3 webdesign storytelling tips from restaurant Mamuka

When was the last time you saw a restaurant website that truly surprised you?

It might be a while ago. Or maybe you don’t even remember. But today is your lucky day, because the website of Restaurant Mamuka is sure to make an impression. This restaurant, located in Russia, has a unique website that’s all about storytelling.

Today I want to share with you what this website does well and what it could do better. Knowledge to take into account when you’re working on your own next campaign, website or design. Let’s roll.

The fun of exploration

Webdesign Restaurant Website Mamuka
Webdesign Restaurant Website Mamuka

Upon entry we are greeted with a call to action. But no, this is not your regular ‘reserve a table’ button. What we see is an invite to discover the mystery of Mamuka. The button underneath says “let the journey begin”. What’s good here?

  • The font is curly, playful, and works well with the logo
  • The colors are soft and mysterious
  • The background is slightly animated, enough to be engaging but not distracting. This is a good practice: moving background are very popular nowadays but rarely are they tested by the audience. Turns out many times a moving background distracts the audience from the actual message.

Short texts and engagement

We start our journey and the next thing we see is a illustration. As we read our way through the short but captivating copy we stumble upon a question. This is where the real engagement starts: we get to decide our own path through the story of Mamuka.

  • The texts are short. Often, when a website tries to tell a story, they put too much information in the screen. Mamuka keeps paragraphs very comprehensible. 2 to 3 phrases.
  • The contrast between headline – body is clear.
  • The engaging element where you as a visitor get to choose which route through the story you want to follow is surprising and fun. After making you first decision, you want to know what comes next. Because of the implementation of this function, you, as a visitor, are now the boss. And that makes you want to explore more.

Shareable content

Webdesign restaurant Mamuka
Webdesign restaurant Mamuka

We read, enjoy and decide our way through the story of Mamuka. But then the best part is yet to come. At the end of the story, Mamuka tells us what our spirit animal is. We are offered to share this great new knowledge about ourselves by just hitting a share button.

  • A creative way to share a restaurant’s website and create curiosity among your audience’s friends. They might also want to discover their spirit animal.
  • The ‘continue’ button brings us to the contact details of the restaurant, but doesn’t say so upfront. This is smart: this makes you stay on the website just a little longer instead of leaving right after finding out what your spirit animal is.

Not perfect at all 🙁

A surprising design and some good storytelling, that’s for sure. But of course there are also some points of improvement for Mamuka.

  1. First of all… What kind of restaurant is this? The last illustration gives me, personally, the idea that it might be an Arabic restaurant. But throughout the story there are no other clues as to what sort of restaurant this is. I don’t feel like this is a good thing.
  2. Although there are buttons to share the website on your own Facebook or Twitter, there are no links whatsoever to the social media of Mamuka itself.
  3. Nor to TripAdvisor pages.
  4. And therefore: I have no clue where to go to find out what kind of restaurant this is, except to Google its name + address. That’s too much effort.
  5. And.. We can’t reserve a table online. That’s not necessarily a big problem, but it’d be nice to add this to such a good digital experience.

Conclusion

Now that we’ve looked at the different elements of this website, let’s wrap it up. We got a restaurant website that truly tells a story. The overall digital experience is good. The navigation is easy. You can’t get lost. The questions are engaging, the texts well written.
But, there’s essential information missing on the website. The website might leave you curious to discover more about this particular restaurant, but for most people this is not the reason to visit a restaurant’s website. They go there to find the menu, contact details, see pictures of the food or reserve a table. Mamuka only manages to satisfy 1 of all those needs.
And that’s a pity, because these functions could easily be implemented in the website.

Lessons

So, what did we learn:
  • Surprise potential visitors with a new experience
  • Engage customers by giving them control over the story that’s on your website
  • Give them something fun to share on their social media channels
  • Test and ask your visitors what they want to see on your website, what information is essential to them
  • And be sure to implement that into your site.
  • Add your own social media channels to the header, menu or bottom of your website.

Did you find this helpful or interesting? Then please leave a comment! Also, if you know any other website which I should check out, please let me know.

> The next post in this webdesign analysis category will be for Olympus Villas, villas-to-rent. If you want to stay updated, make sure to become part of the Tremento Tribe.

The pictures used in this blog post come from the Behance project of Passport Design Bureau. The video is by Opal Video Productions (Leeds).

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