In a special episode recorded on location, Tom Diab, proprietor of
the Gourmet Chocolate Cafe in Chelsea, Michigan, shares his ideas
on customer experience design for cafes. Through a bonanza of
entertaining storytelling, Tom, a former schoolteacher and drug rep
for Pfizer, tells Tim and guest cohost Chris how he and his wife
decided to open a cafe, how they found a location, the design
choices they made for the physical spaces and menus and goods
offered, and why small businesses can innovate better than
Some of Tom's ideas include: Design for your customers, not
yourself; test your designs with customers before implementing;
creatively balance the needs of child-free patrons with parent
patrons to provide an ambience for all; co-advertise with
competitors; organic design iteration is good; invest in your
customers' community and you will be rewarded in the long term.
You'll hear conceptual references to field research, usability
testing, and participatory design throughout Tom's narrative.
The website for the Gourmet Chocolate Cafe may be found at www.gourmetchocolatecafe.com
but this episode is not about websites--it's about the brick and
mortar experience of cafes. Tim is a "power user" of the Gourmet
Chocolate Cafe and Chris provided the "newbie" perspective. Make
sure you watch the video tour in Design Critique episode 32a to see
the design features we discuss in this interview.
This episode's content has been certified 100 percent iPhone-free
by the Design Critique Anti-Hype League of America.