ux/ui, BRANDING, user research, information architecture, prototyping, usability testing, figma
Sandino Brothers is a family-owned coffee company, founded by two brothers, Winston and Lenner Sandino. The Sandino Brothers produce premium, hand-picked, traditionally grown coffee beans at their family farm in Nicaragua. The coffee is grown and farmed sustainably, then shipped to Portland, Oregon where the green beans are roasted and sold at their roastery or their second cafe. Company values revolve around sustainability, equity and family.
Sandino Brothers’ website was functional, but not very user friendly. It was full of bugs, stylistically outdated, and inconsistent. I aimed to simplify and beautify the design, while improving the user flow of most tasks. As a small business owner, my client wanted to refresh the coffee shop's look and improve their website without breaking the bank. I assured the design was modular, simple, and easy for my client to handle without constant assistance of a developer. The designs are fairly basic and unembellished, yet elegant and inviting.
I conducted secondary research into the coffee industry and the impact digital assets can have on businesses like Sandino Brothers Coffee. I also conducted surveys with coffee drinkers and interviewed Sandino employees to gauge what features were desirable for the business's website. I uncovered the benefit that online ordering has on cafes by providing convenience and safety for customers, especially during COVID. I also saw the importance of highlighting the Sandino brothers' family story and their dedication to ethical sustainability as a means of distinguishing the business.
Redesigning the Sandino Brothers Coffee site taught me a lot about how to work with clients who run small businesses. I found myself doing much more than just design work. My client was operating on a limited budget and wanted to know he was making the best decisions for his company that would foster long-term success. I spent hours researching what platform would be best to produce the new site, comparing Square with Shopify. I calculated what the costs would be for my client on different platforms and what he was originally paying, and examined the feasibility of transferring the site. I wanted to make sure that he would not only be left with a great design, but an easy experience editing and maintaining his new site.
I grew my skills within eCommerce beyond just design. I learned about the technical application of a design within an eCommerce platform and working within client constraints. My design ultimately is very simple and was created for a smooth transition into Square. It is also designed so the client will have minimal work in future.
Unfortunately, Sandino Brothers Coffee took a financial blow towards the end of this project because their shop was broken into a robbed. This forced my client and I to pause progress in actually producing the site until he can recover from the incident.