I’m designing a food ordering application to be used within my company wherein co-workers can order food from our in-house catering service for meetings and what not. Today, this is done via paper forms that get filled out and sent to the food service manager. You need to fill out one form per order, so if you want some snacks for your 3:00, you fill out a form. If you want breakfast, lunch and afternoon coffee for an all day meeting, you’d need to fill out 3 forms (or just pick up the phone and call, which is what a lot of people end up doing).
As an online application, they want people to be able to peruse the menu for all categories (breakfast, lunch, beverages, and snacks), select the options they want, fill out a form with pertinent details (user info + event information) and submit.
I’m approaching this as a quasi shopping cart experience wherein users choose a quantity and “Add to Cart” for an item, then go to the Cart screen where they see their order and fill in the details form.
My question lies in how to design a system that allows the user to order for multiple days and/or times from one Cart screen. Today, these would be 3 separate forms. But if I have one Cart screen that lists the items ordered, followed by user and event information, the assumption is that all items should be delivered on the same day/time.
But how could I make it obvious to the user and to the food service manager that one item in the order might be, for example, for 10:00am in room 330, while another item is for 2:30pm in room 440?
Or, is this not a good user experience? Perhaps the user should only be able to complete one “order” for their 10:00 meeting, then has to create a separate order for their 2:30. Perhaps with some sort of history/profile section where they can see all they’ve ordered?