FlemingsSteakHouse.com is the digital property for Fleming's, an upscale fine dining restaurant with extensive wine collection and expertise.
The Ask: To redesign the archaic Flemings steak house website, including all new branding and interaction design to help users make reservations and explore the food and wine offering of Fleming's.
In 2013, Fleming's approached us to redesign their website. Current digital trends and the competitive landscape left the Flemings client feeling the need to update their digital presence. They wanted a website that would be the perfect vehicle to showcase their mouth watering food and fine dining refinement with the ultimate goal to drive digital reservations.
I lead the UX work, producing all major deliverables and presenting these to the client between late 2013 early 2014.
A digital appetizer to the in-restaurant experience
For Fleming's the main goal of the website was to provide a direct guided experience into the restaurant through a digital portal. This is created by having a prominent reservation call to action that is available and accessible anytime through the browsing experience.
Designing for Needs
Instead of relying on traditional user personas we wanted to focus on user archetypes so we could supplement their in-restaurant experience through the website.
"Happy hour is the best hour"
To cater to the more casual Fleming's guest, easy to find information about happy hour and bar area are provided on the website.
"I need a special evening for our anniversary"
Special requests, wine, and promotions are offered to make their special night even more memorable
"I need to wine and dine my clients"
Looking to entertain large groups for special occasions, Fleming's offers private dining, providing a number of amenities and delicious food.
Planning the Content
Information Architecture and Feature Planning
Defining the Booking Process
The reservation process on the previous iteration of Fleming's was a very convoluted process with multiple pain points. We took the opportunity to take a closer look and create a more elegant reservation experience.
COMMUNICATING THE DESIGN
Communicating interaction details to clients required numerous iterations of rapid prototyping for both the desktop and mobile experience. Where wireframes were helpful to provide high level design detail, I relied on prototypes to sell a more tangible experience to stakeholders and users.
Increase in online reservations by 16%
Since launching the new Fleming's website, their promotion awareness, reach, and user engagement has increased substantially helping Fleming's to become a premier digital experience in the Blooming Brands group.
Reservations through website exceeded reservations through other portals by 14%
Learnings & Reflections
Sometimes it would seem priority user needs and business needs would inherently be the same or at least very similar. In Fleming's case, the fast track to reservations seem to be a for sure priority for both the business and the users. However through testing, users were more preoccupied with finding the menus, and seeing promotions. This informed our decisions to focus on a easy, appealing, and direct way to present content.
Draw the line, think lean
Through this project, the large amount of features and included content was starting to become bloated and overbearing. We encouraged the client to think lean and consider primary user goals in deciding which features and content to leave out for launch. This proved to be a slightly difficult but very important conversation in the shaping and launch of the website.