The previous design had served the business well, but the overriding aim of the redesign was to establish a look and feel for the brand which conveyed to customers the quality of services and products on offer, while attracting further prestigious suppliers.
Although the clients previous site had served them well, and established them as a big player in the online market - technology had moved on. So the decision was made to redesign the site, encompassing all the new technology available, and continue to be at the forefront of the luxury online fabric industry. The new site needed increased, more effective functionality to ensure that customers could enter their own measurements, and suitable product options, without the need to speak to staff - therefore enjoying a swift, online quote experience.
With plans to launch the website with around 20,000 products, 15,000 of which could be made into four different fabric products, a highly intuitive, easy to navigate site was essential. Couple this with the importance search engines place on customer experience and it was vital to ensure these factors were appropriately addressed to make the site a success.
The previous site was particularly difficult to use across different devices, which meant a responsive site was another key change when redeveloping the site. so adding responsive functionality was a priority. This was made of further importance by the recent Google update, prioritising mobile optimised sites in the search results.
While the previous site performed well organically for a number of designer and brand terms it struggled to rank well for specific fabrics and ranges. The challenge was to ensure that the site continued to perform well for designer terms as well as increasing the site’s visibility for the collections too. Given the site witnessed a drastic change as everything from the content to URL structure changed completely, particular attention had to be given to setting up the 301 redirects to ensure that the transition from the old site to the new was as smooth as possible.
The typography was selected and considered for both the identity and the online application. We achieved a balance of both a vintage and a high end feel by combining a modern hand-written typeface with a traditional serif font.
With a predominantly female customer base in mind, we chose a softer more delicate colour palette. The neutral and muted tones look clean and sophisticated and do not compete with the busy imagery.
Our thinking behind the layout of the site was that square grid style designs are a great way to keep large amounts of information from looking too cluttered (an issue the previous website struggled with). It also helps the user to digest chunks of information and to navigate the page. We were able to better utilise the strong rich photography that was supplied by GS which helped enhance user engagement, as well as creating an icon set to fit with the new look and further aid the user to navigate the site. We also supported the existing photography with some sourced imagery which had a more crafted vintage style to help convey the craftsmanship at GS.
Attracted additional high-end suppliers pre-launch
Showcasing products and bespoke ordering
The products the client wanted to sell online could be broken down into four types: wallpapers (sold by the roll), fabrics (sold by length), bespoke items made from their fabric ranges (curtains, cushions, roller blinds, and roman blinds) and (non-customisable) homeware items.
To ensure accurate results, this required a digital translation of what had previously been a traditional, analog process, honed into a skill by a team of craftsmen.
25652 lines of bespoke code
Maximising user experience
The most valuable resource when considering UX is learning from the performance of the current site. Therefore in depth research was conducted within Google analytics, taking into account insight such as the most popular landing pages, or pages that had a high bounce rate - so that valuable information could be utilised and improved on within the new sites structure and design.
Taking into account the findings from the analytics research and our knowledge of UX, the sitemap was carefully planned out prior to the design stage, ensuring that huge amount of products didn’t become too nested within a category.
Then, working closely with the client, each page and key functionality such as the filter was digitally wireframed, allowing the delivery team to piece together a consistent and easy to navigate user experience, funnelling the user through the sales process.
Post launch, EC will continue to monitor the user journey using specialist tracking software, and Google analytics, to ensure that the key areas of the site are being found and utilised effectively.
To cater for the ever increasing number of varying screen sizes found on desktops, tablets and mobiles; we designed and built the website using a technique called ‘Responsive Web Design’. Using this technique results in a website which adapts to the screen size of the user’s device.
We created a dedicated mobile friendly navigation which allows users on smaller devices to navigate the website without having to use fiddly and frustrating drop down menus. We also optimised the search and filtering menus to fit onto a smaller screen without compromising on the functionality.
The product calculators were also optimised for smaller devices by splitting up the input fields into steps. This is to help the user build up a product to their specification without having to scroll through a large list of input fields.
55% increase in mobile and 30% increase tablet traffic in the first month
What the client says
“I was very impressed with the service from Extreme Creations. They took our vision, listened carefully and they 'got it' very quickly. Really easy to work with and we felt appreciated as a customer.
“Extreme Creations has taken our digital strategy to the next level.”
Graham Sanderson, Managing Director