelled with the times of day that they are serving the meal at.

mockup

download bmml source – Wireframes created with Balsamiq Mockups

This lowers the cognitive workload because understanding "lunch" is a lot easier than figuring out what "11:45 - 14:30" means. Naturally, you should allow the user to specify custom names for the meal opening hours (instead of the default breakfast lunch dinner), thus catering for places that offer different types of services. More on this below.

A note on the use case for continuous-hours restaurants. Although an establishment may be open from 8 AM to 11 PM, they probably won't serve you steak at 9 in the morning. Therefore, when asking what the opening hours are, consider splitting the user's choices like this:

mockup

download bmml source

Then, when the user selects the "all day" option, display an extra bit under it asking the user to categorise his times.

mockup

download bmml source

Do some javascript magic to make sure that no opening hours are left uncovered, but do allow overlapping of times. Then, use the names of these times in your menu columns (as per the first mockup).

Remember, the difference between usable UI and incredible UI is that extra touch of magic that will make users love your work and return to it / recommend it.

  • That was completely comprehensive, Tnx. – Mehrdad Shokri Sep 15 '15 at 12:38
  • @Mehrdad i don't think this is right. displaying the serving time for each item on a menu? i've never seen it done, except here, in theory. on a typical restaurant menu, some of the items are served at any time and others are served during a special part of the day ~> the serving time is always presented in the description or to the right (between the item name and the price). – Jedi Commymullah Sep 16 '15 at 5:29
  • @Mehrdad If the entire menu can be divided by serving periods - the content is displayed in categorical sections appropriately labeled "Breakfast" "Lunch" "Dinner" "HappyHour" and beneath each categories headline is the time during which the event occurs. The standard format outdoes your selected answer for comprehensibility. – Jedi Commymullah Sep 16 '15 at 5:29
  • @Jedi you are misunderstanding the point. This interface is designed for the restaurant owner to input the menu, not for the customer to view it. Obviously the data collected in this interface will have to be processed to display it in an optimal format for the end-user. This, however, depends on what the OP is designing and solutions can vary wildly! (is it an online menu, interactive menu, printable menu, billboard menu...) – LS97 Sep 16 '15 at 7:43
  • @Jedi just as an example, if the menu is meant to appear on a TV screen above a counter (like at a fast food), you obviously want to limit the options to those being served at this hour lest you overwhelm the customer. Very different from an online menu you would consult before going to the restaurant, where all options should be available and categorised. – LS97 Sep 16 '15 at 7:46
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I have graphical suggest to show time period for serve a food.hope be useful.

enter image description here

  • Which clocks belong to which menus? – nwp Sep 16 '15 at 8:38

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