Wendy Morrison

A handcrafted approach for designer Wendy Morrison

The challenge

Using our usability-led approach, we worked closely with Wendy and her team on this evolution of their online presence, having designed, launched & supported the previous version. This update needed to tell Wendy’s fascinating story and support their routes to market in an innovative, stylish & instinctive manner to expand their online reach and impact.

Central to our approach was ensuring alignment with Wendy’s Marketing Strategy while supporting their key online objectives -

  • Deploy a slicker end-to-end user journey before, during & after a product purchase with seamless CRM platform integration - with no compromise for users at work, home or on the move
  • Leverage the value of Wendy’s Instagram channel through tighter integration; an increasingly vital source of brand exposure & web traffic
  • Maintain the brand’s SEO ranking value & authority through our proven search profile preservation – an essential stage
  • Reduce admin overheads through an intuitive and easy to use CMS which offers more autonomous flexibility for Wendy’s team and which is expandable to grow with them

A collaborative approach

Through our open and collaborative approach, we crafted a user experience which is true to Wendy’s brand values, allowing 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.

Designing for a designer comes with a lot of amazing creative opportunities, especially when it’s for one as talented as Wendy Morrison. Not only were we able to show off her beautiful products but we had an arsenal of amazing brand assets and photography to make use of in the creation of the site.

Simultaneously, borrowing an amazing brand like this comes with a lot of challenges. It’s so important to hit the mark on the all the brand attributes in a subtle but stylish way. It was an exciting project to be part of and the end result is something we’re all very proud of.

Calum Milligan, Head of Design, Radiator Digital

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.

We wanted to utilise the blog section to mirror the personable nature of the brand opting for a ‘journal’ for Wendy. We saw the value in offering 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’.

Through the content management system, 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.

This set of unique requirements immediately ruled out an off-the-shelf platform approach - instead we opted for a hybrid Shopify-Umbraco solution which combines a rich, engaging user experience with intuitive, best-practice Ecommerce.

Design Intention

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.

A hybrid solution supporting storytelling & best-practice Ecommerce

Of course, in true Radiator style, functionality and usability working in unison is paramount. To ensure a UX as unique as Wendy’s brand and offering, we opted for a hybrid solution which combines leading CMS platforms: Umbraco and Shopify.

Umbraco is a leading open-source platform offering complete design & feature flexibility combined with Shopify, the eCommerce platform of choice, packed with features.

This easy-to-manage and expandable solution offers 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.

All resulting in a user experience, primed for engagement and conversions.

User Experience 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.

Customer Engagement

Customers can save their favourite products to their own password-protected 'moodboard'; enabling the Wendy Morrison team to see which products are resonating most with visitors and tailor their marketing focus accordingly.

Customers can also choose to submit their favourites and book a virtual consultation through a quick, friendly form; capturing their 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, including product-specific posts on respective collections so that customers can see the beautiful products in the wild.

New account signups are automatically sent to Mailchimp and 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

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 geolocation-powered 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.

Gift voucher sales have proved very popular for Wendy – and the new site supports the sale of these and with editable denominations.

Radiator have created a website that reflects the Wendy Morrison Design brand to great effect. Calum has a huge talent for communicating the core values of our brand and it will no doubt form a key part of our digital presence and contribute to brand growth in the years ahead.

Gregor Morrison, Director, Wendy Morrison Design

Key Skills

  • User Centered Design
  • UX/UI
  • Front-end Development
  • Umbraco CMS Development
  • Project Strategy
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