Cafe 504

Cafe 504 is a start up based out of Houston Texas, offering whole sale coffee roasting as well as a subscription based service delivering premium coffee directly to your home. Uniquely, Cafe 504 takes a portion of their sales and provides clean drinking water to Hondurans in need with each subscription. Cafe 504 was birthed from its predecessor “9th  Hour Coffee” which is to be dissolved upon the launching of the new brand.

Our Vision

We intended to launch cafe 504’s website with a few specific objectives in mind. While designing an e-commerce site is always important for to drive sales, but while doing so it was paramount that we included the narrative of Cafe 504’s philanthropic endeavors.

Getting Started

In Houston I conducted interviews with the stakeholders, determining what they wanted out of this website and how we could accomplish that. We discussed everything about their vision, from how it started, to their distribution chain, down to marketing and plans for growth. It was imperative I saw everything from their perspective to understand their branding, and begin the design process accordingly. 

User Interviews

Meeting Our Users

Fortunately, I was able to conduct many interviews with users and customers of the stake holders former brand “9th hour coffee”. Many of these loyal customers will carry over their business to our new brand Cafe 504. We were able to conduct 26 interviews, totaling over 6 hours of interview time. Here we pulled some key demographics, and insights into the behavior and habits of our users.


31% of users interviewed had been a part of an internet subscription service

69% of users interviewed have shopped for home goods

92% of users interviewed were regular coffee drinkers

Qualatative Data

Beyond the quantitate data we received it is important that we understand the users motivations, wants and needs behind these statistics. Below are some key insights I’ve pulled from these interviews.

Users volunteer because it is rewarding:

 Not only do people volunteer to serve a good cause, but they are also motivated by self gratification and internal reward. This gratification is also something they want to be able to share with friends.

Users want to see feedback/progress:

 It is important for users that donate, to understand the impact they are making. Based on interviews we can assume that feedback doesn’t need to be particular to just “their” impact, but they do want to see feedback on the project as a whole.

Users are more likely to trust an organization based from a  recommendation: 

The majority of our users that we interviewed decided to volunteer their time and or money with an organization they already had ties to. 

Users prefer to give as a community:

 It became apparent not only did users determine which organizations to donate their time and money to based on affiliation, users stated it was important to feel a part of a community.

Users want to establish trust: 

This ties back to many of the previous statements. These values include community and feedback, but users stated that they would like to know the specifics of where their money is going and how it will affect their goals before they donate.

Users seek empathy: 

Users stated when giving, they seek to feel empathetic. They want to know that these people or causes they are giving to are relatable. It is important they feel comfortable giving, and not guilted into it.

User Testing

What we test, and why?

In the initial round of user testing, we tested photographs, wireframes, how users responded to copy text, and lastly a high fidelity mock up of our web page design. This allows insight to how the user will interact with the webpage. It will also reveal any pain points in the user flow and allow us to make the proper changes in order to improve the over all functionality.

High Fidelity Mock-ups & Clickable Prototypes

Based on our previous research we found it difficult to convey our philanthropic narrative to our users. Through, interviews we concluded that it was important to both stakeholders and customers alike. Our problem at hand was finding a way for them to interact properly with the information being provided. 

Cafe 504 stakeholders created a video, and through user testing it proved to be more engaging. While I was seeing users drop out after about an average of 5 seconds, but about 50% of users use the “see how” link that directed them to the about page that furthered our narrative through text. 

Next, we created a user flow that directed the user from our narrative to the “shop” page. This one done by simply creating a button. This way users could chose to bypass the narrative at anytime they saw fit while still being directed to a point of purchase