Duration

03/2020 – 05/2020

Role

Full Graphic Designer, Logo Designer, Web Developer

Work

User Research, UI/UX Development, Web Development, Branding, Visual Design, Marketing, Social Media

Link

Alameda Eats: connecting the community with struggling restaurants during the COVID-19 pandemic​

Working with the Alameda Chamber of Commerce, I created Alameda Eats, program to connect Alameda citizens with local restaurants in Alameda that are suffering from the shelter-in-place directive in response to COVID-19. Alameda Eats is a searchable website where you can find up-to-date information on Alameda restaurants that are offering takeout, delivery and/or curbside pick-up. New information and restaurants are submitted by the community, truly making it a community resource. Since launch, the site has over 30,000 page views and features 112 local restaurants and businesses, also being featured in local news.

*This case study is in progress! Check back soon for more details!*

Problem

I was discussing a local issue in my City with Felicia Vargas, Alameda Unified School District Career Technical Specialist. Businesses saw rapidly decreasing revenue during the COVID-19 pandemic, driving many Alameda businesses potentially out of business. Many community members were unaware of this, as well as which restaurants were open and how to order from them. Local customers were unable to connect with restaurants virtually and struggled to find ways to support them during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Work

Working with Alameda Chamber of Commerce Executive President Madlen Saddik and Alameda Unified School District Career Technical Specialist Felicia Vargas, I decided to try to find a solution to help support our struggling local businesses. I conducted a variety of interviews and strategic research to figure out how to best serve both restaurants and customers. This was followed by ideation, testing, and implementation through both a visual identity for the platform as well as web development to bring this platform to my community. This was complemented by social media outreach and strategy assisted by Nicole Kidd Insights in local community circles and through news outlets to help spread awareness about the platform and best serve my community.

Research

To further understand how to best serve both local restaurants and customers across the City, I conducted over 10 interviews with both restaurant owners and local consumers. This was followed by ideation and discussion with community stakeholders at the Alameda Chamber of Commerce and the City of Alameda Economic Development Department to understand how to best serve my community in this time of need. This, coupled with secondary research in regards to effective media vehicles, garnered key insights to take forward for my development.

Restaurant Interviews

Our over 140 surveys further quantified appropriate channels and gave us insight into Origin of Mind’s core consumers:

Users primarily discover new brands through Instagram ads, word-of-mouth, and influencers; particularly a strong aesthetic and messaging
Consumers are incentivized to support a brand due to an appealing story, value-add to the social media experience, and if they are local
Customer service: clear categories and filters + prompters; product specifications  
Platforms to branch out into: Instagram most effective; can improve presence on Youtube, TikTok, Snapchat     

The only fashion brands I follow are ones that bring value, not just promote their products. For instance, I follow Ami because they post lifestyle photos along with product photos.
- Fashion Student

Result

Working with Alameda Chamber of Commerce Executive President Madlen Saddik and Alameda Unified School District Career Technical Specialist Felicia Vargas, we identified a common directory of businesses to be a proper solution. wanted a sleek, modern, yet also extremely functional site that easily and seamlessly connected users with a directory and list of local restaurants to support in Alameda, conveying both the strength of our community and highlighting the wonderful cuisine of Alameda, displayed in our logo: a combination of an anchor and a fork.

Hero

The hero section is a direct call-to-action. It highlights the wealth of food options by rotating between them, and then asks the user to search for their restaurant or type of food they are looking for.

Directory

The directory is the most important part of the site. It lists over 110 local Alameda restaurants, sortable and searchable. When the user chooses a restaurant, it directs them to a page with updated hours, menu, phone number, type of delivery during the pandemic, and location.

Donations

We also included a donations section to further highlight both the importance of supporting local business as well as donating to local food banks and meals on wheels in this crisis.

Submit a Restaurant

As we lacked a formal list of Alameda restaurants and hours, and restaurant practices were constantly changing amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, a form for community members to submit new restaurants or information was essential.

Mobile