OpenTable is an online restaurant-reservation service company based in San Francisco, California, that
covers over 30,000 restaurants in the US as well as several major international cities. When they
rebranded in 2015, OpenTable came to John McNeil Studio to create a site to unveil their rebrand and
serve as a repository for their brand standards and assets.
The broad goal for this project was to reintroduce OpenTable to its audience through the unveiling of
its rebrand, while providing all the elements to accurately translate the brand across multiple platforms.
OpenTable’s than newly formed brand book served as a thorough guide to the rebrand but the challenge
was translating that extensive brand book into an easy to use online guide. A guide which featured
downloadable logos, templates, and color palettes among other assets with varying levels of excess for
the public, OpenTable employees and restaurant partners.
Working with the design team at OpenTable, JMS delved into research to develop a site structure
that would allow OpenTable to celebrate the arrival of the new brand and allowed users to explore their brand
guidelines in depth. The home page had to tell a story, with the brand video serving as the introduction,
while the new photography and copy communicated the brand values and fresh new look. This provided
a bold entry point to the site from which users could delve into the guidelines.
In order to allow various users to have different levels of access into the guideline section of the website
we created two entry points, one for general users and a gated portal with separate password entries for
employees and restaurant partners.
The navigation needed to allow users to maneuver to sections, subpages, as well as as subsections within a
page due to the depth of the content. Our research and internal testing led us to implement a vertical main
nav and a horizontal subnav that anchored to sections within the pages. The navigation and aesthetic
hierarchy, drew upon the brand's established guidelines but were also influenced, among other things by
Google’s approach to their material design website.
In collaboration with the OpenTable team my responsibilities included creating the information
architecture, wire-framing, visual design and prototyping.
The success of this project hinged on site organization and creating an intuitive and seamless
user experience. The core struggles came with providing the massive amount of information in a form that
was easy to navigate and scan, our research proved iterating on an already successful format was the best
way to address the issue.