One of the main challenges of launching a successful e-commerce website is getting consistent conversion rates and repeat customers. With this in mind, I also had to address the following user stories:
As a user, I want to browse products without distraction
As a user, I want to view details about a specific product
As a user, I want to add a product to my cart
As a user, I want to pay for my items with a CC or Paypal
As a user, I want to sign up for an account
The focus for this project was to craft a shopping experience that was simple yet intuitive and eases the customer’s checkout process. I made it a priority to design a solution that focused on preventing cart abandonment during transactions and an easy to navigate but aesthetically pleasing interface.
The research phase began with a SWOT analysis of other minimalist driven e-commerce sites. The three e-commerce sites that were analyzed (Hypebeast, The Minimalists, and Curate Online) were all similar in theme and content, so it was important to understand any differences in the shopping experience for users. This also helped me settle on the ideal approach that Minimaal should have towards showcasing it's products and attracting the right audience.
With these requirements defined, I was able to establish a clear visual hierarchy throughout the platform and keep all content and user interactions consistent across the board for web and mobile. While this analysis helped me establish features that would make the platform stand out, diving deeper into best practices for e-commerce web design led me to conclude the following:
E-commerce sites should be easy to navigate
Product Pages should be clean and uncluttered
Reduce the friction of selecting a product and making a purchase
Eliminate all distractions during the checkout process
Since MINIMAAL is a brand that promotes living a minimal lifestyle through it's products, it was essential that the brand had a minimal aesthetic yet also appealed to a broad range shoppers interested in the minimalism lifestyle.
For the logo, I wanted to utilize the brand name and transform it into something simple yet elegant. In the dutch language, the word “Minimal” is pronounced with two letter A’s. By creating a union between the two A’s, symmetry and harmony were achieved and this resulted in a single ‘M’ within a circle as the main logomark.
With a minimal theme in mind, I went with a color palette that was clean yet professional. Varying shades of black, gray, and white are synonymous with minimalism so this was a no brainer. The same thinking applied to our typography choice of Titlium Web, a light sans-serif typeface that's versatile and easily readable on all screen sizes and great for headings and body text. While using two contrasting typefaces is great for certain website designs, going with one typeface throughout the project kept things consistent.
More and more online shopping is now done on mobile phones and tablets. Designing for mobile responsiveness was imperative to ensure users had the ideal buying experience anywhere and on any device. Navigating through a menu should be a breeze and signing in or creating an account should be the most simple task.