From Demo to Market

Curate is an all-in-one ordering and analytics platform for restaurants with a suite of products serving dine-in quick service, dine-in sit down, takeout, and delivery. Curate makes digital ordering simple.

I worked with the Curate founders to bring their idea to life through thoughtful research, systems product design, the launch of their core digital ecosystem (4x products), go-to startup marketing materials, a conference booth that propelled the company out of stealth, & a product direction that the team feels proud of.

Allspring is a career coaching service that connects young professionals with a career team of career coaches, financial advisors, therapists, and recruiters. I worked with the team to rebrand the company, updat the name & logo, design & built a new website in Webflow, and launch a new onboarding experience.


The Curate Product Ecosystem




Instant App

We first focused on our core ordering UX with a no-download app called an "Instant App". It's essentially the same technology as Apple Pay, and removes the friction between someone having to download an app & having an in browser ordering experience., & Instagram polls.

Admin Portal


Restaurant Admin

We quickly moved to the Admin side of things, giving restauranteurs the power to update their menus with the touch of a button, integrate with their POS, collect customer details for better service, and serve menu insights to drive business., & Instagram polls.



Research Driven

Every step of the way we practiced some form of research, whether that be guerilla research in Dolores Park, structured participatory research with User Interviews, collaborating with our group of industry advisors, or simply sending out polls on Instagram., & Instagram polls.



Native App Design

Why would someone want to download an app? For pickup & delivery. This product was prioritized after we had figured our core ordering & pay UX, overlaying specific features over that design like location selection & loyalty programs., & Instagram polls.



Responsive App Design

Our Instant App experience was designed for both web & native, so we extended that ordering UX to a responsive desktop & tablet experience that enables customers to group order & pay in line at the restaurant or at their homes.& Instagram polls.



Booth Design

All Curate products were designed & built in stealth, and the 2022 National Restaurant Association show was the debut of Curate to the world. I designed the booth, demos, and marketing materials.& Instagram polls.

Prioritizing the Basics


Lay of the Land

I started by taking a look at existing experiences for people that dine out & created a service blueprint of all the different interactions between people, devices, & the restaurant. The company's first focus was dine in, so we started with that.& Instagram polls.

Service Blueprint

How might we create a shared dining experience?

One of the first UX challenges included a shared UX between multiple devices. How can we allow people to dine together seamlessely, while letting them know what is going on across the table? We drew up these initial UX experiences & tested across stakeholders in the industry for feedback. We wanted the UX to scale across different service models (Dine in group ordering & payments, tab ordering at a bar, calling for service), so this prototype shows how each flow could be realized as a system.

Desktop – 1

Core Ordering UX/UI as Initial Focus

First and foremost we wanted to nail the core UX/UI of our ordering platform, which would extend across multiple products. In a crowded market, we needed the best user experience to serve a customer-focused industry. Existing digital experiences spanned from clunky PDF's to difficult downloadable experiences. We used multiple methods to test what worked and what didn't, including stakeholder interviews, in person donut guerilla research (always make it fun), & Instagram polls.

A core design consideration in this design phase was to balance each restaurant's branding with an easy to use template, so each design decision needed to scale across a standardized system including colors, typography, imagery, illustrations, and logos. Take a look at some initial workshops

Some findings from our initial

testing of the core ordering UX/UI

People wanted to get straight to the menu - remove a 2FA from the beginning of the flow.

People resonated with the large cart button on the bottom, when it was small they didn't know they could order.

The concept of splitting an item & the bill was very well received across group tests.

People wanted the item pricing to be as obvious as possible & felt uncomfortable if it wasn't.

A large promotion front and center in the menu was wildly effective for clicks.

Category icons gave affordance to navigate through the menu more than text only navigation.

Curate Admin Portal

Curate Admin Portal

Admin Portal

The Curate Admin Portal is the power behind an easy to use, smart menu.  This is where restauranteurs manage their menus, items, promotions, track ordering & automate marketing. Before we launched Curate Beta, we needed to nail a scalable interaction model & IA.


Success Criteria

A tried and true frog product kickoff method I like to use is a short-term & long-term definition of success for a product. It helps unify the team in a goal and start to cluster concepts based on values.


This was an experiment I tried to begin to define an unknown product. The idea was to take known feature buckets (colored bricks) then Ideate based on that stimuli. I added in a Trendbank of comparative products to the right to use analogous examples for people to work from if needed.

Potential Futures

I made up this method while at frog. It's a mad lib style newspaper headline that helps create a product definition that everyone can agree on. What are we? What are we not? What are we like? When you kick off a product, there are 10x different directions you can go. In this case we needed to set some initial value statements based on core functionalities. 

Once we decided that this product needed to work across different service models, I designed a tablet first grid layout with responsive components.

curate admin ixd model

After defining core functionalities of the product, we created an Interaction Model that would scale with the product.

Make it Smart

Make it Smart

Before a few design sprints to establish the core MVP capabilities to support our Ordering UX, we ran two rounds of Design Research. The first was a one Participatory Product-Market Fit 1 hr interview to hear more about what features & data mattered most to Restauranteurs. We then tested these concepts with a Self Guided Typeform to validate our learnings.

 Check out the links above to see research in more detail.

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Ran 12 1 hour participatory sessions with restauranteurs across different service models.

Conceptual Self-Guided Research: Validated that people care most about Ad Spend Tracking & Direct Feedback. The most surprising thing we learned was the marketing calendar really resonated with Restauranteurs.

One major challenge with running this research was to categorize needs based on different types of restaurant models. For example, chains, coffee shops & quick service concepts loved the idea of Loyalty Programs while Sit Down locations thought they could come off across as tacky. Without knowing exactly which market we were launching with (chain restaurants vs. mom & pop individual locations), it was hard to make confident product priority decisions.

Designing a Successful Curate Beta & Launch at the National Restaurant Association Conference

Designing a Successful Curate Beta & Launch at the National Restaurant Association Conference

Goal 1:

Stress Test Our Design System & Development

We onboarded 10+ Restaurant partners with Demo menus (web app, instant app & native app) to test the product & see how our design system scaled across different brands. This helped us determine development tokens & see where a change rippled across the app.

Goal 2:

Launch at the NRA with a Flawless Demo

A giant push at the end included creating a flawless demo menu & admin portal, working with dev to execute on seamless interactions & design tweaks, and designing a booth & materials for Curate's debut at the National Restaurant Association.

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Have a fresh product & want to build smart? Let's collaborate (after my vacation 😁).