Collaborative Website Redesign Project
Christy Sports Patio furniture website needed a follow up to the redesign I executed for the retail ski/snowboard site.
New goals were established for the site to bring features in line with the Christy Sports patio business model which prides itself on a face to face, hands-on approach to sales and top quality patio furniture service. From design consultation, custom orders to fit the customers' needs all the way through white glove delivery with everything assembled and ready to enjoy in the customer's outdoor living space.
The online product catalog was simplified to only bring items that were easily shipped and could be purchased without consultation. Patio furniture sets and larger items were repurposed with a new conversion goal of contacting a store to arrange for service and purchase directly from the store.
The print catalog was met with great success a few years earlier so I took the lead on using it as inspiration for the new site’s 'look and feel' and primary purpose: showing off a specific set of patio furniture collections that could be customized and purchased from stores. I came up with three designs based on the print catalog. A final version was pieced out of the three options and put into place for development.
Without wanting to cut off online sales altogether, I built in zones on the collection pages for upsells and accessories that could be purchased directly online.
The site also featured prominent cross linking to its services segment where the value proposition for making an appointment with a store could be easily made. I designed the service segment to stand on its own with a parallax style layout that showcased each of the companies service segments.
Lastly, I suggested bringing back enhancements to each location page to give individual stores some of their own presence and personality online. All while showcasing the numerous stores in Colorado and Utah where the same top notch service could be found.
Effective Landing Pages
While in most cases Christy Sports' email marketing strategy took a scattershot approach and left conversion paths for almost anyone who responded to the emails, on some occasions the conversion path was much smaller. Even a singular event or conversion goal was introduced which led to some projects involving the creation of attention getting and effective landing pages.
In this example, the conversion goals were customer lead generation, and the primary result the marketing team was looking for was contact with local stores via in person or over the phone to purchase tickets for the annual start of season ski and snowboard demo.
After the messaging and collateral were finalized I set out to design the landing page so that it would generate some excitement for the event and would attempt to get users to take action to purchase a demo ticket. The event had the best turnout in several seasons with tickets selling out well before the scheduled event day. While there was no direct attribution to the landing page, it was part of the planned marketing funnel, and many said they had learned of the demo from the web.
Responsive Email Design
It was time to bring the Bootdoctors email program in line with Christy Sports through IBM Watson. Bootdoctors had used Mailchimp to create a successful email template which they had been using up until the time to assimilate their email program into the Christy Sports system for ease of maintenance and more opportunity for growth.
My goal was to redesign the Bootdoctors email template to maintain the elements that everyone felt should stay and introduce some features of the Christy Sports email system like a responsive layout that represented the content on smaller screens so that it was still easily absorbed by users.
The results were achieved using the same email design techniques that I adopted for the initial Christy Sports responsive email design, plus the addition of some Microsoft specific VML techniques that allowed for background images optiized in the design to satisfy all of the chosen email platforms used by our customer base.
WordPress is one of the most popular frameworks to build a website. It is free to start, scalable to almost any user’s needs, long-standing and open source with thousands of code contributors.
For this reason, My attention has gravitated toward WordPress site design and development on several occasions in my work history.
I have created several sites for individual clients as well as for my previous employer by customizing WordPress themes to make them unique to their owners.
Here are some highlights within my WordPress experience
- Custom HTML/CSS adaptations using 'Child Themes'
- Installation and management of several WordPress plugins to facilitate site functions such as increased security and user interactivity
- Coaching content creators and administrators to manage website content through the WordPress CMS (Content Management System
A quick example of using a/b testing to determine a design direction for a web page includes this page I tested on our new Patio site.
The question that came up was whether the top messaging content was redundant and whether it just added a step between landing on the site and booking a consultation. Or was the banner and its content adding value and increasing the likelihood that users would click through to make an appointment.
The banner was tested with CrazyEgg for about two weeks and the conclusion was that more customers made conversion without the banner by about 15-20%. The banner was removed given these findings.
Other A/B projects that I engaged in during my time at Christy Sports included:
- Interactive map on the homepage of rental site, or no map
- Email - tests for segmented banners or a universal message banner
- Tests for the best time of day of the email release
- Small content changes like button colors