I mentioned in my previous post, ways I will be learning and expanding my skill set. One example was to create a website for a fake restaurant. My friend, Tony, the front end developer, is collaborating with me through the process, as he is my fake business partner. This will also present, my approach to web design and brand identity. There is no coincidence that we chose a fake restaurant for this project. We both have previously served before, and pretty damn good at it too. And if you are awesome, you've pretty much earned marketing skills right there. A few days ago, I had a revelation thinking about the differences between user experience, user interface, and web designers and what they entail. UX designers are servers, reading a customers needs and personality, making them comfortable for the best experience possible. User interface/graphic designers are the flavor, the recipe, the taste of what to expect. Developers are the chefs, the cooks that make the recipe actually come together. Just a thought.
CAVEAT EMPTOR (translation: Buyer Beware) The concept of the restaurant is to entice a different approach to dining. The customer has no idea what meal they will be served with the exception of "sneak peeks" of certain locally grown ingredients that we will reveal. The restaurant will serve a full course meal consisting of an appetizer, entree and dessert.
User experience is very much like brainstorming for any design project, logo, even illustration. I approach a design project by asking a client multiple questions that will help my research and gauge the personality of what the client wants for a successful finished product. In this case, we are the client, creating an imaginary restaurant and brand identity for real people. As a designer, I want to jump right into the visual aspect. I am thinking colors! Styles! design! design! design! Patience. I tell myself, patience. User experience first! Finding out who the customer is, discovering user stories, will help me build the most efficient site map.
What is the brand personality? Sufficiency, surprise, fresh, fun
Who is our audience? Restaurant, foodies, adventurous people! People who want to try something new. This restaurant does not cater to all, allergies and vegan/vegetarian options are a concern. A user story has all ready developed! " I live in Richmond, VA, I am looking for a new restaurant to try, but I have a shellfish allergy" Solution: incorporate this in the about page, answering potential questions, include a clickable food allergy box in the reservation section. Not only will this help the customer, this will save time for the restaurant.
Reputation? A new restaurant with no reputation yet, need to gain clientele through word of mouth, website, and social media.
How is the business run? Using local, seasonal ingredients, local breweries, etc.
Latest in the industry? The business will be located in Richmond, Virginia, which is a highly populated with restaurants. This is a very competitive market but this restaurant has a different edge. Craft breweries are popping up more and more as well.
We want to keep the website simple and straightforward. I typically always start with a sketchbook but if I had a more extensive site I will additionally use the post-it method.
Getting Closer, about page layout.
I am feeling pretty good about how this is organically coming together. I will report back soon with more detailed and hopefully clickable wireframes.