With today’s high level of web design and internet technologies development, it’s rather perplexing to find out that many restaurant websites are not as user-friendly as they should be. No, they are not homely as you might think; on the contrary, most of the restaurant sites boast of the expensive luxury design, congested with refined decorative elements, inconceivable visual effects, charming music and so on. Restaurant owners bend over to make their business a decent web presentation. And this definitely makes sense, as the competition between restaurants exists either in physical or virtual worlds, and customer’s choice is often based on the online research.
Let’s try to view the issue from the point of average restauran-goer, deciding where to drop in for a snack. What do visitors want to see on restaurant website? Is posh layout really that important?
Actually, customers’ requirements are rather modest. Browsing restaurant sites, they are more likely to choose the one, providing comprehensive information about its schedule, contact phones, accurate address, menu, prices and spirit. Sometimes even a web page containing all essential data is enough to attract the customer. Besides, due to the present general obsession with portable handheld devices, all unnecessary ‘sugariness’, slowing down the process, becomes a real challenge for viewers and even prevents the website from performing its initial functions.
Taking into consideration everything mentioned above, let’s form some main thesis, stating what should be avoided in awesome restaurant design.
- 1. Absence of integrated Google map on the contact page, helping the visitors quickly understand where the restaurant is located. You know, sometimes, it’s really impossible to find the desired address without a clear map, especially in big cities.
- 2. No address, contact phones and open hours in the expected place, let us say, right on the home page. It’s obvious that this information is crucial; nevertheless lots of restaurants arrange a real quest for the customers trying to find it.
- 3. Menu in PDF format is utterly inconvenient as most of the customers have problems with downloading a separate heavy document. An HTML menu instead can guarantee much better user experience.
- 4. Using stock photos of food that was never served in the restaurant is absolutely unacceptable as the clients want to see what they will actually eat and not the images of some abstract dishes that seamlessly blend restaurant layout.
- 5. A restaurant without its own story bolstered with true-to-life customers’ testimonials has poor chances against the one that skillfully exploits both.
- 6. A restaurant website not working on iPhone, iPad and the rest of mobile devices is not caring about customers’ convenience. So, why should they care for owners’ profit?
- 7. Using of Flash and auto-play music. Owners’ desire to convey the atmosphere of their restaurant via excellent graphics, dynamic animation and delightful music is quite understandable, but in fact, the effect is just the opposite. Such mess of action merely forces gourmets to spend more time than they planned to find the needed information. Rather irritating, isn’t it?
- 8. Menu without prices. Such cunning things may put your respected customers into awkward situation, which will scare them off a mile from your restaurant.
- 9. Restaurants that don’t update their websites can’t compete with those, providing fresh timely information on regular bases. Frequently updated websites are more interesting to users. Eaters trace the news about their favorite bar or pizzeria with great pleasure and interest in order not to miss some special event or offer.
- 10. Design that doesn’t convey the spirit of the restaurant. People want to know what does the place they are going to visit look like and what dress code they should wear. It’s great to upload some photos of restaurant interior and include some elements giving the idea of its style into website design.
- 11. No social media links. With today’s popularity of social websites it’s simply impossible to ignore the tendency; moreover, promotion through tumblr or facebook, for instance, can significantly affect any business and restaurant in particular.
- 12. No online ordering system. It’s a great option when the customers can make reservations or order food online. Restaurant image and boot will only benefit from it.
That’s all that was on our mind concerning restaurant design nightmares today. We hope the tips above will help you work out your own user-oriented approach to restaurant design. If you have the desire to continue our ‘don’ts’ list, your thoughts are welcome in the comment section.