RESPONSIVE E-COMMERCE WEB DESIGN - McLENDON HARDWARE
Product & Checkout
Following the completion of the site wireframes and other UX evaluations, it was time to start the process of laying down design for each page. To start this, research was required to understand our audience, our company history and the marketplace.
AUDIENCE: Through research, we knew that our customers were approximately 50/50 male and female and they were growing in age, meaning we needed to attract a younger audience. Existing customers appreciated that the company had been a local landmark since the 1920's. My team and I also saw that what brings customers back over and over is the emotional connection they get in the employee who genuinely cares about their DIY project or home repair.
COMPANY HISTORY: My team and I spent a week sorting through archives of old photographs and documents going back 90 years. We also conducted interviews of employees who had been in the company for many years, from which we were able to gain a sense of what the company stood for in their experience. We found a treasure trove of content which would become the theme and voice of the website and marketing going forward.
MARKETPLACE: The easy thing to do here would be to look at who our direct competition was (Home Depot and Lowe's), but in addition to this, we decided to expand our search to smaller companies as well in order to gain a better sense of why they were successful in competition with the same big box stores. What we found was that to be competitive you had to offer more than just more products and better prices. The thing that would make McLendon Hardware great and keep the customers coming back was a better custoemr expercience both in store and online. We also looked to some companies we knew were leaders in the e-commerce industry that we could learn from even through they were outside our industry. For example, Best Buy has a product compare feature that works really well, and Target has had great success with its weekly print ads featured on its website.
In order to translate all that we had gained in the research process, my team and I decided to create theme boards. This sample of the information would be used to guide us in the site's look, feel and voice.
Production began by establishing the look for the outer shell of the website. These components included the header, footer, navegation and icons. In addition, I had to keep in mind that these components needed to translate across viewports and adhere to the wireframe.
SITE SHELL SAMPLE IDEAS: Below are a few examples of concepts I created before finding the final concept.
STYLE GUIDE: After creating the initial page design, it was possible to start developing a style guide. This guide evolved as our team came across new design protocols and allowed us to keep track of elements that should retain consistency.
ICONS & REPEATED ELEMENTS: Anytime I am handing off a project to be coded I make sure to include all icon sets and related design elements in a seperate document. I do this because if I was the person doing the code development, it would be nice to save out all my icons and repeated design elemnts at one time instead of having to dig through the site design to pull the elemnts out one by one.
Here is an example of the icon set and repeated design elements for this site.