Case Study: Thai Star Restaurant
Thai Star Restaurant is a locally owned and authentic Thai eatery north of Atlanta, GA. The owner had took down her old website and wanted to build a new one. I came on as a UI designer to build the responsive web and mobile versions of the site.
Goal: To create a website that will drive business to the brick and mortar location.
Target Users: Current, past, and new customers. Customers vary widely in age, but they enjoy Thai cuisine. The site will be for the younger crowd, who could be life-long customers and use the internet to find dining places locally.
Old Website Design
The owner had pulled the previous site down before I started, so I went through the WayBackMachine to find it so I wouldn’t be starting from scratch. This also gave me specific information that the owner/client had forgotten about or failed to convey because she was busy running a restaurant.
I did other research and observation into what our target users were like and which information was valuable to them. The most important items were menu and location information followed by hours and phone number. Most of the traffic will be coming from the restaurant’s existing Yelp page or Google, which has the location, hours, and phone number, so I wanted to focus on the menu. The restaurant owner, too, insisted on making it easily accessible.
Since there are 3 menus, I gave access to them in two ways above the fold. One is in a regular nav menu on the top right that is easy to find and customers are used to seeing from other sites. However, I added another link because the nav menu takes two clicks and mobile users don’t typically have the fastest connection. The other access point is a horizontal list with the different menu names laid out in plain view and ready to be clicked.
At the bottom of the menu, I put the other relevant restaurant information (e.g. location, hours, phone), so users won’t have to go searching through elsewhere for it. However, they can access it and other information through the FAQ link in the main menu. I notice that the old site did not have an about page and suggested that we have one for the owner to share her story. This way, she can connect with customers and show the authenticity that the restaurant boasts.
I took the orange from the old site, but limited the use and let it be dark gray and white for a classy, elegant, simple feel to match that of the restaurant’s vibe. Also, the food images can stand out this way.
I chose the green and red specifically because they were the most distinct ones when I ran colorblind tests.
A Quick Note
I hope you enjoyed reading this. If I were to redo this, I would reduce the menu’s content font weight and size. Then add a 3rd column to fit more into the same space and reduce scrolling. If you have any feedback, don’t hesitate to share. It is through helpful criticism that we each become better.
Time for mockups!