An ecommerce website that demonstrates the craft of office furniture alongside excellent customer service.
- Simple but elegant website which achieved increased turnover
- Orderly and classic new brand
The challenge / goals
This exciting project began with meeting the young entrepreneur who set up a successful online furniture store from his bedroom. His aim to was to have a turnover of £1m by 2017. Part of his strategy was to launch new products under a sister company. The key objective was to make sure this increased sales.
We took over the brand work from another designer, as the client wasn’t happy with the direction it was going in. We took time to understand the client’s motivation for the rebrand and what he wanted to communicate - the key words from this exercise were simplicity and heroism, with a contemporary look.
The client was keen to use the WooCommerce platform, and specifically asked that the website was clean, white, and easy to navigate. The first step was to establish the template layouts; to these we applied some design features to really lift the look and feel of the site, including a new webfont and clear calls to action.
The core audience for the site is the commercial sector and office-based businesses. We focused the category structure and site map on these users to ensure they could quickly find the best selling items in the range.
Research / testing
Analysis of ecommerce competitors in this market area showed that the way products were displayed were very similar across the board, and all looked the same, none stood out. To give this site some differentiation and a high end feel, we looked at the artistic qualities and texture of the furniture, and tried using this style in close ups of the products.
It was key that the logo had conventional colour(s), and a web-friendly block-style typeface to echo furniture angles. We sketched different ideas, seeing how the ‘office’ or ‘co’ text could have a unique style. At the same time, the client wanted to make sure we created a brand that conveyed a reliable, established look and feel, to promote the company as high end.
In the beginning it was very helpful to create simple user flows, to see which were the individual key routes through the website. These then became parts within a more complex multi-user journey. At this point, we could assess possible changes in direction within that journey, and optimise the user experience accordingly.
We ran some user testing exercises on these initial prototype templates and assessed the user's journey. From this we discovered that the user had a tendency to hover over the main navigation to find the drop down options, and to click on close up images of the furniture.
We also discovered we should use less orange as a colour for the main calls to action, as the user was not drawn to those features.
During our second round of user testing at the build stage, we found that the four easy step icons needed to be higher on the home page, helping communicate to users how simple it was to order the product online and get it in use in their office.
The client was delighted with the final design - a secure square with a smart solid webfont that incorporated furniture shapes. We used a light black to promote a classic and trusting feel. The ‘o’ in 'Co' was given an underline for a subtle, modern twist.
The website was well received on multiple devices with clean, simple navigation and user experience. It presented the office furniture as 'art' rather than just functional, and engaged users to browse to find the right high quality products for their needs. Four easy step icons in green and orange colours provided a feeling of trust, and the appearance of a quick, seamless journey from purchase to delivery.
Office Co have since increased their turnover and achieved £1m in 2017 with their sister company; and continue to grow in 2018. They have told us the online sales have increased substantially which has been fundamental to their growth.