Where can you find information and help when you are starting a new restaurant? For this need, Hartwall wanted to build a new service that gathers all the necessary information in one place and at the same time brings new restaurants to Hartwall's services and expert sales. HiQ's digital commerce specialist Lamia was chosen to shape the new service as customer-oriented as possible by combining service and UI/UX design.
In the beginning, the definition of the service concept and the technology selection was done, followed by the design sprint, and finally, a close UI/UX design phase was implemented. Hartwall's restaurant information service "Perustetaan ravintola" was published in the autumn of 2021.
The goal was visibility and leads
"When restaurateurs contact us, we plan together what equipment and products are needed. However, setting up a restaurant involves a lot of regulations, applications and regulations, and novice restaurateurs also need more extensive information in order to move forward effectively", describes Tiina Happonen, Hartwall’s customer marketing manager and the project leader. She continues:
"We wanted to create a new service that would serve important information right from the beginning of the restaurant's establishment. One goal was to get us good visibility in the target group so that we at Hartwall can help the restaurants with conceptualizing their offering and ways to increase awareness.
"Another goal for the service was to make our own sales work easier. Our sales team often advises start-up restaurants on a wide variety of issues, not just those related to the beverage industry. There was a clear need in the target group for a centralized information package for setting up a restaurant. This way our own sales team can guide customers to find the correct information via the service.”
The goal of the project was therefore both the collection of sales leads and increasing the efficiency of salespeople's work. "We want to help existing customers, but at the same time get new customers. In this service these perspectives were combined", Tiina sums up.
Before starting the project, Hartwall was looking for a suitable partner for service design, UI/UX and visual design. Lamia was selected as a partner due to their extensive expertise in the subject matter. "We needed a specialized service provider for our design and user experience needs. Lamia's designers came up with a lot of ideas and good questions already in the discussion phase, so it was reassuring", says Tiina.
For the technical implementation of the new service, it was natural for Hartwall to utilize the group's existing web partner. Therefore the cooperation with Lamia focused specifically on design work.
Concept: content before technology
Lamia helped Hartwall to clarify the service concept right from the beginning. However, the service was completely new for Hartwall and hadn’t been done before; therefore there were many open questions both about the service concept and the technology choices. Technology in particular defined the boundary conditions for design, and therefore the choices had to be done right at the beginning of the project.
Instead of a separate portal or online store, it was decided to utilize the content management system (CMS) of Hartwall's existing website and create a parallel website with it. "Thanks to this we were able to quickly focus on the site structure and content, which were more important areas than technology in terms of customer experience", Nina Leppänen, UI/UX Designer from Lamia describes.
One of the key elements of the design project was the MVP or “Minimum Viable Product” thinking. "We limited the project right from the start to focus on the most central functionalities. Thanks to that, we got up and running quickly. We can easily build more functionalities in the future", says Tiina.
One example of limitations was the extent of the informational content. Instead of having all the information written in the new service directly, it was decided to include links to other information sources, such as legal information, in the service content. "In this way, we can also maintain the content more easily, and we can trust that our customers will always receive the most up-to-date information."
Design sprint: putting the structure together
During the design sprint, a clear framework for the new service was put together and information needs at every point in the visitor's path were clarified.
During the first day, Lamia’s service design team mapped the needs and considerations for the service among Hartwall's own team of six people. The prioritization of needs was done in close discussion together. On the second day, the new service and plans for its implementation were formed and goals were set.
"We went through comprehensively what needs to happen when someone comes to the page, what they are looking for there, what kind of information they need to get ahead in the service, how we get contact information, and so on. In the end, the user path was really clear, simple and user-friendly", Tiina describes the practical mapping phase.
Based on the user path, Lamia built a quick prototype with InVision for user testing and interviews. Two existing customers of Hartwall, who had recent experience in setting up a restaurant, were selected for the testing phase. "Although the testing phase was compact, the selected users were very different and we really got a lot of valuable feedback for the prototype and the service", Nina thanks.
At the end of the Design Sprint week, Lamia’s team compiled all the conclusions, observations and results from the interviews and created the service roadmap that helps to facilitate the process.
UI/UX design: special attention to the lead form
The Design Sprint week was followed by the UI/UX design phase in which the prototyped was built within one week. For that, Lamia created a couple of different visual options, from which Hartwall chose the most suitable. In addition, the structure of the site was built and the contents were planned.
In accordance with the original technology limitations, the existing content blocks of the CMS were utilized as much as possible. Besides that, a few new ones were created, including a customized contact form.
A lot of time was invested in the UI/UX design, especially on the contact form, because the preliminary information of the contacts is valuable for Hartwall's sales. "With this preliminary information, we can immediately find the best possible expert to contact. The needs are very different whether we are talking about setting up a wine bistro or a nightclub, and for these different areas we have local experts", explains Tiina.
The end result is a distinctive and user-oriented site
"The end result is pleasing to the eye and the usability is good. Lamia’s team also succeeded well in implementing Hartwall's look. The page looks like Hartwall without being the same as our website", Tiina reflects the results of the project.
From the designer's point of view, the project, which was carried out in a tight few weeks, succeeded in its goal to crystallize the essentials. "During the design sprint, a lot of needs emerged that the people of Hartwall said they would not have thought about otherwise. The customer path, illustrating the scope for the new service, was a particularly valuable output," Nina says.
Crystallization of the essential is also emphasized from Hartwall's side: "The service can be done in many different ways and it is good to analyze the needs in more detail in order to find the most suitable implementation method. Sometimes you have to give up frills, because the simplest way is the best" sums Tiina.
The new site is published at hartwall.fi/perustetaanravintola.