Maxwell & Williams

Responsive Website Redesign

Leading designer homewares company, Maxwell & Williams, needed to revamp their website to better showcase their vast product range, however they were unable to support eCommerce. Given this lack of direct conversion, our task was to create a modern and responsive website that provides a worthwhile experience to customers who would otherwise go direct to the retailers that stock their product range. 
My role: Project Lead, Concept, Digital Art Direction, UI & Visual Design.

Insight & Approach
The existing website suffered from poor usability, particularly within the product groupings which made browsing and product discovery difficult for the site visitor. A research phase was undertaken with a range of workshops, user testing and design exploration sessions to define the purpose of the website and the best structure / user experience to allow visitors to fulfil this purpose.
We found that a complete site overhaul was necessary as a revised product directory would add no value without eCommerce. Research also showed that we needed to find a way to allow users to quickly explore and discover products with ease and inspire them with engaging and inspirational lifestyle content that was relevant to both the brand and product range.

The resulting prototype was half product site, half Pinterest board. This inspirational browsing tool would allow users to explore the entire product range through keywords and filters in a unique and visually inspiring way direct from the homepage. Products could be clicked on to quickly reveal more details (such as where to purchase), favourited for comparison later or shared on social channels.  
Throughout the early design process various prototypes were built which were tested and optimised accordingly. Mobile filtering proved to be one of the biggest challenges, which once solved, helped inform the design for both desktop and tablet.
With such a large and diverse product range available, it was important to find a way to help bring these products to life in a beautiful, consistent way that wouldn't impact page load. After some exploration, a set of subtly coloured tile backdrops were developed, allowing each product to take centre stage without jarring the other items surrounding them in the feed. 

A website photography guide was created outlining what perspective,
lighting & depth of field to use to maintain consistency.

Tiles alone weren’t enough to communicate all of the product details that customers may need. Clicking through to separate pages could disturb the flow of exploration, instead we opted to animate panels over the top of the page that would house this content, allowing users to quickly dip in and out of products without effecting their filtered results.
To avoid overwhelming people with too much product information the content was placed into tabs based upon browsing behaviour such as finding an in-store or online stockist.  
To achieve more engagement, a lifestyle section was created and populated with unique, relevant content that would resonate well with the target audience such as recipes and style tips. These articles were seeded out on social media via brand advocates such as renowned chefs and food stylists to help drive a relevant, engaged audience to the site. 

Within a month the site recorded a;
 50% increase in site visits
50% increase in unique visitors
30% increase in organic visits
50% increase in pages per session
20% drop in bounce rate 

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