In 2020, I redesigned the Uber Eats menu management tool.
Among the tools Uber Eats provides to merchants, our menu management tool is one of my most frequently used - but it's also likely the most complex.
Menus between merchants can vary widely - from a local Chinese spot with 150 dishes to a poke bowl shop that offers a few items with lots of customization.
To support all these types of menus, our system has a a powerful back-end structure of entities that can be connected to one another to create a menu.
A powerful, unique capability of Uber's system is that entities can be reused across different configurations.
While powerful, this structure isn't necessarily intuitive. The prior version of the tool echoed this back-end entity structure in the front-end. Each type of entity had to be set up on its own database-like screen and then attached to other entities to form a menu.
We heard from merchants that the tool was confusing and inefficient.
I explored a variety of alternative layouts that could enable more efficient editing. We recognized a trade-off between efficiency and clarity.
Through research and iteration, we landed on the side panel format that we moved forward with: