The problem to solve
Menu Stories is a podcast and collection of multimedia stories about the people behind the restaurants we love, starting with San Francisco. This passion project was inspired by the relationships I built with the local restaurant community, as CEO and co-founder of Terrapn.
From the outset, Menu Stories was more than just an audio podcast: the storytelling for each episode utilized photography, written word, and video elements. I needed to design an experience that would allow our audience to consume the entire story, in a truly multimedia format.
It quickly started to make sense for the experience to be centered around a website that made the content of the series accessible and engaging.
After sketching out some layout options with a pen and graph paper, I jumped right in to coding the website. Since I was the "client," I didn't need to use mockups to communicate my design ideas and I knew I could easily modify the code based on user tests.
Testing & refining
Once I had a working website, I asked fellow designers for their input and conducted some quick user tests with friends and family. After observing how they navigated the website and identified any areas where it was difficult for them to perform tasks I assigned, I implemented changes to the layout to address the areas of confusion. With the help of Google Analytics and other tracking tools, I continue to monitor any usability issues and make changes, as needed.
The finished product
From the responsive website, to iTunes episode covers, to video, to emails, the visual elements and tone came together with a consistent feel and pattern.
Menu Stories has accumulated a steadily growing following, with thousands of listeners. We now have the honor and privilege of getting pitched by top-rated restaurants to be featured on our series — something we never expected to see in our first year.
As the founder, I've gotten to learn a number of new skills: how to record, produce, and edit podcasts. Best of all, I continue to meet some of the most amazing people in our food world and get to work with an incredible team that keeps this project growing and thriving.
Take a look
See the website — and perhaps even subscribe to our newsletter — on menustories.com.