Reservations made easy with Google

Alex
4 min readJul 5, 2024

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A while back, I worked on a project at Google that aimed to make local reservations easier through Google Search and Maps. This case study highlights our collaboration with Mindbody and Resy to support bookings across various sectors like dining, salons, and fitness.

Role

  • I led and collaborated with another designer
  • Developed a scalable framework and UI kit for booking local services focusing primarily on local verticals like Dining, Beauty, and Wellness.

Impact

  • Supported the expansion of local booking capabilities for over 350 million places and adjacent to fellow searches like Chains and Navigational.
  • Increased traffic and engagement across dining, salons, fitness, and other local verticals.
  • Set a foundation for future internal and external partner work including hotels, Resy and Mindbody.

Problem

  • A flexible system to manage a growing volume of local traffic and reservation-related queries.
  • Existing UX highlighted the need for a user-friendly booking experience that could scale between external platforms like Mindbody and Resy.

Research

  • Competitive Analysis: Studied patterns from competitors like Resy and OpenTable to identify successful strategies for handling reservations and local searches.
  • User and Partner Needs: This meant working closely with Researchers and Data Science to conduct extensive studies, including surveys, café studies, and rapid user studies with interactive prototypes, leading to insights into user behavior and preferences for booking experiences.
  • System Constraints: Analyzed the growing Material Design System to ensure our framework was accessible and scalable across diverse local verticals such as dining, fitness, beauty, wellness, hotels, events, and services. What could be leveraged, what couldn’t. This meant working with visual design leads and core search to audit and assess what was needed for an ideal experience.
Vertical & Partner Stress-testing
Experiments and Component Sharing

Principles and Solution

  1. Simple and Scalable: Developed a text-only approach for entry points within the place sheet to enhance customization and localization, moving away from icon-driven actions.
  2. End-to-End Experience: Partnered with services like Mindbody to create a seamless booking process integrated directly within Google Search and Maps.
  3. Future-Ready Infrastructure: Launched a mobile-optimized MVP supporting both web and mobile on iOS and Android, laying a foundation for future integrations and enhancements.

Outcome

  • Successfully rolled out a shareable system for partners, standardizing components into Sketch-based UI Kits for broader use.
  • Increased local search engagement and streamlined the booking process for users and partners alike.

So that fresh haircut or palm tree-green mani is only a couple taps away. By addressing user and partner needs through research and thoughtful design, we laid the groundwork for a comprehensive and efficient local booking system on Google Search and Maps.

Reach out to learn more!

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