The Sole Individual homepage was built in Wordpress using a pre-made template where 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
- SNDVL is an affiliate market & so the shopping basket isn't functional
- Sneakers aren't listed in any order
- The sort by dropdown isn't functional
- The first row of products falls below the fold line due to padding and ads
- Product columns aren't aligned
- Product images are cropped and don't show to full shoe or product
- Product images also aren't a consistent style or position (view), making it hard to browse quickly
- The footer is nearly 40% of the page
- The ads break the flow of content and distract customers
- The right column currently repeats the product list information
- The website isn't responsive
- Search doesn't work and is repeated twice in the header
- Currently no way to filter products
- A general need for branding across the entire site
I sat down with the owner behind Sole Individual early on to get a sense of the direction they saw their brand heading and to understand their need for the redesign. Then working with what I had learnt and 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.
When I first saw the list of sneakers and how often Yeezy and Air Jordans was repeated, my gut reaction was to give this structure, to collapse brands under their parent and clean it up. The client pushed back on this, arguing it was why their customers came to them, because they offered it all and I began to see an opportunity to run with this. Sneaker culture is heavily reliant on the weight brand names hold and customers quickly judge a sneaker store by the sheer amount of their inventory, let's let everyone know what SNDVL has and set them apart from their customers.
From our initial discussions, through moodboards, design ideation, iterations and development, we had set ourselves an aggressive deadline and completed all the designs in four weeks. It took me another six weeks to implement this (2 weeks of that was me figuring out how to use their real data and create a local host site for me to develop against without impacting the live site).
Since the launch, feedback from customers was positive and the brand made an impression within the sneaker industry. They saw an increase in visits to the site as well as an increase of SNDVL merchandise being purchased through their other online store. I continued to work closely with the brand to further develop and align their other sites as well as fixing and updating bugs on the current site.
Mobile was the most challenging here and in hind sight, should have been a focus from the start given the increase in customers purchasing from their hand held devices. I took for granted the responsiveness of the prebuilt template, assuming it'd adjust to other devices better than what it did. As a result, I iterated for a while on the development of the mobile page to have it reach the same quality customers found on desktop, not wanting to let either the customer or their followers down and eventually, we reached a parity we were all satisfied with.
To view more of the assets and ads I created alongside the site, check out the project on my Behance page.