Why are restaurant websites so bad?
The content on Founding Farmers’ website evolved over time, says Allison Seth of Seth Design Group, the website’s original designer and the one responsible for creating the restaurant’s logo and branding. As time went on, more content was added, including a blog, reservations and feedback pages, and links to their social media presence.
The result, Simon admits, is that Founding Farmers’ website is a bit clunky and information-heavy. It’s now undergoing a makeover and will be lighter and easier to navigate once completed.
Steve Mousourakis, president of Big House Graphix, the design team that’s working on Founding Farmers’ makeover, says all the content makes it harder to find basic info. “Average time on the site is 2 minutes 48 seconds, but our goal is to lower that,” he says. “Folks are currently having to do a bit of digging to find what they need. To get the menu, it requires two to three clicks, so we are aiming to change that.”
In Defense of Flash
The sleek animation and graphics of Adobe Flash rule the roost on restaurant websites. And a lot of people don’t like that. One of the top restaurant website complaints mentioned on Quora is the use of Flash, a multimedia platform that embeds animation, video, and interactivity on Web pages.
You know the feeling: Staring impatiently at the page, waiting for the fancy graphics to load so that its beauty can blow you away. But in fact, all you really want to see is the menu. Two minutes ago.
“Flash is just disastrous on restaurant websites,” writes Rob Fahey, a games and technology journalist and consultant based in Japan.
“It just annoys the hell out of me, especially when in the car trying to quickly look up their address, etc.,” says Julian Carter, a digital media strategist in Sydney.
But despite being high on the list of website annoyances, restaurants and designers are still continuing to use it.
Taylor Gourmet’s original website design was clean and really simple, he says. But when Hamilton visited the sandwich shops in person, he said the eateries had a cool gritty feel and different textures that characterized them. So he decided to incorporate more of that experience into their new site.
Today, Taylor Gourmet’s website bounces around as users click on different elements. In the photos section, users can “sift” through Polaroids, moving them over one by one with their mouse after viewing each, or placing them all in a neat little pile in the corner of the screen. You can do the same with their newspaper clippings in the press section.
The website also includes a blog and social media links at the bottom. I have to admit, I enjoyed playing with the site. It was entertaining, everything moved around quickly, and I still found all of the key information I needed with little digging.
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