Sole Individual (SNDVL) are dedicated to showcasing the latest news and releases in the sneaker industry, amassing a substantial social following across multiple accounts and platforms.
Sneaker Culture & SNDVL
As a result of their dedication to the industry and their appreciation for style, SNDVL has captured the hearts of many sneaker fans who constantly interact with them through social media. The sneaker market has rapidly become saturated and grown immensely with new brands surfacing regularly, all promoting the newest drop and the latest trends so I worked with SNDVL to update their look and online presence to align with the market, and showcase the luxury street cult sneaker brands that have taken over the fashion industry.
(Images taken from the brand's three social media accounts, @sndvlworldwide, @soleindividual, and
Initial Concepts and Direction
I sat down with the owner behind Sole Individual to get a sense of the direction they saw their brand heading and to really understand their need for the redesign. Then working with what I knew of the brand, their customer base, the sneaker industry, their personal design tastes and their competitors, I developed different sets of moodboards to highlight the aesthetic, colour palette and the directions we could take.
Wireframes and Layout
The client loved the black, white and accent colour aesthetic, wanting to maintain that minimalist theme but creating a sense of style and personalization behind it that would allow the sneakers to stand out and speak for themselves. With this in mind and given the restraints of the current site, I brainstormed different layouts for the store and started creating initial wireframes and concepts.
Current website (2018)
The Sole Individual homepage was built in Wordpress using one of the pre-made templates and together we quickly identified areas we could build upon and improve. The current experience had multiple traps and the site was in dire need of its own identity and an experience that felt personal and unique to SNDVL. A few of the items we wanted to address were:
- The primary navigation is repeated twice
- SNDVL is an affiliated marketer & so the shopping basket isn't functional
- Sneakers aren't listed in the order mentioned
- The sort by dropdown also doesn't contain any other options
- The first row of products falls below the fold line
- Product columns aren't aligned
- Product images are cropped either side of the shoe
- Product images also aren't a consistent style or position (view)
- The footer is nearly 40% of the page
- Can we reposition the ads better to not break the flow of content
- The right column currently repeats the product list information
- The website isn't responsive
- Search doesn't function as expected
- Search is repeated twice in the header and next to the content
- And is there an easier way to search or filter products
- A general need for branding across the entire site
(Below are examples of the site in the two themes the owner had purchased through WordPress)
Initial Designs
Taking into account the client's feedback based on the initial design direction, the areas identified for improvement and the site's current implementation at the time, I developed 3 initial ideas, with variations on each that I then presented. The product brand list on the left was a feature they specifically requested and I decided to really emphasize this, to not do the expected to tuck it away in a filter, especially since sneaker culture is heavily reliant on the weight brand names hold and customers quickly judge a sneaker store by the sheer amount of brands they carry.
SNDVL Relaunch (Dec 2018)
From our initial discussions, through moodboards, design ideation, iterations and development, we had set ourselves an aggressive deadline and completed everything in four weeks. This was also my first time developing a site myself and using the StoreFront theme, I (learnt and) coded the front-end portion of the site, styling every item on the screen, creating motion and ensuring the pages responded as intended.
Below is an example of the live site. (The owner has made a number of changes since, both on the site itself and in his business model. We're actively working to update and fix the bugs as a result and always trying to improve upon the designs).
Following the launch
Following the initial launch I still saw room for improvement. We accomplished our goal of finishing the site in 4 weeks however now we had time to adjust and refine the experience. I added more weight visually to the brand list on the left and the banner at the top of the page became a scrolling news ticker, pulling headlines directly from the updates on the SNDVL blog and social media platforms. We also created placements for ads at the top of the page (shown here as grey boxes) that can easily be turned on or off at the owner's discretion.
Further Design explorations
Since the launch, feedback from customers has been positive and the brand seems to have made an impression on customers, with an increase in visits to the site as well as an increase of SNDVL merchandise being purchased through their online store. I've continued to work closely with the brand since then to further develop and align their other sites to the brand as well as fixing and updating bugs on the current site and adding additional features where necessary, our main focus being mobile and improving the experience since the preinstalled theme didn't support mobile as well as we had originally hoped.
Recent Updates
Following this project, I've worked more the SNDVL to create parity across their other sites and changing business needs. We created also created ads based on the initial brand to help promote the site else where too.

For more of the motion studies and final designs following the launch, check out the project here too.