Working with a Web Design team that has an intuitive handle on the restaurant & hospitality industry, as well as the demands of today’s technology, has been the bee’s knees.
Sedso Design not only developed the website you’re now viewing, but also crafted so you can view it on your iPad or mobile phone using the same content source. This technique is called “Responsive Design.” Normally, websites are built out in two different formats – one for computer viewing and one for mobile viewing. By using Responsive Design – we only have one format to worry about.
If you’re reading this on your computer – make the window larger…then smaller. You’ll see how the content of the page reforms itself to fit the size of the window. Pretty neat.
Also, check out our Q&A with Sedso below!
SqrPg: What was your experience developing with responsive design?
Sedso: This was our first time developing a responsive website so there was a bit of a learning curve involved. Our top priority was to focus on creating an interface that users could interact with and navigate through regardless of what browser or device they were viewing it on – whether it be a desktop computer or mobile devices like a tablet or any of the various smart phones.
In the past, developers would create a site for desktop web browsers and a separate site for phones, but with the introduction of tablets like the iPad there are more variables. Setting up a responsive website is really like making 3-4 different websites that share the same content and figuring out how to display the most useful information on whichever device the end user has. Some content ends up hidden on mobile phones due to spacial limitations so knowing what information is most important for a user viewing the site, from let’s say an iPhone, becomes very important. More than likely, they are most concerned with finding directions or an address, getting a phone number for quick info and to make a reservation or checking out the menu, so these items need to be accessible quickly.
SqrPg: What was your inspiration for the look of the website?
Sedso: Our inspiration for the site came from the concept being developed for the restaurant’s identity and graphic elements of the print collateral. The use of Dymo labels as headers and antique typewriter fonts for the body copy fit the brand well. We aimed to match up the design of the website with these items as well as the industrial feeling of the interiors… while visiting the space one day when we grabbed a few shots of the various existing textures that lived on the walls throughout the space for the background image on the website.
SqrPg: What are the challenges in creating websites for restaurants? (what are the fun parts?)
Sedso: In terms of design, the main challenge is really diving into the concept of the restaurant and truly understanding the vision of the owner and team involved in creating the restaurant. You really have to give the user a sense of how the restaurant feels and what the atmosphere is like once you get there. This is the main reason we often try to pull textures, color palettes and overall design inspiration from the restaurant interiors.
As far a programming and development goes, the biggest challenge comes with understanding how the restaurant wants to use the website and manage content once we’ve ‘turned over the keys’ to them. With the ever changing world of technology we must always keep the end user in mind. Devices and social networks constantly change and the way people interact with the content of the website changes with it.
Connectivity is key and having the ability to ‘share’ information from the website out to all the other social networks really expands the restaurant’s reach. The way we coded websites and how we handled restaurant website content has completely changed from 2-3 years ago when many restaurant sites were self-contained and relied on the user finding the restaurant content rather than the content finding its way to them.
The other big challenge has been the request for content management systems that are both affordable and user friendly for the restaurant staff. Many restaurant owners don’t want to keep a web master on staff nor do they want to keep calling the developer when they want to make changes daily in a timely manner. Implementing the content management systems has helped the restaurants get their website updated quicker and whenever they decide its time at the drop of a hat.
As for the fun parts, definitely research and development aka complimentary meals during inspiration stages . . .