As soon as I go to Savetable.com I can instantly tell what it is, due to the helpful phrase “Alaska’s Restaurant Menu Guide” under the logo for the site. Having a quick and easy identifier is a really great start.
I’m instantly met with a very dominant search bar, allowing you to search either by restaurant or specific food, which is a really neat option to search by.
My first impression of the site is that the color scheme is very monotone. It’s a little too simple for my taste. I’m guessing the focus is the nice big search button, but after that, there are a lot of links that aren’t easily separated by the eye.
There is a big coffee cup icon and I’m not really sure why it is there. I click it, and it doesn’t do anything at all.
Beside that is an update that tells me that Sullivan’s Steakhouse has a full menu online now, but alas, I can’t click on this either. When I go to click on the update part that tells me how long ago this was added, which looks like it might be clickable, I am taken to a Twitter feed. So it looks like I can’t actually get to the menu of the noted restaurant from the update.
The set of columns below these are Make a Reservation, Popular, Just Added, and a Random Pick. I’m also given the option to view all on the Make a Reservation section. The just added section actually has two columns of listings, given them ten entries in all. This bothers me, because it isn’t the same amount as the other columns and it makes things feel unbalanced to me.
I like the idea of a Random Pick section, though I am a bit unnerved about the fact that there is an option to have a star rating, but the random selection has not been rated. I almost feel like if it makes the front page, it should be something that someone has been able to vouch for.
Another thing that throws me off is that the site links at the bottom are not centered. They are aligned right, which is incredibly off putting to anyone who also hates crooked picture frames.
When you go into a restaurant listing, you get a lot of really good information. You get locations, contact information, a link to make reservations, menus, reviews, a map, and coupons. I’m very impressed with the level of detail that you get about the restaurant.
Looking to the top navigation, when I go to listings, I expect to see a listing of all of the restaurants that are available on the site, but instead I’m just lead to more search information.
The About page is nice and thorough, with a place to add listings, information about the company, and technical information. It doesn’t give me a face to put as a behind the scenes person, which is something that I like to see, but you can’t have everything. There is also a nice happy link to a good contact form that is clean and usable.
Now on to a very odd thing. There is a login button at the top of the site, but I have no idea why. When you click it, it takes you to a log in screen, but I see no way to sign up and no advantage of signing up.
The search function works well, if you are searching for something that is a key ingredients in a registered menu item, and it has the price and location of where you can find this food, which I find helpful.
In summary, this is a useful site and it is pretty usable, though it is very basic. The non-clickable links could do with fixing and the design needs a major overhaul.
– Have latest update button take you to the listing
– Take out the coffee cup or make it do something
– Center the bottom site navigation
– Re-do the design to make it more balanced and appealing
– Distinguish the columns of links better
– Even out the columns of links
– Remove login button or clearly define it’s purpose
– Make the whole site line up correctly