Richmond Station concentrates on hospitality and customer service above everything else. These were key themes during the reimagining of their web presence. We created an application that puts customer communication at the forefront of the experience, allowing their team to better serve and interact with their clientele.

Strategy

When crafting a new digital product, it’s important to outline the core problems the product will solve. For Richmond Station, this iteration was focused on simplifying the customer experience. This included: clear and concise marketing; the addition of deep linking; the ability to provide real-time feedback and the ability to purchase gift cards.

Planning

The first issue we needed to resolve was content management. The original Richmond Station site was sparse when it came to content. Instead of a single page with hashbangs (yes, we mean hashbangs) for URL, we opted for a dedicated URL structure for all content on the site. This structural data change allows the support team to be precise with their responses and enables content to be seamlessly shared and promoted. Legacy content wasn’t removed; it was still important to keep useful information such as the food menu, general contact information, and the employment page. Finally, there is a greater emphasis on storytelling overall for Richmond Station.

Design

The design brief for this project was to create something that was modern with a sense of high contrast and clear content segmentation. There was particular focus paid to creating an immersive, full page experience that focused on content and rich media. Navigation elements were stripped back to use simple icons and positioned around the edges of all screens to reinforce the idea of content first. The clean and modern typography was selected to accompany the stellar brand identity, providing consistency to forms, buttons, images, video, and all other forms of rich media. Much attention was paid to user interface elements and their interactions across the entire application. This includes sticky navigation, breadcrumbs, collapsible panels, detailed and tab-oriented menu cards, sliding navigation, modal popups, maps, and third-party integrations.

Development

The development of this application mirrored the goals of the design but included an extra level of complexity. The final product needed to accomplish all the intricate points of the strategy and design, plus be faster and include more integrations and enhancements. There are many third-party applications and services connected to the new Richmond Station website in ways that look and feel natural. In fact, the last version of the site had very few third-party apps by comparison. We’ve connected: an email newsletter service; a payment gateway for gift cards; embedded maps; inline popup forms; a real-time chat feature; and social media sharing integrations. All these integrations can negatively affect a site if not implemented correctly. Because of this, we spent much time combing through platform documentation to ensure that any third-party services could be woven into the site without causing the final look and feel of the site or its render and load time to change. Furthermore, the site is fully responsive, and customized to fit the exact needs of the Richmond Station marketing team within its administration area.

Analytics

One of the largest benefits of third-party integrations is the analytics tools that typically ship with them. This was a large focus when choosing what applications we ultimately ended up implementing. All pages, forms, and interactions are tracked and monitored allowing the marketing and hospitality team to better understand their customers as a whole. Moreover, targeted ad networks have been integrated to allow the restaurant to run a wide range of marketing and advertising campaigns with ease.