April 2008, toledomenu.com
Developed as an internal project by Magnate Interactive, ToledoMenu.com is a continually growing database of Toledo and Toledo-area restaurants and reviews. Focused on user-generated content and clean design, it’s a site that was built primarily to allow Toledoans to share their opinions about the local restaurant scene.
The main goal in developing ToledoMenu was to make information about local restaurants readily consumable and understandable, as well as provide a venue for people in Toledo to share their thoughts and comments with each other. Providing methods for sharing data is a continuing effort – currently users can subscribe to get restaurant review updates via Feedburner RSS feeds.
In a longer term sense, there are several enhancements in progress, such as the ability to access data and functionality via your mobile phone.
All design, development, and writing to date have been handled by Matthew Braun of Magnate Interactive, including the logo development, color scheme, site architecture, and content strategy. The goal for phase one was to have a site that looks terrific on all major platforms and browsers, with good typography and clean design. New iterations and features can be put out fairly quickly.
The site was built using lean XHTML and CSS, with spare use of icons and imagery to help keep the site fast loading and efficient. Common system fonts and a baseline grid helps ensure a consistently good experience for all users. All content is readily indexable by search engines and accessible to visitors with disabilities. The site runs on a PHP/MySQL-based content management system with some custom-made modules.
Tools of the Trade
Magnate Interactive meets each project with unique, customer-centric solutions. The needs of your audience ultimately determines the technologies we use in production.
For the ToledoMenu.com website, Magnate Interactive used the following tools of the trade:
- Adobe Fireworks CS3, Adobe Dreamweaver CS3, Adobe Illustrator CS3
- Eclipse IDE / Aptana
- Subversion for source control
- ExpressionEngine for content management
- PHP5 / MySQL / Apache