The Line of Least Resistance

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Revision as of 16:01, 2 October 2016 by Devon.essick (talk | contribs) (Challenges)
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Project Overview

Research has shown that many of the typical methods for queueing customers are incredibly inefficient [1]. Many businesses choose to use reservation systems, for many reasons, such as space limitations in their waiting areas, preparation for large parties, and because the first-come, first-serve process is proven to be inefficient. We aim to create a mobile app that customers of a theoretical business (tourist attraction, restaurant, etc.) can download and input their name and party size, and receive a time to arrive in order to be attended to. The goal is to minimize delay time/maximize predictability because restaurants, tourist attractions, etc. are meant to be enjoyable, and being given an accurate wait time contributes towards a pleasant experience.

Team Members

  • Devon Essick
  • Andrew Sweren
  • Kjartan Brownell (TA)

Objectives

  • Create a mobile application that a potential customer of a business can download and make a reservation. The app will be simple with an intuitive user interface for those who might not be tech-savvy, and will only require that the user selects which business they want to make a reservation for, and input their name and group size. Once submitted, this data will be analyzed by preset conditions in the app and the next available time will be displayed on the mobile app.
  • Create a "sample" situation for the reservation to be based off of (e.g. for one point in time at a restaurant, there are three 2-person tables and one 6-person tables open, but it is estimated in 30 minutes another six-person table will open up, and each person stays for an average of one hour)
  • Time permitting: extend the program by creating an outside app which includes changeable inputs (totally capacity, hours of operation, etc) which can "talk" with the mobile app, to create a more usable app

Challenges

  • Learning how to create a mobile app
  • Coding the system that determines when a customer should arrive
  • Creating an approachable and intuitive mobile app user interface for people with no experience to use
  • Making sure we take into account important inputs about a given business so that the recommendations are realistic (e.g. understanding even if there are 2 two-person slots available at a given time, a group of four will not split up)
  • Taking into account that even if there is a reservation system in place, people are bound to still show up unannounced, and what the impact on the business could be to turn them away
  • Accounting for changes disrupting the way the business operates (e.g. making the business only accessible by reservations could change the type of customers)
  • Limitations due to security and safety concerns (e.g. eliminating security lines could diminish delay time, but at what cost?)

Budget

  • iPhone (provided by team members)- $0
  • Coding software (provided by school) - $0

Total: $0

Gantt Chart

EssickGantt4.png

Design and Solutions

Results