Life Academy is an elite football programme for players wishing to reach their highest possible potential. As a fast-growing new start-up, the brief embodied the key aspects of their business to help grow their business from varying angles. The main features consisted of online signup forms, social and newsletter signups, event information about their varying courses and a blog.
Content rich pages transformed pages into information hubs and allowed users to stay on the website for longer periods of time.
Gaining returning customers created a community for Life Academy and proved users were searching for constant updates.
As this website project was Life Academy’s first website, it was crucial to build a platform with SEO as a leading factor. Strong content with key words, titles and imagery were vital to ensuring visibility on Google Search. By incorporating a blog within the design, it ensured fresh new content was delivered to the website each week.
- Wordpress CMS
- MailChimp Newsletter Signup
- Custom CSS & HTML
- Custom Web Forms
Meetings with clients and planning the structure of the project proved an important aspect to ensure a successful website completion.
Here is a fun fact – during working hours on Life Academy’s project 90 goals were scored within the Premier League.
Engagement helps build a relationship between visitors and a business thus creating an invested customer who will more likely than not return to the website. Although a Blog is a great way to form this kind of relationship, another great way to engage fans is through newsletters. Part of this project consisted of integrating MailChimp (Email Service Provider) within Life Academy’s website. By delivering varying angles of content to their fans it allowed for greater engagement, visitors that were much more likely to engage with the website and a larger following.
Firm Foundation is a homeless charity based in Harrow. The brief consisted of reconstructing their website from scratch to include responsive design, add accessibility to online donations, create a resource for charity related information and finally to increase awareness to ensure charity growth.
Completed for a local charity, this project was undertaken on a strictly no-fee basis to support and increase the awareness of homelessness.
Firm Foundations new website launched in April 2015 along with many new features including most importantly an option to donate online.
The redesign consisted of clean layouts with clear call-to-actions to promote areas of the website we wanted to direct the traffic towards. There was a clear end user goal – to receive a donation from the user. However this was not the only end user goal Firm Foundation wished to focus on. Providing meaningful information and expanding awareness were high on the end user goal spectrum. The design focuses on making the user journey clear on how to donate whilst not empowering over other key features of the website.
In conclusion the project plan was clear from the start due to a good understanding of the brief. Using development and minor tweaks throughout the launch phase of the website has pushed the website forward to perform the exact functionality required from the start.
“FirmFoundation needed a creative and talented individual to develop a new website, someone who could capture and translate our vision and ethos within a website. Understanding our organisation and quickly producing initial pages for us to view meant that solid progress was made. Dan was able to make us feel comfortable, take our ideas, and produce a website that we are proud of.“
This project was an extension on the already existing eCommerce Curvy Kate website which launched in June 2016. Due to the success of the website a brief was constructed to tap into the American market with local pricing. The backend system latched onto the main Curvy Kate website however allowed deliverability of custom content depending on location.
Websites of this scale require several scripts to ru, improving user experience and immersing the customers within the UI.
Launched in May and 2 months down the line the Curvy Kate website is already seeing a high volume of sessions.
Structured and well thought-out code can help save minutes and hours down the line if prepared in the correct way.
Due to changes via the backend, several front-end components needed tweaking to adapt to these changes such as homepage content, localised pricing and delivery information to name a few. These changes in turn allowed for customised, focused content leading to improved sales and the removal of any misleading delivery and returns information.
- Custom CSS, HTML & JS
- Localised Product RRPs
It takes man power and strong concentration levels to deliver projects of this magnitude. Coffee is a necessity at the least.
Localised Size Conversion
To conclude, these changes allowed Curvy Kate to deliver a localised online experience for customers in the US, creating an international eCommerce platform on which can be expanded. The setup allowed for more countries to be easily added to their system if such projects were to have been explored.
The Curvy Kate Blog was voted the Winner of ‘Best Lingerie Blog’ in the British Plus Size Awards 2014 which lead to this brief. As the content was award winning, it was decided to give the Blog a design overhaul to match. The main brief focused on maintaining the current blog posts and post URL structure and to incorporate them into a new design, not leading to any SEO implications.
Since the refreshed design, the blog has gained just short of 2 Million Page Views. That’s a lot when you consider the amount of content on each page.
Users not only read the blog posts, they also interact with them leading to a boost of visibility on Google Search and other Search Engines.
Content. Content. Content. No matter how good a websites design is, without content it does very little.
Working with the Marketing team, key functions were defined to improve the delivery of blog content and UX. As with any blog, Curvy Kate’s was content heavy which can lead to slow page load times and an increase in drop-offs. Focus was directed on delivering page load times as quickly as possible without loosing any quality. Images normally make up for 75% of a page size therefore reducing their size by using lossless image compressions reduced the page load time by 2 whole seconds. A big difference.
- Wordpress CMS
- MailChimp Newsletter Signup
- Custom CSS, HTML
- Image Gallery
- Live Twitter Feed
Optimising images by compressing them reduced the overall upload size by 66% which lead to faster page load times.
The initial Curvy Kate Blog was not responsive therefore restricting use to mainly Desktop whilst Mobile and Tablet users had to struggle to navigate around. It was imperative to design a responsive website that functioned the same across all viewports to allow those users who initially were restricted to Desktop viewing only.
The design was created to deliver a more engaging, visual experience for the Blog readers. Featured Blogs and Categories were reconstructed within WordPress to group the content into easier accessible sections. Search functionality and a responsive design were all new features of this project.
Curvy Kate decided to go eCommerce in late 2015 and so began a 6 month project to completely change the structure, layout and functionality of their website. The project began with several meetings to discuss how best to move forward with the redesign and the desired outcomes they were expecting from such an overhaul. Once decided, the critical path was constructed and designing commenced.
Highly visited, it’s imperative to ensure all aspects of the website are functioning correctly whilst looking to improve the customer experience.
Since the launch of the eCommerce website just over a year ago there has been a steady increase in conversion rate.
Through the initial stage of concept designs, wireframes were meticulously analysed taking into consideration both UX (User Experience) and UI (User Interface). Key focus areas included the product details section on a single product page, product layout on category pages and the basket/checkout area. The goal was to refine the journey from entering the website to purchase and gaining a returning member.
Once the wireframes were agreed on, the next phase consisted of styling these wireframes into full page previews for all screen sizes. This included designing a single page 4-5 times to show how elements flowed from one viewport to the next. As Curvy Kate is a well known brand, they have created a style whereby everyone associates that style with them. It was imperative to carry their brand identity across to this new website to reflect Curvy Kate’s personality whilst providing the fluent UX mapped out during the wire framing phase.
- Bronto Newsletter Signup
- Custom CSS, HTML & JS
- About Us & Bra Fitting Sections
The new Curvy Kate eCommerce website launched in June 2016 and since then has only been improving in every aspect.
Bra Finder Widget
There was a need to tailor each customers experience to ensure accessibility of bra sizes they were specifically looking for. Finding ‘Out of Stocks’ and ‘Sold Out’ items can cause frustration and unnecessary waste time for the customer. Developing the Bra / Bikini Finder allowed the customer from the very start of the user journey to tailor the products they viewed which helped increase conversion rate, customer satisfaction and reduced website drop-offs. This feature now currently drives 13% of Curvy Kate’s monthly sales.
As the website grew in orders and numbers, it became apparent the Basket Page needed improving. In order to increase the click-through rate from Basket to Checkout the layout was changed to clearly display item titles, prices, discounts and images. A new summary container was designed to show clear concise information of the current Basket Order. Further to this, cross-related products and voucher/gift wrapping options were added to improve the Average Basket Value resulting in higher sales and improved click-through rates, especially for mobile and tablet.
As Curvy Kate is also an international wholesale business, a key feature they insisted on was a Store Locator to display all stockists of their products. Being a project in itself, the Store Locator required heavy functionality to display both in-store and online stockists. Further to the brief two more sections were added onto the Store which consisted of a signup form for new retailers and another signup form for people looking to stock Curvy Kate. Stores with both an online and in-store presence were connected to ensure fluidity and improved user accessibility depending on their need for online or in-store shopping. Finally within the Online Store locator a ‘Featured Retailers’ section was created to push more well-known and higher-stocked stores.
Category Page Development
Another key feature added to the website after the launch was an updated category page layout. Customers wanted more information than just an image, name and price displayed to make them click through to the product. Therefore more information was displayed under each product which included % off, a star review system and new products were highlighted. Click-through rates increased by 4.5%.
Curvy Kate’s vast product range, long lasting blog presence and category page filtering raises their visibility on Google Search.
Once all designs were signed off it was on to the development stage. This consisted of typing custom HTML / CSS / JS / ASP.NET code to create the vision mapped out within the designs. Due to the dynamic nature of the website (varying products) the designs had to cater for each possible outcome which proved a difficult but rewarding task once completed.
The final stage saw heavy and rigorous testing of the entire website, focusing highly on the shopping features to ensure a smooth launch with minimal bugs. Once completed, the website was prepared for launch and on 14th June 2016 the new Curvy Kate eCommerce website went live. Since then there have been several development projects to improve the UX and increase profitability.
The brief for this Bass Bankers project was left completely open for interpretation. As a new start up business within the Music industry they were open to ideas and were willing to explore different pathways when discussing page structure and website design. They handed over complete creative control to create a new brand image to sit alongside their new logo.
A continuous stream of music is essential when it comes to thinking creative. Without it this project would’ve been half as good.
From the initial design brief through to the final website completion, this project only took 50 hours from start to finish.
Full control over the brand image made this project special and opened an opportunity to stamp my ethos on their brand.
Initial page designs were created, reviews and amendments were made until they were happy with the final designs. The next step consisted of setting up WordPress on their domain and begin working on the theme set out in the previous step. A dark theme was created to match what Bass Bankers envisioned for their brand, using the typical banker colours of black and white and adding a fresh colour palette to make call-to-action buttons/features stand out allowing to better control the user journey.
- Wordpress CMS
- MailChimp Newsletter Signup
- Custom CSS & HTML
- Live Music Player
- Parralax Scrolling
Music is a hobby, therefore any deviation from the task at hand did not occur as Bass Bankers was a fully immersive project.
The main purpose of the website focused on the idea of supplying their fans with both free and paid for music content which could be easily accessible. Therefore a music player functionality was added to their website to allow instant free streaming of all their music which continued to play through navigation and refreshing of pages. Playlists could be created by the user and free songs could be downloaded straight from the player.
To conclude, their website hosted areas to feature new music with filter controls, areas for new artists to feature their very own music, profile, images and about us section and finally a blog/events section to deliver fresh new content to their fans on a weekly basis and thus improving their SEO ranking.