Cranes are a big name in South Wales with stores in both Swansea and Cardiff (with the very recognisable blue storefront at the top of Queen Street!). The previous Cranes site was a long way off the mark for representing the fantastic products and services provided in store. The site was dated with lists of links covering the whole homepage and the UX lacked functionalities that users have now come to expect as standard.
The deers met the guys at Cranes to come up with new ideas that would put Cranes where they needed to be online. We had free reign with the design; the logo could be updated, the colours freshened up and we could perform a complete UX revamp. We picked up the project and bounded away with it to create a fantastic new site smothered in Big Eye Deers’ magic.
We built a Magento store with all the bells and whistles users have come to expect; clean product listing, easy navigation through categories and facets, Wishlists, Comparison Lists and all the product information displayed in an easy to navigate format. We also included Related Products in the product pages to encourage more sales and a more natural flow through more of the site. We had the development specification all planned out and ready to build… now, how to present it all…
We started with a review of the logo and colour palette used for the brand. Firstly, we set to bringing the logo up to date. The original version included the strapline ‘Established 1851’,a very important selling point for the company, but felt the logo itself needed to be more standalone and simplified.
We stripped this out and upgraded the logo to the rich gold colour to retain the traditional aspect of the brand. You’ll see on the site now that we opted for an upgraded badge for ‘Established 1851 Cardiff’ to really push the point but with a more contemporary feel.
We decided to keep a blue theme for the site to reflect the well-recognised bright blue storefront in Cardiff – we love consistent branding! We tried a range of blues but they all felt that bit too washed out.
With a bog standard blue, the site felt that bit generic so we opted for the deep, dark blue and matched this up with the black to bring a contemporary feel. This made the site far more eye catching and memorable than its competitors and previous versions.
We were left to decide what we thought would be best for the colour palette. We wanted to avoid the cliché guitar colours but made sure that the brand didn’t lose its personality.
Our design team worked closely with the guys at Cranes and went through several revisions of the homepage after looking at a whole spectrum of options from the more traditional to the more striking. One of the revisions came out and straight away we knew we were on to a winner! We showed it to Cranes and they loved it.
We paired up this new colour palette and layout with the fantastic in-house photography that Cranes produce to make a really striking first impression when visitors land on the site. The quality of the images and the contemporary layout really reflect the quality service visitors will receive from Cranes.
One aspect of the original site that we loved was the use of brand logos on the homepage (albeit in a less randomised layout). We introduced this underneath the slider images to make a quick and easy way for users to navigate the site.
With higher priced items, especially with musical instruments, users are likely to have a brand in mind that they’ve used before or been recommended so will opt to search products in this way. We thought we’d make it that bit easier for them…
As with every new client, we stress the need for a responsive design over and over again.
Google penalises any site that is now not mobile-friendly so it is crucial to get your site responsive so all your other hard work doesn’t go to waste!
Cranes were straight on board with the idea and we set out to make the UX seamless across mobile devices.
We went for a sticky header to keep navigation through the different categories and account options nice and simple.
With such a historic brand, Cranes really have the advantage when selling themselves to prospective customers! We really wanted the site to shout what the company is about; trusted, reliable, experts, experienced and passionate.
The importance of the ‘About Us’ pages was pretty high up the list. We wanted these pages to reflect the quality of the store so spent that little bit of extra time on the static pages to make them that little bit extra special!
We extended the branding across the page, added some extra design to the titles and made a page perfect for biographies. Cranes pride themselves on the advice they provide to customers so putting a face to a name and letting the user know the extensive expertise of the team will really push that trusted store feel.
We worked very closely with Cranes throughout the project, ensuring they were up to date and involved with each step of the decision making process. Here’s what they have to say about their experience working with the deers:
“Big Eye Deers were on top of the project from the start and made sure I was up to date every step of the way. When the designs were sent over, we loved the concept straight away! The site is something we now love to show off to current and prospective clients and makes sure we can really compete with others in our market.”