The restaurant's website. Standards for your design
The accelerated development of the New Technologies of the Information and Communications (NTIC) has brought with it the appearance of new concepts on the Web. In this sense, a new Internet has been developing in recent times on the basis of a new platform defined in the literature as the Web 2.0, which, according to the criteria of several authors, has led to an evolution on the Web.
Web 2.0 has left behind the concepts of Web 1.0, which was limited to offering information without any interaction, and Web 1.5, which incorporated the possibility of booking, until reaching a new environment or platform where users and information interact in a more dynamic, as shown in the following image:
This new tool is based on collaboration, the socialization of information, where the company loses control of the information that appears on the network about its product because it is created, modified, disseminated and contrasted by the clients themselves through blogs, communities of travelers, evaluation pages, etc. (Hosteltur, 2008).
Most of the tools that are used within this new environment come from the previous variants of the web, but without a doubt the 2.0 trend has allowed a better use and use of them. Among the main tools are the following:
Ajax: Acronym for Asynchronous Javasccript and XML. It is a Web development technique to create interactive applications, which makes it possible to make changes to the page without having to reload it.
Blog or Blog: It is a periodically updated website that chronologically compiles texts or articles by one or more authors, the most recent appearing first, allowing the user to always retain the freedom to publish what they deem pertinent.
Aggregators (RSS6): Type of software to subscribe to different channels or Web content (videos, podcasts, blogs) in RSS, ATOM and other XML / RDF derivatives. It gathers the information published on the syndicated websites, and shows the news or changes that have occurred in those channels.
CMS: Acronym for Content Management System, management of contents. It is the program with which the blog is edited and published.
Link: Scheduling order by which a source node is linked to a destination node.
Forums: Internet applications that enable online discussions.
Mash up: Web or Web application that combines content from more than one source in an integrated way, creating a hybrid application in the form of Complete New Content.
Podcast: It is a talking blog or a video in which the programs are received through the Internet.
Social network: They are forms of social interaction, defined as a dynamic exchange of people, groups or people in complex contexts. In these communities, an initial number of participants send messages to members of their own social network inviting them to join the site, thus growing in number of participants and network links.
Wiki: Collaborative website that can be edited by anyone, thus becoming a tool that allows documents to be collectively created without accepting the content before being published on the Web. An example of this tool is Wikipedia, a project created with the aim of creating a free encyclopedia on the Internet.
UGC: They are the combination of different types of multimedia content generated by users (videos, blogs, wikis). Acronym for User Generated Content.
The foregoing suggests a new era for both management de restaurants as for the client, where this new client, who is increasingly interested in the use of ICT, presents a more active participation in the decision process to purchase a product / service. This decision-making power of the client has brought about a radical change in the way in which they seek information about a certain service, product or offer, allowing them to make price and product comparisons.
There are several characteristics that allow Tourism 2.0, through the use of ICT in its entirety, to be gaining importance today, where we can mention:
- User participation
- Interconnection and aggregation of Services
- Multimedia channels and media
- Geolocation of content and services
- Personalization of information and services
- Intelligent systems and information prediction
- Ubiquity of information and services
- Attention and high availability service
Nowadays, the literature refers to a new era for the current Web, already speaking of a Web based on a much more dynamic platform, known as the Semantic Web. It is a trend promoted by Tim Berners himself, inventor of the WWW, whose ultimate goal is to make machines understand, and therefore use, what the Web contains.
The Semantic Web or Web 3.0, as it is also known, is the Web of data. It is based on the idea of adding semantic and ontological metadata to the World Wide Web. Such additional information, which describes the content, meaning and relationship of the data, must be provided in a formal way, so that it is possible to automatically evaluate them by processing machines. (Wikipedia, 2010)
The semantic Web is oriented towards the leading role of information processors who understand descriptive logic in various more elaborate metadata languages that allow describing the contents and information present on the Web, conceived so that machines "understand" people and process in an efficient way the avalanche of information published on the Web.
What are the Web Design Standards?
A standard is a set of standardized rules that describe the requirements that must be met by a product, process or service, with the aim of establishing a base mechanism to allow different elements (hardware or software that use it) to be compatible with each other.
The purpose of the standards is to create a universal, accessible, easy-to-use and trustworthy Web. These web standards are based on a series of recommendations given by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and in general by different organizations worldwide on how to create and interpret documents based on the Web.
A site based on web standards is easier to maintain and update, the code is simpler, thus eliminating the dependency on a single developer; In addition, standards-based sites use less bandwidth and are displayed faster to users, thus allowing greater visual consistency
Elements to consider when designing a website for a restaurant.
Before starting to work on the purely aesthetic aspect of web pages, it is essential to work on their structure starting from:
- Define the sections and web pages that the site should have.
- Choose the sections or pages that can be accessed from the main (or home) page.
- Determine which content should stand out above the rest.
- Distribute the content to be presented between the different sections and pages.
- Specify the different access routes to each of the web pages of the site (it is important to offer multiple platforms to access the same information).
- Determine the languages that the website will have.
Once you have defined the structure of the site, you must proceed to define where the blocks of menus, content, graphics, and the sub-blocks within each of the above will be placed. The structure of a web page is sub-divided into rectangular blocks, within which the different design elements or content are positioned. When applying the design over these rectangles they can be masked by removing the edges or using curved shapes. Once the different blocks have been positioned, we proceed to define how they will adapt and behave depending on the screen resolution.
There are three different ways to adapt the main block depending on the size of the screen (taken from http://www.xn--guiadiseo-s6a.com)
Once the structure of the site has been specified, and since it is one restaurants its content must be defined. In the particular case of websites for this type of business, netizens seek to find information related to the services offered therein, which is why modules such as the following should not be missing:
- Gastronomic offer: This allows customers to know what is being served in the restaurant and their prices. If it is accompanied by photos, it will become a reference for the client by being able to view the presentation of the dish.
- Featured dishes: It comes to constitute an advertising block for the restaurant to be able to promote those dishes that are of interest to sell. Digitally it becomes the famous "offer of the day or chef's suggestion". In the plane of management It becomes a resource to provide an outlet for those raw materials that require, either by date or quantity, to be used.
- New Releases: It allows promoting other services or news in the restaurant. (Events for example, home delivery, offers for special celebrations, etc.)
- Newsletter: A loyalty alternative, given that it allows users to receive notifications about services or promotions that are carried out in the restaurant in their email inbox.
- Comments (optional): Component that allows users to comment on the articles published on your website. These comments may previously pass through the filter of a restaurant moderator, who is the one who decides which comments he publishes and which ones not, allowing other users to know the feelings of customers in relation to the service and the particular offer (quality, quantity, taste , etc.)
- Photo Gallery: Alternative to promote photos of dishes that make up the traditional or occasional offer, as well as memorable moments that occurred in it. It allows showing the infrastructure, hygiene and architectural conditions of the restaurant.
- Suggestions mailbox: Form that will allow users to submit their suggestions and concerns. These suggestions will be received by the Restaurant in its email box and will not be published on its website.
On a much more technical level, the following issues should be evaluated:
- Design and Structure: The website must have an attractive design that allows it to easily capture the attention of the client and maintain the interest of the client. Indicators that respond to aesthetics and criteria that allow achieving a balance between the main visual components of Web pages should be used. At the same time, those criteria that give the site greater credibility in terms of the quality and veracity of the information, such as the spelling and grammatical quality, must be taken into consideration.
- Content: The content of the site must not only be precise and detailed, but also must have a high level of updating in the information provided. You must take advantage of the necessary spaces to promote your location and the different forms of physical access, added values (parking, reservation system), telephones, among others. Remember that during the first five seconds the client looks for this information.
- Navigability: This parameter allows you to determine the level of ease with which the user can navigate through the site. The site must include a suitable internal search engine that allows users to perform a faster and more detailed internal search.
- Accessibility: Accessibility on the Web means that all users can perceive, understand, navigate and interact with the Web. This means that form and content must be separated in such a way that it allows the information to reach different devices, browsers and screen readers.
- Bandwidth: For sites with many visits, working with standards can represent a very large saving. Reducing costs with the sending of unnecessary information to the user. Web pages built with XHTML and CSS can reduce the size of the original web page by 50%.
- Charging times: Less code makes the pages take less time to load improving the user experience. The quality most appreciated by users on a site is download speed. It takes an average user 10 seconds to lose their attention at the machine.
- Seekers: A Web page designed with standards will appear in a better position in the search results because the code is cleaner, the pages only contain content (not design), semantically it is more correct. Accessibility is linked to search engine positioning, Google navigates as if it were "blind".
- Device independence: The use of standards facilitates access to the content of the Web pages through different browsers and devices. Therefore the same website can be used both on a cell phone and on a PC, TV, printer just by touching a file (CSS). Using standards can mean reaching 100% of the users who visit the network.
- Maintenance: Separating structure and presentation allows changes to be made to the entire site by editing a single file. When an appearance change is required, time and cost will be very reduced. No need to touch developed web pages or change site content.
- User control: The site user has control over the page, regardless of the device with which they connect. Customizing your browser will help you visit the site. The user can modify font sizes, colors, buttons at will.
- Future: The browsers are adapting to the standards, in this way the viability of the projects long-term. CSS 2.0 is compatible with 99% of browsers and, if used well, works for any platform. A site developed with standards uses technology that is easily compatible with other products.
- Efficient: The parts of the web page can be changed of arrangement, design, size depending on the device, the page. So it is no longer necessary to assemble web pages for printing, for PDAs.
About the Website Assessment
Evaluation is the calculation to qualify and measure the achievement and the way to satisfy the proposed objectives of a certain system or unit and in turn discover the weaknesses of the system and suggest ways in which the activity could be improved. (Ponjuan, 1998: 32)
In Marketing activity, at least in the last 25 years, the study of contents has been used to evaluate the quality and value of products promoted in different media (newspapers, television, magazines, etc.). Today the analysis or evaluation of content is also being used in the analysis of information published on the Web.
At present, when conducting an Internet search, a large number of Web sites with content are obtained, in many cases of little veracity, as a result of the vertiginous growth of databases, where anyone is able to publish information on the Internet about dissimilar issues without any control.
As a consequence of this, it is evident the importance of the determination of tools that make it possible to define the information that has the highest possible quality through the evaluation of Web sites.
There are several techniques that involve a detailed definition of measurement parameters that allow the analysis to be made objective and consequently minimize subjective criteria through qualitative and quantitative analyzes.
A website for a restaurant today is not a luxury, it is a necessity. The web allows you to promote yourself to a very diverse audience all over the planet. An updated, indexed and well structured website will become a source of competitive advantage and an opportunity to increase your local and international clientele, remember that the power of the internet allows tourists to create their own travel program and you can be part of it.