Sushi Zushi fuses Japanese traditions with modern tastes. The owners are dedicated to purists, adventurers, and first-timers alike and ensure their chefs select the freshest ingredients and combine them into extraordinary, hand-prepared artistry for the body and soul. As the popularity of sushi increased, the management felt it was time for an overhaul of their online sushi experience.
How can you showcase the beauty and artistry of sushi cuisine in an environment that caters to sushi-lovers and newbies alike while encouraging online ordering?
To increase engagement with the site and encourage usage of the new online ordering system, Sushi Zushi had to improve their visual experience and functionality while minimizing the numerous pages of menu items that, in some cases, were outdated.
Who are we talking to?
Believe it or not, nearly one-third (32 percent) of Americans have never tried sushi. Sushi Zushi's site had a distinct challenge. It needed to communicate with all levels of people from the person who has never tried sushi to someone who considers themself a sushi blackbelt.
With a research-based understanding of Sushi Zushi's target audience, I created Morgan, Jason, and Denise. Morgan represented the sushi newbie who wants fast food for herself and her husband after a long day at work. Jason represents a mid-level sushi lover who needs fast, good food. Denise, our sushi black belt, who wants to find a local establishment that is worth her time. Ultimately, my end goal was to provide a realistic representation of users and establish scenarios that would help the development team.
After conferring with the client and working through our research, I quickly moved from sketching to creating high-fidelity mockups to validate user issues.
Challenges and Results
Having been criticized for a site that overwhelmed the viewer with menu choices, Sushi Zushi leadership craved something simpler without losing the visual beauty of their creations. Working closely with the development team at WebHead Tech, I designed and directed an experience that ensured users could visually feast on food items while not getting lost in an endless list of selections or hitting outdated links. With 100+ items on the menu, I was challenged to create different user journeys that would engage with different types of sushi fans.
We teased the menu items with regular updates to encourage viewers to visit frequently and see what was cooking (or not cooking) at Sushi Zushi. When the job was complete, the management staff and ownership at Sushi Zushi were very pleased. We happily celebrated with jalapeño rolls, crunchy salmon skin, and chicken yakisoba. Oh yeah!