Using our usability-led approach, we worked closely with Wendy and her team on this evolution of this online presence, having designed, launched & supported the previous version. Central to our approach was ensuring alignment with their Marketing Strategy while supporting their key objective of expanding their online reach and impact.
This new website needs to tell Wendy’s fascinating story as well as concisely support their routes to market in an innovative, stylish & instinctive manner.
Through our open and collaborative approach, we crafted a user experience which is true to Wendy’s brand values, allows her products to shine whilst supporting key online objectives.
Discovery & planning were delivered both remotely and in-person to ensure cross stakeholder alignment and enabling our Team to grasp the brand heart, brand archetype & messaging - all pivotal in being able to represent and add value to any brand.
Regular feedback sessions combined with our design prototyping platform helped maintain the all-important alignment as the designs evolved.
We wanted to utilise the blog section to mirror the personable nature of the brand opting for a ‘journal’ for Wendy. We wanted to offer potential buyers an insight into Wendy’s innermost thoughts and inspiration. This allows Wendy to add her own insights into her work including her own mood boards and inspiration for up-coming projects, her studio diary, as well as the necessary ‘news and events’ and PR activity through the ‘press section’.
Weaving the project together
For such a visually stunning set of products, inspired by nature, maximalism and chinoiserie, an image-led approach was the obvious choice to instantly communicate the passion, creativity of Wendy and the sheer skill involved in the creation of every individual piece.
Building on what we already know inspires Wendy, we were determined to echo her creative process and approach through all aspects of the user experience.
This immediately ruled out an off-the-shelf platform approach - instead we opted for a hybrid Shopify-Umbraco solution.
Umbraco is a leading open source platform offering complete flexibility combined with Shopify, the eCommerce platform of choice, and packed with features.
This easy to manage and expandable solution offers Wendy the best of both worlds in simultaneously allowing users to explore the brand story; diving deeper into themes of nature, passion, craftmanship - whilst allowing repeat visitors who know they want, to quickly browse & checkout.
Our collective aim was an online user experience which reflects the luxury brand experience; visually & powerfully expressing the rich, creative inspiration and artisanal craftsmanship behind every product and seamlessly integrating with slick, intuitive shopping functionality.
Displaying Wendy’s heavenly designer rugs, wallpaper and fabric in a manner which is fitting for the products was a key requirement from the get go. We wanted to go for something more innovative than you would expect to see for your run-of-the mill pieces for the home. With this in mind, we decided to show the products isolated against white, emulating paintings in a gallery.
In the gallery view, we limited the amount of information available showing only a large image of the product along with the name of the product following a similar format to premium art galleries.
The final website designs emulate Wendy’s mood boards; using large, immersive & seductive images combined with clean and simple typography treatments. Large product shots of the products were chosen to get across their sheer size, interlaced with some of the beautiful lifestyle photography Wendy is so passionate about.
We wanted to utilise the frequently updated Blog to communicate the personable & exploratory nature of the brand - opting for the term ‘journal’ for Wendy. This offers potential buyers an insight into Wendy’s innermost thoughts and inspiration. And allows Wendy to add her own insights into her work including her own mood boards and inspiration for up-coming projects, her studio diary, as well as the necessary ‘news and events’ and PR activity through the ‘press section’.
Through the content management system (CMS), journal entries of note can be ‘pinned’ to key areas of the site for more prominence – a prime example, being ‘A French Connection’ – Wendy’s collaboration with major French retailer Monoprix.
Aesthetic and function
Of course, in true Radiator style, functionality and usability working in unison is paramount. Opting for a hybrid solution which combines Umbraco and Shopify, this easy-to-manage and expandable solution offers Wendy the best of both worlds in simultaneously allowing users to explore the brand story; diving deeper into themes of inspiration, creativity & craft, through the unrestricted, creative freedom of Umbraco’s CMS - whilst allowing repeat visitors who know what they want, to quickly browse/checkout with the support of Shopify’s feature-rich Ecommerce solution.
All resulting in a user experience, primed for engagement and conversions - with no compromise for users: at work, home or on the move.
User Experience (UX) Highlights
Key user actions are available at all times; following the user on-scroll such that navigation, search, favourites and shopping basket are only one-click-away whatever the screen size.
Clear, visual signposting throughout the site provides a clear narrative throughline for browsing (rather than buying) customers; exposing key brand stories rather than immediately funnelling them to a checkout which is considered essential for luxury purchase decisions.
UX Highlights: Customer engagement
- Customers can save their favourite products to their own password-protected 'moodboard'
- Enabling the WMD team to see which designs are resonating with browsing visitors
- Also allowing follow-up with targeted marketing that best matches their tastes
- Customers can also choose to follow-up by booking a virtual consultation
- A quick, friendly form captures users' needs and some basic information about their home to allow WMD to prepare for each enquiry and make the most of each consultation
- Photoslurp instagram integration delivers a rolling user generated content feed to key pages
- This functionality can deliver product-specific user posts on respective collection pages
- Key product specifications are delivered clearly and efficiently, while reassurance messages are implemented subtly through user-triggered on-page popups to provide key purchase-support messages without taking the user off of the product page
- Account and Newsletter signups are sent to Mailchimp and automatically trigger a one-time discount, which is automatically limited to one-use-per-customer, with automatic follow-up emails reminding them to use this before it expires
UX Highlights: Best practice ecommerce
- A bespoke Shopify Storefront API integration powers the shopping experience
- Stock and product information from Quickbooks (QB) is sent to Shopify, where shipping rules and regional pricing can be established, before sending through to the Umbraco consumer front-end
- On checkout the user is seamlessly diverted through Shopify's slick, best-in-class checkout experience before being returned to the site, while transaction information is silently passed back to Shopify and QB for accounting and fulfilment
- A bespoke regional pricing approach ensures customers can shop the collection in their native currencies, while the WMD team can have control over granular pricing for each region to ensure profitability
- Geolocation automatically updates pricing to match the user's visiting location
- Which is then honoured as they move through the checkout journey
- Gift voucher sales have proved very popular for Wendy – and the new site supports the sale of these and with editable denominations