Uchitomi

Brief

Uchitomi, a Japanese supermarket, asked us to come up with a web tool to manage orders.

Features: Customers have the option of eating in or taking out. The constraints were different from the ones we usually deal with in this type of project. We had to factor in the takeout hours, cooking pace, work days, and opening hours for their locations in Geneva and Lausanne.

Our solution

A customized Magento e-shop outfitted with the latest HTML5 and CSS3 technology.

A fun and original design. A project management system to meet our client’s needs.

Here’s an overview of the tools we used.

  • Magento: An e-commerce platform used by the biggest brands (The Northface, Lindt, Zadig & Voltaire, etc.)
  • HTML 5 / CSS 3: Fallback on JavaScript
  • Github: Versioning and project monitoring
  • Agile approach to project management: Fully involving the client and team at every step of the project.
  • User tests (human factors and ergonomics) with the help of :ratio. These tests enabled us to fully understand the ordering process and improve navigation in general.

This project holds a special place in our history.

We reveled at being able to experiment and further refine our skills to bring about this project. While our main objective is to satisfy our clients, it is always nice to get recognition from our peers.

These are the main technical problems we resolved.

Restrictions on ordering hours: opening hours of the stores and kitchens, different schedule depending on the day and location, vacations and public holidays, short period of time between orders and pickups.

Design

Part of our task was to create a new visual identity.

This is an opportunity for us to talk about something that web agencies rarely open up about: what do we do if a client completely disagrees with us about something? In this case, it was our first draft of the design. We quickly reassessed the situation and redistributed the workload, including project and account management. We were then able to get a better sense of our clients expectations. We cleared up the situation and our second draft of the design was accepted.

After a more neutral initial version, we decided to push things further. We took inspiration from Uchitomi’s logo and the packaging of Japanese food sold in the supermarket. We also added a touch of humor.

A family of pictograph characters

We found ourselves in a unique graphic universe influenced by the world of manga. We created a whole family of pictograph characters to accompany customers through each step and make their possible actions as clear and entertaining as possible.

We also took charge of producing and integrating Uchitomi’s newsletter.

This may seem like a rather ordinary task. But is it really so? Let’s go over a few technical details. We didn’t want the newsletter to be a mere digital image, because it wouldn’t get through anti-spam filters.

We therefore needed text accompanied by images and a neat layout. For the mailing system, we used Campaign Monitor.

There was a real art to the technology and design: the newsletter had to be tested on all types of navigators, devices, operating systems and email systems. There were more constraints involved, compared to a website. Uchitomi’s Newsletter also had to feature a responsive web design.

When we launched the newsletter, it was important for us to have a “zero contact“ rule. We specified to readers how often our client would be communicating with them through the newsletter and explained clearly to them how to unsubscribe..

Since our client’s brand depends on word-of-mouth, we wanted this tool to be as unintrusive as possible.

Our client has been sending out one newsletter per month since last December. We initially helped them produce it, then handed over all the tools for them to publish it on their own. The newsletter is also available in Japanese.