“Cloud9 Fabrics uses only 100% certified organic cotton in the manufacturing of our base cloths and eco-responsible low impact dyes for printing and dying. We work closely with mills that are committed to ethical and responsible conduct. This includes respecting the rights of all individuals, a devotion to sustained social compliance, and an accountability to the environment.”
It was such a delight to work with Michelle again to replace her DIY Dreamweaver site with a proper, beautiful WordPress site.
Starting a Website Redesign With Goals
As we always do, we began this project by becoming familiar with Cloud9 – what the company is all about, what was and wasn’t working for them at the time, their long-term vision for the brand, and their immediate goals for the project.
A business’ goals are always foremost in our minds as we design, and their customers are always considered as we make each decision. To get us started, Michelle shared her goals:
The site should act as a catalog and history of Cloud9 Fabrics for use by either fans or wholesalers.
It should clearly delineate collections as 1/ coming soon, 2/now shipping or 3/ archived. It should also offer information on our business and designers.
We want to offer a resources for shops. Free downloads and project ideas, images that they can use in their own shops and marketing. Our certifications should be easy to access and upload.
The blog needs to be more streamlined and uniform in format – and easy to search.
All images should be Pinterest-friendly, so they link back easily to the original source. Would be great to have auto-titling of images so that they relate information based on collection, category or designer without having to address every image.
We need a really comprehensive where to buy section so that people can search for shops that are carrying the fabric they want.
Lastly, I want it to be EASY to maintain on our end. A true sign of success would be to get through updates without digging into Dreamweaver and fussing with HTML!!!
The Homepage Redesign
Below is Michelle’s original home page. The thing that stands out most to me is the main graphic. It says, “A beautiful selection of affordable organic cotton fabrics,” which is all well and good, but as an impatient person on the internet, I want to see those fabrics instantly, so I can get excited and continue to explore.
Besides the lack of compelling photos on the home page, the logo takes up too much space, the links on the left almost seem to be in random order, and there’s the confusion of “previous page” – an odd thing to see when you first visit a website.
Below, you can see the new homepage, redesigned by Christine. The fantastic new logo by Jessica Jones was a great starting point, and helped us pull together a clean, crisp, cohesive site, that’s perfectly “Cloud9!”
The new homepage is clean, bright, and easy to navigate, featuring a photo slideshow that shows examples of products using the fabrics. Visitors will feel much more engaged if they can imagine themselves using the products, so showing them in action like this is a wise choice.
The homepage interests you in the blog, with a recent project or post listed, lets you know more about the designers behind Cloud9, and gives you a hint of Cloud9’s authority by showing their latest press mention.
Rather than just being plopped on the page, the social media links are corralled together with the text, “be inspired” which gets visitors interested to see what kind of projects they will find if they visit the Cloud9 social media pages. Similarly, the newsletter subscribe is on the footer of every page, and tells you what you will get if you sign up.
The Collections Page Redesign
The collections page was a very big part of the redesign process. With so many fabrics, Michelle wanted there to be a lot of ways to narrow down and filter out just what customers are looking for. You’ll see that the collections page “before” had just the name of the fabric, the type of fabric, and the status. The new page does so much more.
Below is the new collections page. You’ll see that now you can filter by the base cloth, the availability, whether it’s designed by Cloud9 or one of their designers, or you can search for keywords among the fabrics. There’s a good way to display availability on banners over the images, and an icon to show who designed the fabric.
The Press Page Redesign
I’m not normally a big fan of press pages – what customer is going to take the time to actually read through any of it? However, Cloud9 Fabrics get a lot of press, and the new solution Christine came up with is really smart. Even if customers don’t click anything, just scanning the page shows the breadth of press that Cloud9 get. If the Cloud9 team don’t mind updating this page, I think it’s a good use of space. The earlier page just showed magazine covers and dates:
Below is the new press page. The intriguing thing about this design is that instead of a long, long scroll through interminable magazine covers, you can see at a glance how many years Cloud9 has been getting press mentions. If you’re interested in exploring further, it’s easy to use the arrows to go through the listings. Only magazine covers are shown, and there is no click through to further info or larger photos. However, the graphics make it more engaging than if it was just a list of magazine names.
After 5 years of experiencing an evolving business, it became apparent that we’d outgrown our website. I wanted a site that really signified who we are as a company and at the same time offer features that catalog our past, highlight our present and reflect our future. I feel like Aeolidia helped me achieve all my goals. Christine really seemed to understand me and delivered a beautiful, clean and modern design. Shoshanna was a veritable miracle worker in making things happen the way I wanted them to. I very much loved the collaborative and friendly atmosphere. I felt that both my desires and needs were met beautifully and the response to our efforts has been really well received- what else could I ask for?
Is it Time For You?
Do you have an elderly website that is hard for your customers to use and hard for you to update? Hey, I know you’re out there trying to do it all, but your web presence is a task you can safely hand over to us, and get checked off of your ever-lengthening to-do list. Talk to me today – we’ll make a plan for you!
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