004 - User Experience Has Stopped 004 - User Experience Has Stopped 004 - User Experience Has Stopped
004 - User Experience Has Stopped

I went out to a Chinese restaurant with a friend and their back-of-house online order processing setup was in the middle of the hallway, right across from the bathroom. Small New York restaurants, amiright?

They had the whole wall covered in different iPads and android tablets. Every company they worked with had a separate tablet that they needed to manage. My friend – who had worked at Seamless for a small stretch – explained that each company tends to send out a free, dedicated (read: locked down) tablet to the restaurants for order processing.

I get it. It means that you don’t have to worry about what hardware they’re running. You don’t need to get someone to download and configure an app. You’re not competing with 15 other applications in the notifications bar. You don’t need to worry that your app is minimized or if someone forgot to open it at the start of their shift or if someone forgets to check the notifications.

But it also means that the back of house is a wall of tablets all different sizes and models, all pinging and blinking for your attention. Wish I had taken a photo of it all, but felt pretty uncomfortable pulling my phone out as people were working, and there was plenty of private (can you call a bunch of screens in front of the bathroom private?) information on those screens.

And it’s not just the back of the house. I’ve been in higher-end restaurants and peaked over to where the host or hostess was working… they’re also grappling with a few tablets overflowing the tiny podium work spaces. Each one has a notification for an upcoming reservation or order being placed. I wonder if they all speak to each other, or connect to the Micros systems for routing and coordination (or whatever order systems restaurants use nowadays…).

Anyway. I thought this error message was brilliant. The app is so generic, it could be anything. I wonder if “UserExperience” is the app itself? Or is it a metacommentary by some bored designer who had to Learn To CodeTM?

“UserExperience Has Stopped”. Yes, yes it has.