Vegan Japanese Cooking Website Design (Freelance)

I helped my client start her new vegan cooking class business by making sure that she has an online presence.

Project duration: two weeks in March 2020

Client review:

“I am grateful that Yumi has constructed the website in a way that I can easily update it later. After discussing together the ideal look of the website and the usability for customers, she designed the site that I am happy with. I am also grateful for the quick delivery and the smooth communication.”

– Eku Honda, Owner of Vegan Japanese Cooking

What I Did

  • Market Research
  • Establishing key audiences
  • Wireframes
  • UI & High Fidelity Design
  • Prototyping
  • User testing
  • Building website with WordPress

The Challenge Specifics

My client used to teach cooking classes abroad, and wanted to start teaching again in the UK. To start, she needed a professional website designed and built. 

My client required the below contents on the website:

  • Recipes
  • Biography
  • Introduce online and onsite cooking classes
  • Contact form
  • Social media links

Market Research

In the beginning of the project, I conducted a market research and competitor analysis, and I found that there was no vegan specific Japanese cooking class business in the UK. There were five major Japanese cooking class businesses in the UK with online presence. Two of them did offer a vegan class, but the rest of the classes were all non-vegan. Three other competitors did not offer any vegan classes. This gave me the confidence that my client was in a good position to start her business in this niche.

It was also encouraging to discover that very few competitors offered vegan Japanese recipes on their website, so having recipes on my client’s website would definitely differentiate her.

Competitors’ sites

After reviewing the competitors’ websites, I felt that having great photographs of tasty looking dishes and the pictures of my client teaching the classes would be key. I advised my client what type of photos would suit the website, for which she hired a professional photographer.

I also asked my client to tell me more about her customers. The classes would be taught in English, so her clients would be mainly non-Japanese people who were vegan and interested in learning about the Japanese cuisine and culture. The age range would vary, so I decided to design the website in the style that could appeal to wider generation. 

Sitemap

To design and build the website, I started by mapping out the structure of the website.

Lo-fi Wireframes

After defining the overall structure, I sketched the lo-fi wireframes.

Hi-fi Wireframes

Based on the lo-fi wireframes, I created hi-fi wireframes, and presented to my client.

Client was generally happy with the design, but she had a few concerns over the interface and customer journey.

After speaking to the client further, I refined her business needs. She wanted to put more emphasis on her cooking classes, as that’s where she would make money. I changed the layout of the website by placing cooking classes information directly under the main banner image.

Also, we refined the target audience further by focusing on more specific demographic; young professionals who like to eat healthy, are interested in organic food, like to cook regularly, and visit farms from time to time. This helped improve the look and feel of the website, by changing the colour scheme and font styles to target this demographic. 

Websites for inspirations: 

Final Design & Outcome

After reworking the design, I tested the website with users to make sure that they navigate easily, and then presented the final design to my client. 

Cooking classes’s info directly under the banner, so that users can find the link to the classes quickly while on the landing page
Desktop view
Mobile view

I delivered the project on time, and received a strong feedback from my client.

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