Not finished yet obviously!
My chosen industry is the small business restaurant industry. The chosen client is the Akron, Ohio café, Urban Eats.
The client I chose is Urban Eats, a small casual café that serves soups and sandwiches in downtown Akron. Urban Eats is an independently owned restaurant that offers unique meal items, desserts and beverages. The atmosphere is authentically Akron; strange, vibrant, slightly industrial and very rust-belt. They serve brunch and lunch items for meat and non-meat eaters alike, and have a small following of office workers who pick up food on their lunch hour and one-time visitors that stop in for food before a show at the neighboring venue Musica.
Its competitors include locally owned eateries like Diamond Deli and The Stew Pot that offer up sandwiches and soups, and large chains like Quiznos and Panera Bread that appeal to the masses. Unlike Diamond Deli and Stewpot, however, Urban Eats is tucked away and has a benefit of having a small quiet area to relax but also suffers from being hidden from the street. The next best thing would be to have a better online presence so that when someone searches for “cafe Akron” or “lunch Akron”, they will have their first impression be an interesting and easy to use website. While trying to beat out locally owned ‘quick lunch food’ restaurants would be impossible, making Urban Eats more present online would attract a new base of customers that do not yet know about the small café. Urban Eats has its place in Akron’s small business ecosystem by offering a mid sized selection of lunch options and a variety of choices to please someone coming in for a caffeine fix or a treat, and they need to promote their niche.
Three goals of this website would be:
- To engage the user visually, as the current website is boring and frustrating with its lack of information and jumbled appearance. Make it clean and pretty.
- To give the user all essential information first and foremost: location (including a photo of the storefront because it is so hidden), hours, menu, payment and contact info.
- Direction to their social media accounts but making the website usable to the potential customer, thereby making the restaurant seem ‘legitimate’. This is what they are seeing first, and their first impression. Do not make the customer navigate another website to get the information they want.
The audience of this website is going to be mainly locals during the day; people who are venturing out of their office during their lunch hour or students looking for a way to escape the campus atmosphere for a bit. At night, the customer base may be a bit broader as the next-door music venue will attract people from out of town to see their favorite bands. Checking to see if a restaurant is literally connected to their music venue isn’t exactly obvious, so they will likely eat out at one of the other more visible restaurants with a bigger online presence… and kick themselves for not checking out the cool little place right next door. Also, Downtown Akron has a few tall office buildings nearby filled with hungry workers. Tapping into that market by having a friendlier website would make them more likely to be adventurous the next time they forget to pack lunch.
Below is a mockup of the current and proposed site maps for the client: