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3 Restaurant Website Design Tips

It’s a well-established fact that having a website with a good design can help build business. Restaurants benefit greatly from having properly built websites, and including a few key details in your restaurant page’s design can improve it dramatically.

First of all, you want to be sure your restaurant’s address, location, and hours of operation are clearly visible on every page. This is the main thing most people will be looking for when they come to your website, so make sure it’s easy to find! Including it in a sidebar or footer is not a bad place to start.

Good design follows user expectations. As a person who’s looking up a restaurant on the internet, it’s reasonable to expect to be able to find the menu on the site. This gives customers a clearer picture of  what the food is like, as well as how much they’re likely to spend. Having your menu and prices on your site is important to your customers, so it should be important to you.

Follow a design that goes with the image you want to convey. It doesn’t make sense for a greasy, down to earth BBQ restaurant to have a super sleek, modernized design when a simpler one can get the message across without losing appeal. Staying true to your vision is an important aspect of creating a design that will allow your uniqueness to shine through.

Static vs. Fluid Imagery

As web design has increasingly come to embrace more complex design elements, one choice that has been opened to designers has been the decision whether or not to include fluid, or moving, imagery. Fluid imagery can come off as either compelling or distracting, so the choice isn’t simply one of aesthetic preference, but rather requires careful thought in relation to what purpose the imagery serves and how it fits in with the overall design goals.

Two different websites can show some of the benefits and drawbacks of fluid imagery. The first,, features a slideshow of images and attached captions linking to various articles and pages the agency is trying to highlight. The benefit of this approach is that it creates an appearance of interactivity with the site, and helps to encourage greater focus and participation on the part of visitors. However, it also can be distracting for site visitors, particularly as the slideshow moves slightly faster than many visitors may be able to read the captions.

A better approach is that taken by, which similarly features a fluid slideshow of images on the home screen. However, these images are unattached to any other content, and are only for aesthetic purposes, which renders them less distracting. In addition, the fluidity is not cyclical; that is, there is a progression of three separate images, the last of which is then rendered as the homepage’s static image. This is an interesting take on fluid imagery, and one which helpfully balances its benefits and drawbacks.

Visual Segmentation

On most web pages, there are multiple different pieces of information, options for navigation, and even simply visual design elements competing for a site visitor’s attention. Without a design structure to differentiate these various elements and help guide viewer attention, this abundance of information can often be distracting or even overwhelming. Therefore, visual segmentation is often a key strategy to helping organize a site visitor’s experience.

The website achieves this goal in one of the simplest possible ways, largely differentiating various aspects of the site through separate color schemes. Thus, the main written content is black text on a large white background, the navigation toolbar is a white and grey line at the top, the sidebar is white text on red navigation buttons, and blue borders separate each discrete piece of the site. This is a simple but highly effective strategy that helps to easily organize large amounts of information.

The Department of Justice’s website,, opts for a different approach. Because the site follows a color scheme of black, white, and gold, itself a pleasant aesthetic choice, visual segmentation through color alone isn’t a viable option. Instead, the site more aggressively separates each of its component parts into discrete entities, emphasizing the use of white space to help visitors to mentally distinguish the various elements of the site. It isn’t quite as effective as the simpler color segmentation process, but it’s pulled off well enough to still keep visitors from being overwhelmed.

Why Good Web Design Can Help Your Business

Now that technology is intertwining itself into more and more aspects of our lives, it’s becoming increasingly important for businesses to keep up. While it may be difficult to fathom, many small businesses do not have a dedicated website. Some business owners don’t see the point, especially when they believe it’s easy to manage a Facebook page and Twitter feed on their own.

Having an official website legitimizes a business’s web presence in a way that Facebook and Twitter cannot. Potential customers are much more likely to search for a business’s website than its social media feeds. A good strategy is to have the official website linking to the social media pages and vice versa. Interlinking your sites demonstrates that they are, in fact, your sites and increases traffic to each of them.

This traffic boost can increase your customer base, improve your image, and pass along your message by word of mouth. However, a poorly-designed website can detract from all of the boons of having a site up in the first place. Being sure to have a website that is well-optimized, fast, and easy to navigate will help customers find what they are looking for with minimal effort, allowing you to serve them without actually being present.

The best websites follow modern design practices and aim to make navigation as simple, visually appealing, and readable as possible for the visitor. Visitors who have an easy time navigating your site are more likely to find what they are looking for and therefore more likely to become customers.

Minimalism in Practice

Minimalism, the aesthetic practice of reducing design elements to the minimum necessary, is a popular design trend for modern web pages. Unless a site has a wide array of information which it needs to convey to site visitors (think, for instance, of most government websites – and reflect on how unattractive most of those sites are), it is typically advisable to reduce design to all but the bare essentials.

One extreme example of this trend, though it is fitting for the source of the site, is This site, for an art gallery in San Francisco, is little more than white space, a few links at the top, and a large picture displaying one of the gallery’s exhibitions. But it works, and it even looks fairly good, though the choice of font is somewhat unfortunate.

Less obviously minimalist, though still very much so, is This site, which promotes the Western Trial Lawyers Association, a trade organization which provides continuing education retreats to trial attorneys, does not at first blush appear especially minimalist, but that’s simply a function of its essentially sound core design. If you spend more than a few moments looking over the homepage, you’ll recognize that there is very little to the site’s design, with the most eye-catching element being a large, fluid image at the very top, showing off the organization’s summer and winter resorts at, respectively, Hawaiian beaches and western ski resorts. Aside from this, there’s little more than a toolbar and a few paragraphs of content on the homepage. This is the very definition of minimalism: reducing design elements to the essentials, which, for a site for this type of client, may be more than an art gallery.

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