Sunday, November 6, 2011

Calamari Pancakes and Digital Messes

It's Sunday, so I normally take a break from my mobile and digital world to wax poetically about food and dining.  I don't want to disappoint, and as I am heading to New York City this week on business, I am reminded of one of my favorite appetizers: the Sautéed Calamari and Artichoke Tart over Fresh Radicchio Salad at ViceVersa on 325 W 51st Street.

It's a fav and when on business, I like to wander over to ViceVersa, or its sister restaurant EtceteraEtcetera, sit at the bar to order an appetizer and a drink, and chat it up with the bartender.  The calamari tart is like a crisp, loose pancake that combined with the bite of the radicchio is just wonderful combination of flavors and texture.  Having said all of that, however, thinking of going to New York and eating well make me think of a great Slate piece on restaurants' websites that I read this year, discussing the bad side of restaurant website designs and implementations.

It brings up the interesting hypothesis that many nice restaurants with bad site designs are likely due to their own Executive Creative Directors, the chefs, trying to control digital like they do food.  It's an interesting theory that makes a lot of sense.  At work, our ECD talks about the continuum between user experience and brand experience, and it would seem that for many nice restaurants, the designs are likely straddling the fence in uncomfortable ways.   Neither very usable or brand-right designs.

Although the sites are sometimes over-the-top or annoying, I'm just glad the chefs don't straddle the fence when it comes to the food design and preparation.

Come see me and other industry leaders from Sam's Club, BBC America, The Daily, Ogilvy & Mather, Nutro, The Weather Channel, and Starcom Mediavest talk about tablets in marketing at ad:tech New York City next Thursday at 3:00PM Eastern and 4:30PM Eastern.  If you can't make it, tell a friend, and I will think of you while I eat my Calamari and Artichoke Tart!

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