Projects / Gibson Hotel Breakfast

Gibson Hotel Breakfast

Summer 2023

Usability Testing
Site Mapping
GitHub Projects
Tailwind CSS
Google Cloud Platform

Project Overview

A hotel owner reached out to me with the idea of creating a custom-built application to manage breakfast deliveries in his high-end boutique hotel in Great Falls, MT. This hotel delivers breakfast to guests' rooms catered by a local bakery instead of having a == continental breakfast room. The project aimed to allow guests to order breakfast on a tablet upon check-in and have a system the hotel employees could use to manage orders and deliveries.

My Role

I wore various hats, including project manager, UI designer, and software engineer. I didn't have a team and fulfilled whatever role I needed to complete the project, including being a technical writer.


The hotel managed all breakfast deliveries on paper, which proved cumbersome when the front desk employee had to aggregate all the guest orders into one total order for the bakery. To provide a better experience for the guests and make the employees' jobs less tedious and error-prone, a custom software system could bring efficiency and organization to the process.



Requirements Gathering and Ideation

I began the project by working with the hotel owner to determine the application's features and requirements. We didn't know every requirement the application needed at the time, so we defined some high-level objectives to guide the process.


Design and Iteration

From our discussions, I iterated on hand-drawn wireframes and site maps to experiment with the optimal layout and structure of the application. I then took my best designs and created some mockups in Figma to present to the hotel owner. After we finalized the structure of the application, I began implementation.


Development and Testing

I built the application using modern web technologies, managing my development tasks using an agile model. After each significant stage of development, I reviewed the application with the hotel owner to receive feedback and refine details. I also conducted informal usability tests to determine whether the application met my target.



Before the application was released, I wrote a user guide and provided comprehensive documentation on how to use each feature. The application was released once it had been thoroughly tested for bugs.


Feedback and Iteration

Once the hotel employees had been using the application for a few weeks, I had a follow-up meeting with the front desk manager to determine if the application lacked any features or if specific processes weren't working as efficiently as hoped. From this meeting, I made some minor tweaks to adapt the application to follow the hotel's process more closely, as well as provide analytics dashboards for them to track ordering trends.


  • Figma
  • GitHub Projects
  • TypeScript
  • React.js
  • Next.js
  • Firebase
  • Tailwind CSS
  • Google Cloud Platform


Working With Changing Requirements

Iteration was common throughout this project, which forced me to constantly rethink my designs and structure my code to be more modular and maintainable. When building a product with the user as the focus, you can always do more to provide a better experience. Given this project's time constraints and resource limitations, this challenge helped me find new ways to ensure a good user experience and meet project deadlines.

Understanding the Connection Between Design and Implementation

Given my unique role as a designer and developer, I built my designs without implementation in mind to ensure I didn't limit myself in thinking of the best user experience possible. Once I got to implementation, I realized that almost any user experience is possible as long as you have the right tools and determination to overcome the complexities of the software. Having both roles ensured my designs were implemented as I had intended.

Providing Practical User Training

A big challenge during this project was ensuring the application users had the training they needed to succeed. Hotels turn over staff frequently, so the application needed to be simple enough to pick up and use immediately but still have the features to perform all required functions. I learned a lot about how to strike a balance between providing the functionality and simplicity required by both a new and intermediate user of the application. To help aid the learning curve, I added a help navigation item linked to the documentation that stepped a user through each feature as they needed to use it.

Results and Impact


Guest Order Entry

Instead of using paper forms, an interactive and visually appealing interface improved the guest ordering experience and data.


Employee Order Placement to the Bakery

Instead of manually aggregating all guest order quantities into one order to the bakery, the application automatically generated an Excel sheet to email to the bakery that did all of the number crunching for them. Hours saved, and errors avoided.


Organization with Order Delivery

If a guest has any concerns or exceptional circumstances, this can be communicated when the order is placed and highlighted to the employee when the order is delivered. This ensures each guest gets a custom and positive experience.


Forecasting for Days the Bakery is Closed

A big issue the hotel had was understanding how much extra food to order to prepare for days the bakery is closed. A custom analytics dashboard provided the front-desk manager insight into the most popular items to order extra to ensure the high-quality breakfast experience is maintained regardless of the bakery closing.


Inventory Management

Before the app was created, the hotel needed an effective system for managing breakfast inventory. Now, all of the inventory is handled for them through the app through a simple daily inventory check to ensure the hotel has the food it needs to provide breakfast to guests.

Reflection and Takeaways

This project proved to be a significant milestone for me in showcasing that I could complete a project from start to finish, all on my own. I have always been on a team in other projects of this size. I learned better ways to maintain discipline and accountability on a project that I hadn't needed to use before. It is always enjoyable to find someone who has a problem and build a solution for them that helps them do their job more effectively. I am proud of the work I did on this project and the impact it had on the hotel.

If you want to put me to work solving the biggest pain points for your business, reach out to me here, and let's talk!

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© 2023 Dallin Larsen