El Camión. Truckin’ Awesome!


When we were given a chance to redesign El Camion’s website, we were thrilled for a few reasons. One, we relate to their dedication to quality. Two, their clean design aesthetic prevails in their three trucks and one brick-and-mortar location (El Camion Aldentro – the truck inside). Three, the owner gave us free range to photograph, design and develop both the mobile and desktop site in any way we felt best represented his mission. And lastly, who doesn’t love mouth-watering tacos?

The first step was the photo shoot. The excited crew met on location at El Camion Adentro. Very little set-up was needed since the interior of the restaurant featured both stainless steel and wood in a subdued palette infused with a retro Mexican flare: Dia de los Muertos sugar skulls lined the rough-hewn walls in the front and Lucha Libre movie posters plastered the walls of the back bar. All of which set the stage for the menu that not only includes the standard tacos and burritos, but also features items such as Posole, Cabeza Gorditas, and chilled platters of Shrimp Ceviche.


We set up some lighting but wanted to avoid a white backdrop studio look. Instead, we wanted to capture the atmosphere while keeping the food as the hero of the shot. We chose to photograph each item close up with a narrow depth-of-field to showcase the fresh-cooked menu.

After the food, we took photos of the truck locations. While we were shooting the trucks, we started to think of different types of users. Thinking from past experience, two scenarios of going to eat at a taco truck come to mind: stumbling upon one by accident or through a referral.

Both of those scenarios share a lack of researching the taco truck before hand. Instead, one is more likely to look up the location in the car on the way to eat, or call in an order on the way home. This made our strategy obvious: The site had to be designed “mobile-first.”

Now, we all know mobile first is the trend these days, but your product and your customers are still top priority before making such a decision. In this case however, we were certain that a good portion of users would be viewing the website from their phone, whether it be while standing at the taco truck, or bringing it up while talking with a group of friends.

Keeping this in mind, we did a few things. First, we made thumb clicking easier by using bigger navigation buttons throughout the site. Second, we paid attention to site structure, so that calling for a “to-go” order was only a two-click process without any scrolling. Third, we kept it simple to maximize the real estate on a mobile device.

From a design aspect, we wanted the website to resemble everything we had seen on location. We chose dark grays and blacks, accented by red and white for the color palette of the site. The main navigation reflected the stainless steel counter tops we had seen and at the top of the page we chose to feature larger pictures to emphasize the food and the atmosphere that surrounds it.

Overall, being able to shoot the entire menu in its native habitat helped us understand El Camion even more intimately. From collaborating with the owner, Scott, to devouring some of the delicious “props”, each element brought light to the experience we wanted to create for the user: An experience where they couldn’t help but come back for more.


Tarryn Lambert is an Designer at Ply Interactive. You can find her on twitter or Google+.

Posted by on February 7, 2014 with no comments yet

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