Restaurants Association of Ireland
- Date —  01/07/2023
- Client —  Adrian Cummins
- Project —  Website redesign
- URL —  www.rai.ie
What was required
Having worked with the CEO Adrian Cummings in the past on their Irish Restaurants Awards project an opportunity arose to re-design and re-develop their own website, www.rai.ie. The primary requirement was a fresh modern looking site that reflected the values of the Association and that was easy to maintain and allow for a membership to be built. Based on WordPress a new site with a bespoke them would be designed and built.
- PHP, SCCS/CSS, JS/jQuery
- Sketch app
- Visual Studio Code
- Bespoke theme
- Responsive layout
- Enhanced typography
- Members only area
An audit revealed the site suffered from performance issues and a lack of coherence in the layouts and typography used. There were also areas on the site that just didn’t work with broken links and poorly executed code. A chief contributor to the poor performance on the original site were the sheer number of plugins installed; these were in turn reviewed and decided if they were really required. Quite often, good PHP code can replace a plugin with out the overheads that comes with too many.
A completely fresh start was undertaken and once the requirements and site content were agreed upon a new design was worked on.
Used across the site a responsive three column layout was used which in turn used consistent typographic elements. In doing so, the structure of all pages would be remain familiar which is critical for the user experience. Headings would remain the same so indicating the hierarchy of the content so it would be easy to read and digest. Content is managed using the superb ‘Advanced Content Fields’ plugin. Widgets such as document available for downloads, layout blocks area easily developed. It allows the Association to focus on just adding content, maintaining and publishing easily. This is core to any ‘Content Management System’ or CMS.
Layout blocks allowed an image to be added, text that could be formatted (with limits) and links to internal, external so send email. By enforcing this, a consistent layout would be achieved.
The document widget allows a variety of documents to uploaded and available to a visitor to be then downloaded locally. The widget would automatically detect and display the date added, the size and document format which is incredibly useful to anyone considering a download.
Typography was entered on the typeface Futura. Designed by Paul Renner in 1923 it has remained a modern and timeless font with geometric glyphs that are legible and a come a variety of weights which allows the development of easily read textual elements. A firm favourite of the noted film director, Stanley Kubrick and used on the Apollo 11 moon lander this typeface proved to be an excellent choice to reflect the core values and vision of the Restaurants Association of Ireland.
The use of deep purple and lime green that was complemented with a variety of greys to build a colour palette that could be used to enhance the layout and typography. Subtle gradients using CSS gave depth and interest to major headings.
A system was built to enable the easy addition of new patrons and trade partners that the association works with and displayed on carousels and a dedicated page.
Members only content was a chief requirement for this project. Visiting the site of the first time or not logged in there are clear indications on how to join or where to login. Once logged in members content is then visible and previous indicators to join are no longer visible. Members can then update their own information which is then relayed back to the Association members team.
News and announcements is very important for the Association. A monthly President’s Report which was previously lost in a sea of articles is now clearly displayed, with previous editions easily found and read.
how can i help?
With 20 years of experience, I can offer you a full range of services from complete web design, brand development and management to social media. Need to start selling online; that’s no problem. Do you need an email marketing strategy, I can help with that.