**Disclaimer: Photography and designs used for this post belong to their rightful owners.**
On this post, I will share some of the research I conducted for my second web design project. For this project I was required to choose a local business a few miles away from my home, and design a responsive website for it.
Our preliminary designs were due yesterday, and we had a critique in class. I am not very happy with what I have right now, so I am thinking about starting from scratch again, by going back to research and sketching out some ideas again. This research is my second time around looking for ideas and inspiration for this project, hopefully this will be a nice way for me to FOCUS. I feel like I have not had a lot of time to sit down and sketch out a lot of concepts and designs for this semesters’ projects, and am feeling very stuck. Hopefully making a research post will help me get back on track.
I live in a very diverse area, so there are many small businesses I can choose from. I decided to choose my sister’s part-time workplace as my local business for the project. The local business is Batten Ramen. It is a Japanese restaurant that is well known for it ramen noodles, but also offers a variety of other Japanese and Korean/Chinese fusion cuisines. The restaurant’s hearty curry dishes are very popular among customers. Recently, a lot of Japanese ramen restaurant chains have been opening near my area, and are possible threats to Batten Ramen’s small business, so in order to help their business I thought it would be nice for me to design them a website.
Batten Ramen (Direct):
I searched Batten Ramen on google and found a few images of the manager, Mr. Nakajima, and a few photos of Batten’s old part-time workers at an NYC ramen festival. I also read a few reviews about Batten by their customers on Yelp and Urbanspoon. I think one thing a lot of customers might not know, is that Batten Ramen makes Kyushu style noodles, while other ramen restaurants make noodles in a style of a different region of Japan, for example, I know Mitsuwa’s Santouka, a famous ramen restaurant, makes Hokkaido stye noodles. I think it might be important for customers to know that Batten Ramen makes specifically Kyushu style noodles. The noodles are thinner, and the broth is lighter in color.
Batten Ramen’s interior decorations:
Other Ramen Restaurant website designs (Direct):
I also researched the navigations and looks of other popular ramen restaurants. I was surprised to find that many of the websites were responsive, but the most popular of the restaurants, Santouka, did not have a responsive website. All of the restaurants are chains and had similar primary navigations.
Santouka Ramen Website (Not Responsive)
Menya Sandaime Website (Responsive)
Ramen Setagaya Website (Responsive)
Resposive Web Design (Related):
Articles on Responsive web design (Written):
An article that discusses important the principles of effective web design: http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/01/31/10-principles-of-effective-web-design/
A page that provides helpful tips on responsive web design: http://www.seesparkbox.com/foundry/responsive_web_design_tips
Japanese restaurant website (Related):
I searched Japanese restaurant websites but do not think the mood of the designs match well with Batten’s. The designs I saw all seemed very high class and expensive. Batten’s atmosphere is more casual and fun. I hear a lot of stories from my sisters about the customers that go there, and many of them are young, families, couples, or office workers on their lunch break who go alone, or in groups with friends. It’s a very casual and laid-back restaurant.
Restaurant Website (Related):
I also searched American restaurant websites for inspiration. I specifically searched TGI Fridays, because I feel like Batten Ramen has a similar atmosphere, it’s not as busy and popular, but it’s casual, and fun, and a nice place for a family with children to go.
Japanese Art (Inspirational):
I looked up Japanese woodcut and art for color inspiration. Batten Ramen also had a lot of Japanese posters and woodcut prints on their walls to give the restaurant a nice “Japanese” atmosphere. Batten’s interior has a lot of red, brown, and off white. But my professor mentioned that the colors seemed too, obvious(?) which I understand. Batten’s workers used to wear navy blue uniforms, but recently changed to maroon. Hmm, yes choosing a color scheme will be difficult.
Because there are so many ramen restaurants in the area, I think one thing that may be good for the small business, would be to emphasize is that it’s business and food are both managed and cooked by a Japanese man, and that the food is made in the Kyushu, Kumamoto prefecture style.
I watched some short videos and readings on Kyushu. It is a region of Japan that is not well-known to many foreigners. It is an area of Japan that is most like the old Japan, with not many tall buildings and noisy traffic, but a lot of nature and country side. My mother grew up in Kyushu, Oita Prefecture! 🙂
Short video on Kyushu: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3yxNpECtEnA
Kimono and Obi Colors (Inspirational):