Indian Restaurant Website Design and Build
Identifying the people problem
The iceberg canvas
The golden path
Decider (dot) voting
Wix website building
UX/UI Designer, Website Builder
Aroma Spice in Hampstead, London needed a new website after their surge in online orders due to COVID-19 lockdown restrictions. Aroma Spice were also under a rebranding process.
I worked with the Director of Operations for Aroma Spice and a Graphic Designer/Photographer who was also a freelancer joining this project.
Aroma Spice is a 20+ year old fine dining Indian restaurant that is family run with a long list of loyal customers.
A table to have meetings!
Wix website builder
The website has saved Aroma Spice a minimum of £300pm from commissions their previous developers took to receive orders. They also saved money on table reservations where the developers used to take minimum £2.50 per head and £3.50 per head when the booking held more than 10 customers.
They now only pay $29 a month to enable online payments!
Customers now have a modern experience opposed to the old website that lacked structure and functioning menus. The old site pushed customers to use Deliveroo etc that charge Aroma Spice for using their service (usually 35% of the total order).
Screenshots from the old website for reference.
Aroma Spice in Hampstead, London, UK.
The People Problem we were trying to solve...
We wanted our customers to be provided a great ordering service. With the addition of our own incentives on a new website.
How do we know this is a real problem?
Delivery partner costs are unsustainable. Commission fees from using third parties are hidden and hard to track. People understand the idea of 'support local'.
How will we know if we've solved this problem?
Our costs to run ordering services should decrease. Especially running our own website as the developers take high commission.
Covid-19 and hospitality
Focussing on the delivery market had become imperative for hospitality businesses in 2020 due to Covid-19 lockdowns. Aroma Spice wanted to shift orders away from third party applications (i.e Just Eat, Deliveroo, Uber Eats and a website developer). Such apps are famously known to take 35% of a total order from businesses who use their services. Aroma Spice were aiming for a more 'personal' service to their customer's door. Prior to this project the company was doing a rebrand.
People Problem statement
"I want to have a dine-in experience/service with reasonable rates especially during lockdowns. I want to help support the businesses in my community"
Aroma Spice's customers want to given a great experience /service similar to when using apps to order. They want to support local businesses and the community.
Aroma Spice needs a way to shift customers from delivery apps to their website to cut losses made from paying commissions.
Chicken and Rice from Aroma Spice.
To start off the project we needed to uncover the problem. This involved me leading conversations with Aroma Spice's Director of Operations, Manager and their customers. I lead informal interviews and a survey sent out to customers.
This helped the team gain a shared understanding of what problems we are working on. More specifically why they exist. Rather than acting on assumptions of the problems.
This aided the creation of a Value Proposition Canvas and Iceberg Canvas as design artefacts for us to reflect on. The former shows the value propositions we were dealing with for both sides (businesses and customers). The latter showed how the product could add value or cause problems for society, the economy and environment etc. Helping the team see the product, aromaspice.co.uk, as a whole. We saw issues 'above and below the iceberg' and thought holistically.
We learned that customers did often have stigma against 'ordering directly' and wanted value for money. See the diagrams to see more insights.
The Iceberg Canvas process. Click on the images to learn about each step in creating the artefact.
Following the discovery phase we sat as a team to the discuss 'The Golden Path' (key user journey) for our users and the projects 'Design Principles' moving forward. This helped us articulate our product and how we will work.
We focussed on how to lure new customers to the site. It was clear loyal customers will come regardless. We discovered users who order directly less often needed persuasion to come to the site and order. We learned that we had to update the Google Businesses listing to achieve this.
The Golden Path for aromaspice.co.uk and Design Principles we set.
To make our product come to life we looked at what makes a website denote high quality and great service from a restaurant. We were aiming to build one page with useful information (i.e homepage).
We were limited with time so we presented a list of features instead of sketching solutions. Touching onto the deliver phase, the Director of Operations then voted on which features they wanted.
They agreed on:
- taking high quality images for the site and Google Business listing
- including a 'bio' about the business
- reviews section (including Google Reviews and Trip Advisor)
- location details
- contact details
They also agreed on having a gallery, reservation, and of course an ordering page. These pages were given to my partner to focus on using their Camera and 'Gloria Food'.
Examples of what helped us create a list of features.
The website was built using Wix site builder as I have used it previously for other projects. This was great for all of us as we we are not the best coders. I naturally was involved in developing other segments of the site but focussed mainly on the homepage with the aforementioned components.
To validate the product and its usability we released the site as a 'beta' and relied on customers feedback to make changes to it. This is because we were in lockdown and it was difficult to recruit users. But it was also a great way of iterating the product for free.
Creating the website on Wix.
Outcomes and future work
In terms of usability, the site had one huge fault picked up by customers. The site's implementation of Gloria Food to take orders was not appearing well on mobiles. The responsive features did not work as expected. This led us to sadly move the ordering feature outside of the site to Gloria's website instead (opening a new tab).
CTA buttons colours were changed to white to make it fit the theme and make it visible to users. Also, for the mobile version these CTA buttons were moved above the fold. This came after some users didn't know how to order.
Otherwise the website has been a great 'refresh' for Aroma Spice and its customers as its modern and up to standards. Gloria Food also allow us to add great promotions for customers too.
Looking at sales since the sites release in September 2020 - the site has made Aroma Spice +£8,000 before tax and card fees (checked 17 December 2020). They no longer pay a 10% commission fee per order except for a monthly fee to use Gloria Food. Using rough figures this has saved us just over £700 (after monthly, domain and Wix fees) that would have been paid to the previous developers of the website. This is without including reservations fees the previous developers took monthly. Gloria Food allow us to take reservations with no charges!
This shows this project was a success as we have met the criteria in 'How will we know if we've solved this problem?' addressed above. This website cost less to run as we are not paying commissions anymore!
To continue the success of the site, we have been pushing the website to the people of Hampstead using leaflets and Google Business Posts to encourage people use the site opposed to apps like Uber Eats etc.
The next steps for this site would be to check the experience of ordering on the Gloria Food platform and viewing other pages. There may be usability problems hidden in them that slows down users journeys.
Screenshots of the site and marketing tools we now use.