To begin, I looked up the websites of bars with similar concepts to mine. Of the 3 bars listed, I have only actually visited one (42 Lounge in Milwaukee, WI). I wanted to see what features I should make sure I include, and what problems I could find to potentially address. Below is a short list of conclusions that I drew from my research:
- Strong Brand Presence
- These websites are confident of their identity. Any new visitor knows immediately what kind of place this is and what to expect.
- Navigating between pages, as well as within a single page, is very important. Make sure users can find what they need when they need it.
- Home Page
- Keep the homepage simple and effective. Don’t clog it up with unnecessary information.
- Integrating layouts across pages is a great way to keep a website looking its absolute best.
- Some fun features to consider
- Gallery of Images, “Meet the Staff”, “Nerd of the Week”, and a list of related local businesses.
If you are interested in the more in-depth notes I took, you can bring up the PDFs below:
I’ve never done personas or empathy maps before, so this was an interesting exercise. I decided to bring up 2 personas, one that I call the “casual nerd” and one that I call the “super nerd”. I figure the people most interested in this sort of business is someone who identifies as a “nerd” on at least some level, so I included some nerd-based “stats”. The empathy maps was a nice exercise. I feel like it helped get me into the mindset of my users for a moment, helped me remember to think of what’s going through their head, especially when paired with the results of my survey (below).
Persona #1: Kat“Alcohol isn’t a problem! It’s a solution!”
Education: Bachelor’s in Science, might consider going on to Master’s
Tech Literacy: Runs on Windows 10 and Android, with the most up-to-date software/hardware she can manage.
Income: 60K/year (salary, full-time)
Favorite Drink: Whiskey and Coke
Frequency She Goes Out: At least once a week, usually on Friday or Saturday
Favorite Fandom: Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Favorite Hobby: Coffee Roasting
Favorite Movie: Wonder Woman
Pet Peeve: “I am ridiculously impatient! Slow walkers, slow drivers, indecisive people, I can’t take it! I’ve got things to do, so get out of my way!”
Persona #2: Shane“I’d rather be hated for who I am and loved for who I’m not”
Gender: Agender (they/them)
Education: Currently in school for film, receiving a Bachelor’s in a year
Tech Literacy: Macbook and iPhone, the ones they got 3 years ago when they started school
Income: 10K/year (min wage, part time)
Favorite Drink: Hard Cider (Angry Orchard, Redd’s, ect.)
Frequency They Go Out: Maybe once or twice a month
Favorite Fandom: Steven Universe
Favorite Hobby: Writing
Favorite Movie: Probably some obscure Russian animated film from the 60’s
Pet Peeve: “I hate people who are on their phone all the time. It’s like, I’m right here! Am I too boring for you?! Double points if they’ve got their phone out during a movie…”
I created an sent out a survey to a group of potential users (read: my Facebook friends) to help me get an understanding of how realistic my assumptions were. In retrospect, I think I might have been a good idea to include some demographic information in my survey. While I specified in my post that I was looking for responses from people aged 21-35, getting that info would’ve helped me ensure that the responses I got where actually from the appropriate age group. Live and learn, I guess.
How frequently do you visit a website for a bar, restaurant, or cafe?
Approximately how long did you spend on these websites, on average?
What are some of the things you do when you visit these types of sites? (select all that apply)
|Check the menu||18 (100%)|
|Check the pricing||17 (94.4%)|
|Check hours||16 (88.9%)|
|Find directions/look up address||8 (44.4%)|
|Look up further information about the bar||6 (33.3%)|
|Look at photo gallery of past events||5 (27.8%)|
|Check upcoming events||3 (16.7%)|
|Contact management||1 (5.6%)|
|Look for pics of the space & menu (write-in answer)||1 (5.6%)|
Did you run into any problems when trying to complete these tasks?
Summary of Qualitiative Responses
When asked to clarify on some specific problems they run into when using these sites, the primary consensus was that they got frustrated with navigation. Menus were difficult to find, and upon finding them, users found them formatted in a manner that wasn’t as helpful as they hoped. They specifically expressed frustration at the lack of pricing listed on the menu.
So, what did I learn here?
- >> Users will be unlikely to spend a significant amount of time on this website. We can expect a user to spend less than 10-15 minutes once or twice a month on this site. Ensuring simple and easy functionality is critical. This falls in line with my assumption.
- >> The menu is the most important piece of information users will look for upon reaching this site. Ensuring users can find and read the menu easily on all devices will be the most important goal this site can achieve.