Together with Panda Express...Overview
Panda Express and Dynamit have worked together since 2011. Together with Panda Express, we’ve designed and built the last two versions of their website, as well as their mobile app.
Panda Express is the largest Chinese restaurant company in the U.S. with over 1,900 stores. But it’s more than just a large-scale company, it’s a family company. Panda Express was started by the Cherng family in 1983 and continues to run as a family business.
Panda’s sense of family extends to the ways in which we work together. It’s a close collaboration between members of the Panda Express team, Dynamit, and Panda’s online ordering and advertising partners.
In our latest collaboration, we led the strategy, design, and development of the fully redesigned, rebuilt, and responsive Panda Express website.
- Digital Strategy
- User Experience Design
- Web Application
- Mobile Application
- Custom CMS
- Systems Integration
Responsive Web Design
On the consumer side, we began with a clear vision of making the site easier for all users, irrespective of device.
In other words, we made the site responsive. We wanted the site to work well and be familiar to users as they moved between their phone, their tablet, and their desktop computer.
Navigating with Ease
Responsive design only takes a user so far.
To really make a meaningful change, the site must be intuitive and easy to use across devices. We worked with Panda to simplify their site and emphasize the right things for consumers. Nowhere is this effort more apparent than in the simplified site navigation. Users are presented with only three main navigation choices: food, locations, and family story. These three items match the needs of users and get them where they want to go quickly. Paired with this streamlined navigation is a geolocated display of the user’s nearest location and a button to start an order.
Building a Better Menu
Diving deeper into the site, as a guest explores the menu, they are greeted with beautiful, elegant imagery that captures the essence of Panda Express. But these menu items aren’t just beautiful, they are also highly functional. Each menu item includes options to add an item to order, or to add them to a nutrition calculator.
Nutrition calculators of old wouldn’t have made the cut for our “make it easy” mantra. In the past, users were unable to see the cumulative nutritional value of an entire meal. With Panda’s new take on the feature, users can easily add multiple items to a meal and see the combined nutritional information.
Panda’s family-first mindset permeates throughout their business: in the boardroom, at their restaurants, and in the communities that they serve. So, simplifying the process for local groups to hold fundraisers at their nearest Panda Express or Panda Inn was of particular importance to the Panda team.
We took a process that is typically operationally disjointed and stuck in the pre-digital age and brought it into the 21st Century with a wholly online scheduling process. School groups, community organizations and other nonprofits can now organize Panda fundraising events with incredible ease and convenience.
Behind the Scenes
To create a site that is dynamic and authentic, we couldn’t forget making things easy for those who manage the site.
Before the latest redesign, the Panda Express website included a series of data integrations but did not include a content management system (CMS). That was a major change and driver for the latest site. We worked with Panda to create a custom CMS that would meet their need for adaptability. The new CMS is designed for a high-degree of flexibility, allowing content managers to manage content, as well as page layouts and grids.
We’re thrilled with the work that we’ve been able to accomplish together with Panda Express. This iteration of the website not only accomplished both our goals and theirs, but exceeded expectations.
At Dynamit, we’re very excited to continue being a part of the extended Panda Express family and to help shape the experience guests have with their brand.