• Sam Rahim

How We Created Onism: Part 2

Building Our Website:

The process to create our website was one of the most intentional, thought-out and strategic parts of our business launch. As I’ve mentioned before, the website development, research and execution was led by our Co-Founder, Braden Thuraisingham. Braden led a team of three throughout the process: Justine, Khristian and Aishwarya. All three have their own experience and backgrounds within user design, user research, and website development.

Our path to website launch was split up into a few different stages: user research, UX design strategy, and *actual* website execution work.

In the first stage, user research, the team created a plan to execute a participant research study. The purpose of the participant research was to gain general insight on people who purchase coffee, and how website design can influence the decisions that coffee drinkers make. To execute the plan, all of us reached out to our networks to get participants for 30 minute video calls to ask research questions that were created specifically for the study. The team put together a script that was both vague and detailed -- just trying to capture one small angle of our participant’s views in relation to coffee.

Throughout the research interviews, led by Justine and Khristian, we met some amazing people who had some great point of views. We were interested in the ways that user design can negatively influence people’s experiences online. After collecting all of the data, Justine and Khristian created an incredible analysis report that grouped the results together in a clear and readable way. The analysis was separated into different age demographic sections, and we got to see the most common answers amongst each group.

Once we had all of that information, we started to think about the ways in which people felt website design had been inaccessible, not convenient, and non-inclusive. With all of that in mind, it was time to build the skeleton and general direction for the website.

Led by Justine, she designed a beautiful, thoughtful and intentional skeleton design that is reflected on the site today. We wanted to let the website design do the work, especially since we have a small collection of products. If you didn’t know, it’s not easy to make your website look “full” when you only have three product offerings. For that reason, we had to be even more intentional with our design choices.

With a new company, we had to think about what website pages we wanted to include. As I’ve used this word many times already, we wanted to be intentional and only include the things we needed, and that we feel users need. Our site includes a home page (for obvious reasons, an “Our Coffee” page to showcase our coffee collection, an “About” page to allow users an insight to who we are, a “Blog” page where you get to know us more (like this!), and a contact page to get in touch. These all felt like non-negotiable, must-have pages. Outside of those, we didn’t have anything else that made sense, or that we wanted to distract users with.

And, finally, the website execution -- well, we use Wix, a drag and drop design service, so it was short and sweet. What you see on the website is the work of all the talented people referenced in this section. We hope our community can see the ways we’ve tried to make the site accessible, convenient, engaging and useful.

Purchasing Bags & Labels:

As with all big ideas, we think we have everything figured out… until we don’t. How hard can purchasing coffee bags be? Or, finding a label provider for the bags? Or, selecting the right tools and supplies to maximize operational efficiency? It was all part of the learning process.

In terms of purchasing coffee bags, there are a few things we wanted to consider when making our decisions. Our priorities were finding bags that were fully recyclable, looked sleek and slim, were functional for fresh roasted coffee, and of course, ones we could afford. A critical, and often more expensive, part of the bags lays within its functionality for fresh roasted coffee. To keep it simple, fresh roasted coffee requires bags that have one-way escape valves. These valves allow carbon dioxide to escape the bag, while not letting any oxygen in. Coffee beans degas for a few days after being freshly roasted, and it helps keep the beans healthy and tasty. After trying out a ton of different bag styles, sizes and colors, we settled on our current one. We feel it’s sleek, functional, and reflects our brand really well. We’re really happy with it, for now.

Onto bag labels, this was a little bit of an easier process. After we created our bag label designs, which was a long and rewarding process, we only really looked at two potential suppliers for our bag labels. Stickermule and StickerGiant were the two that seemed right, and after receiving samples from both, the value versus quality of StickerGiant just made sense for us. They blew us away with their matte label stickers, and they work really well on our bags. Our vision was to make the label be as seamless as possible -- almost as if it’s part of the bag. While it’s impossible to actually do that, we are happy with what we’ve created so far. It’s a foundation for us to build upon, and our vision for printed bags will be based off of our current designs.

Are you interested in learning about any other aspects of our small, coffee-roasting business? Feel free to drop us a note here: Contact Us!


Sam Rahim, Founder