Bubble tea and website design have been in the greater part of our lives, and it’s also how we maintain a work-play balance in our creative agency. Little did we know, slurping the pearls from a cup of boba tea can actually help us unlock some of the secrets to creating better web design.
You’re probably wondering “What the hell does bubble tea got to do with me designing a website?” Trust us, we didn’t expect it either. The same way that Netflix has taught us about marketing, bubble tea unexpectedly taught us about web design.
As good as a cold bubble tea is on a warm day, our alleged favourite national beverage (le bubble tea) is about to drop some pearls of wisdom on you for the betterment of your brand. From the navigation menu, customisability, all the way down to establishing an influential branding and reputation, we bring you 5 unexpected website design tips that we’ve learned from drinking bubble tea:
If you’ve seen a menu from any bubble tea shops in Singapore, you can usually locate your favourite drink within the menu fairly quickly. Whether it’s Passionfruit Green Tea or a no-fuss Bubble Milk Tea with Aloe Vera (yes double topping yummers), you never have trouble finding it.
The reason for that is the nice arrangement and smart planning of their menu, complemented with clear headers that indicate each drink’s category, which makes it a hell lot easier to pick from 50 over drinks.
Same goes for the navigation menu on your website design — plan out your sitemap properly and have clear headers for each of your subpage category. This allows any user to navigate through your site and get to their desired page faster. Of course, before you get to all that, relook at your website’s information architecture during your User Experience audit stage where you can categorise better content and prioritise which content deserves the boot.
Customisability & User Control
When you walk into a KOI or a Gongcha (or whichever is your favourite bubble tea shop) store, ordering your drink it’s not as simple as pointing it out your preferred choice on the menu. You also have options customising the drink.
“Sugar level? Ice? Toppings?” We’ve all heard this line of questioning before and for good reason. Everyone has different preferences and it’s best to let them decide how sweet they want it, how much ice in the cup and whether they want pearls, grass jelly or aloe vera.
To cater to these varying inclinations, it’s vital that your web design affords user control within its features, which is also a part of UI design principles for making your website more user-friendly. Whether it’s through the usage of filters in your search functions or even accessibility features, your site needs to provide some form of user control and customisation.
In the past, bubble tea cravings were satisfied by SweetTalk or some mini shops offering the same. Now, we’ve got a plethora of options ranging from the trusty KOI to the new San Chen and R&B Tea.
While most of them have pretty similar drinks, you can still differentiate them and have a preferred brand due to their different design and Unique Selling Points (USPs). For instance, LiHo is all about the cheesy teas and Tiger Sugar is the brown sugar milk tea expert.
It’s safe to say that your brand is probably not the only one in the respective industry, which means you have to find ways to do a brand differentiation, and your website is a great start because it’s all about digital these days. If you’re not online, you’re not anywhere. Accentuate your brand’s USPs and reinforce the visual identity through branding in your web design to stand out and apart from the competition.
Even with the host of options when it comes to bubble tea, you can always tell which specific bubble tea store it is regardless if you’re looking at the storefront, website banner, packaging or even their menu for that matter.
There’s a reason for that: each collateral matches the brand’s unique visual identity. Aside from including their logo, the colours shown on each item is in line with their branding, such as LiHo’s distinct red and R&B’s green on their cups corresponding to their logos, and San Chen’s rustic looking packaging that goes with their store design.
Maintaining consistency in your outputs is important, and it’s even more so to build brand consistency throughout your website design. By keeping to a strict colour palette and using similar branding elements, you too can also create an identifiable visual perspective in your site.
Bubble tea has definitely evolved with the times and it has even caught up with the technology of today. We used to pay for our bubble tea with the coins from our wallets or purses (granted it used to be only a dollar fifty), now, we’ve got options.
Gone are the days we had to order with a sometimes impatient staff at the cashier, as he/she repeats the same few questions for the 137th time today. A few of the bubble tea chains have since adopted interactive kiosks for you to tap your order and pay with NETS, Credit Cards, FlashPay or even EZ-Link.
If you own an eCommerce in Singapore, you should definitely be opening up the payment gateways on your website development. Don’t let your customers move away just because you don’t have the option for them to pay it.
Need help with your eCommerce website design? Approach an eCommerce developer with a Productivity Solutions Grant (PSG) for up to 80% subsidy for your eCommerce revamp.
Love For Bubble Tea & Website Design
We love bubble tea and we love web design. So, if you’re looking for a website design agency to do up a pretty site for you and your brand, just say the word and our team will get in touch with you to arrange an e-meeting. We can order bubble tea (separately), kick back and discuss how we can make your website design better. (;