The Bean NYC: how coffee meets digital in a simplistic way

It used to be imperative to be on the Internet. Those days are over. If you’re not in the digital world, you don’t exist. Simple. But now the game it’s even more challenging. Not only you have to be present on every possible platform (that makes sense to your business), but also offer a great user experience that will attract and engage your customers.

Some people might think that in order to deliver a great UX you need all the budget in the world. Yes, Starbucks has being doing a great job on that area, but today I will show that budget shouldn’t be an excuse. It might be more simple than some people think, and there lies the magic of it.

“Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that’s creativity”. – Charles Mingus

After trying for the first time The Bean, both in person and digitally, I wrote my observations from their UX that you can find below…

First sip of The Bean coffee

First sip of The Bean coffee

User experience in a nutshell bean:

(using The Bean Coffee & Tea as the example)

1. Understand your audience: The Bean has a local audience. They cater to local coffee drinkers that want a third space: the businessmen that want a nice place to work, the young, the hip or the student that wants a sweet spot to read, or the people that simply want to catch up with a friend. As a brand, they value independent thinkers who appreciate culture, creativity, intelligence and wit. As a coffee shop, they excel to serve this market and their digital presence is the perfect reflection of this urban type of person and how the brand reflects their personality.

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2. Make it simple: don’t overthink. Users want simplicity. You need to offer a digital experience that is intuitive and that has a structure that makes logical sense. Hence, The Bean‘s website has the basic things a coffee shop needs on their website: hours, & locations, newsletter, social media links, contact and gallery.

3. Responsive Web Design: their digital platforms respond to any screen or device without problem, which is a must. If you want to learn more about statistics and how imperative RWD is, I would suggest you to read here.

Image Source:

Image Source: zeendo.com

4. The UX should be married to the physical experience: the look and feel of The Bean coffee shop can be seen throughout their digital presence. Their urban, artsy and creative look defines both their shops and online world.

5. Aesthetics: their creative design and aesthetics promotes individuality, both in form and function. It is attractive and their design is in tune with their coffee culture.

Image Source:

Image Source: Startupcollective.com

6. Keep your primary call to action in a relevant space: The Bean wants to keep connected with their users so the first think they ask is for their emails. It all depends on your business, but always know to prioritize what you want your users to do and guide them to do so.

7. Social Media: it’s a MUST to have links to your social media platforms in your website, which The Bean does. The idea is to engage your users and allow them to know more about who you are. The Bean is present in every major (and relevant for their business) social media platform: Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr, and they even appear organically on Yelp with over 200 reviews! Not only they are present, but they differentiate their content on each platform. For instance, they have nice artsy pictures on Instagram, short information about what they are currently doing on Twitter, and inspirational pins on Pinterest. This is a key because no one wants to feel that your brand doesn’t care enough for their customers and take time to make relevant content for them and publish it in the right platform.

BONUS: it’s always good to offer value to your customers. It could be through a blog that offers great content, or through an app that makes your life easier or better in any way. In the case of The Bean, even though they don’t have an app, they have a blog, plus a delivery system without extra cost. Cheers to great coffee that goes straight to your door!

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