Carets is a shoemaking company. Their shoes are the Highest Intersection of Style and Comfort and by this, they claim that:
“There will always be more stylish shoes than ours, and there will always be more comfortable shoes than ours. If you care about just style or just comfort, you would be better served by other shoes. If you care about both Style AND Comfort... Look no further. Because we’ve packed our shoes to the max with both style and comfort, and you won't find another shoe that does it as we do.”
Carets was looking for a redesign of their Mobile and Desktop website with a better user experience and visual identity. By interacting with the customers they already knew people feel risk buying from them because their websites on all the platforms do not gain the user’s trust to pay $350 for a shoe.
Aim for new carestco.com
Like almost every e-commerce company their goal for the new website was to have an increase in the conversion and reduce the bounce rate, but there was an interesting goal to improve their shopping experience for all the platforms in a way that can help customers to go shop without having fear of risk. In short, a trustworthy website with its visual tone.
Old vs New
I spent 2-3 hours with the website and I made a questionnaire for Carets, thanks to them for providing me the detailed answers of every question I asked but beyond that, I needed customer's feedback on what they are thinking when they shop from Carets. Fortunately, they already had a survey which helped me to recognize a few problems. Majority of the customers looking for more collections and more colors for the shoes and clearly that was not my part though Carets is already working on it. I found some helpful feedback on the websites and mobile shopping experience.
Analysis of the problem
Carets do not have a huge website they’re just selling 3 shoes (more are launching soon) but the website was not giving the needful information. For me, the task was not just of redesigning the existing website but it was a redesign of the whole experience that covers the new content, new photography, new branding, and new brand voice tone.
I noticed their old website had all the information a customer would like to know before he buys a product but it was not present at the needful spot where it should be. Especially on the home, product detail page and somewhere there was extra information that a user may don’t want to read.
The shopping experience has been much advanced in the past years but there are some standard activities that every shopping site follows and the online buyers are used to it. e.g. the hierarchy of the purchasing component of product detail page (that covers product title, reviews, price, select the size and add to cart button), the cart icon on the top right or Shipping and Return links in the footer. I saw that the old website was missing many of these things that could improve the customer experience and could help to gain customers trust when they shop.
Today, people love to shop on mobiles and that's why from last years some companies believe in the mobile first approach. By seeing the analytical reports I found out there is almost equal traffic on Desktop and Mobile, but the people were more liking to shop from the desktop. WHY?!?!
Few obvious reasons:
- There was useless information on the small mobile screen which was making the customers scroll for no reason.
- Lots of extra space on the product page that is pushing all the required CTA’s below the fold.
- Useless color selection field because there is the only one color the site is selling.
- Add to cart button was smaller than the dropdowns.
- No personalized information on the product page.
After understanding the whole project I took the first step to re-design Carets logo, it was one of their requirement too and I was happy for it because it allowed me to explore deeper to understand their brand values and designing the logo at the beginning of the project could help me to define the visual tone of the brand because a brand is a person’s gut feeling about a specific product or company. Each person creates his or her own version of it, and some brands increase or decrease in popularity because of how consumers feel about them and Carets wanted to have the sharp and edgy feel. They wanted to keep the same color and same concept of their existing logo because it had the meaning of their name “Carets”.
I will not dig much into the process and the exploration for their new logo but in all this exploration I finalized the tone of the brand, the new gold shade, and new font.
Photography of any brand plays a huge role in defining the voice and target audience. Their old photography was not matching with the new visual tone I was envisioning for their brand. I suggested them to shoot new photographs I researched on what was in my mind to convey them my thoughts. We checked up few photographer’s portfolios and end up with www.modernalchemy.io Within 3-5 rounds we got the new imagery which was far better than the old.
Ideation and content strategy
I am surely not a content writer but by reading the existing content I could see that it can be written in a more effective way and I asked the client if we can hire someone to re-write or to just polish the content for us would be really helpful for the new website.
I listed all the pages and the sections they had on their every page then I broke the content from each page and mapped it in a way, a customer would really need to know. E.g. People don’t like to read a lot these days, most of the users prefer watching the videos. I moved some of their product explanatory videos and reviews on the homepage (previously they had them in some inner pages) to convey the purpose of using Carets in 2-3 minutes.
After finalizing all the content strategy and the structure of the site, I drew the possible layouts of the important pages (Home, Collection and Product detail page).
Prototyping is always helpful before jumping into the final designs, you can rapidly iterate many things on client requirements without paying attention to pixel details and it saves time in the future by allowing you to have better grip at the UI Stage. I created the Mobile and Desktop prototypes to be more clear about what we are going to design.
This is one of my favorite stage of any project. The visual approach was to create the sharp design that has the modern and classic feel in it. I used the Serif and San-Serif fonts to achieve both. Starting with Caret’s new logo I removed the curves and rounded design elements from their brand identity and kept each and every element sharp.
Carets already knew what they are looking for and they wanted to stay with their existing brand color (I agreed) but I just wanted to improve the color tone of their gold. We explored some gold tones and selected one of it.
Here you can browse the website www.caretsco.com