About the client

Lemongrass is a small chain of Thai restaurants in the south of the UK. The restaurants have a solid reputation, pulling in many diners and scoring very high scores of Trip Advisor. I initially started working with Lemongrass when I received a call explaining the owner was having issues with the hosting on one of his websites. After a quick turnaround I landed a contract to make the website for the Petersfield branch when it opened, and since then I’ve been working alongside Lemongrass doing web design for several branches, logo design and graphic design.

The project brief

In the 3+ years I’ve been working with Lemongrass, the website brief has only changed a little. The director has always requested a clean, modern and appealing website which represents the business online. Social media integration is important, as is the display of the food menus.

How I met the brief

Whilst Lemongrass have several domains, they essentially run off of one core theme which was built some time ago. The main WordPress theme has received several facelifts in the last couple of years, keeping things up to date with the changes in design trend and browsing requirements.

In the mk3 redesign, I moved Lemongrass to a new framework of HTML and CSS I had been working on, the big difference was that this framework was responsive. At this point responsive web design was still pretty new, and even now a lot of restaurants do not have a responsive website. In a meeting we discussed what could be done to further the already successful website, and I put this forward as a suggestion – my instincts were correct and website traffic continued to soar. As I write this, mobile and tablet usage far outweigh desktop usage (which sits at 35%). Partly due to the responsive code, and partly because the menu is actually on the website (not a PDF download), browsing the menu, calling the restaurant or ordering a takeaway is easy from a phone – just what a modern restaurant needs!

Currently the website uses a very clean aesthetic, focused on typography and images of the food. The site is a very lean build, it’s fast. For the last rendition of the theme, the sliding images on the front page where replaced with one static image, files were compressed and the CSS framework used less code. I chose the move the site in this direction because of the large percentage of mobile internet users. The faster the site, the better. People can get to what they want faster, and the Google Analytics results show this: the mobile bounce rate is around 37%, much lower than the pre-responsive build.

We’re currently undergoing new design work for another branch, which I’ll be doing the code for again. It’s great to be part of a business moving forward!

Notable features

  • Lean, fast build.
  • Focused on clarity and content.
  • Mailing list using Mailchimp.
  • Social media integration.
  • A WordPress theme which is easily applied to multiple websites, saving time and money.

Words from the client

Yet again you have done a very good job!