This project was completed while I was employed at Jacknife working as Senior UX Designer alongside a Creative Director to set the design strategy and oversee all aspects of site architecture, interaction design, page and module layouts, user interface design as well as consulting early on in the development phase.
Tayco is a Canadian manufacturer of office furniture with over 40 years in the marketplace. For their 40th Anniversary they wanted to refresh their brand in an effort to gain more market share and change the public perception of being one of many second tier office furniture company to being a real alternative in the top tier. It was clear that a fully redesigned and rebranded website was required to add a premium quality to the brand’s online presence and to highlight the design focus of the company.
Early strategic research and discovery showed that there were multiple stakeholders to consider with regards to the website. Sales Managers, Reps, Dealers and Procurement. In order to have a successful redesign we would need to address the needs of each group and ensure we balanced these needs properly within the site architecture and interactive design. To be successful in our redesign efforts we would need to ensure optimal usability while finding business efficiencies that could improve performance and sales generated online.
The initial research identified key user groups and so getting a more empathic view of each user type would be necessary. I conducted interviews with stakeholders in each of the identified groups to get feedback which was used to develop User Personas to guide the early decisions and define the requirements of the website.
A more intuitive site architecture was needed to help users form better mental models of the site navigation.
During stakeholder interviews I discovered that findability was a major issue with the previous website. Users told me it was difficult to understand the structure of the content and predict what they might see when clicking on a link so creating a more intuitive site architecture was needed to help users form mental models of the site as they navigated through it. It is here that I like to start digging into the content strategy of the website so in addition to the navigation labels there is a more robust idea around what each page will contain. This gives more context to the labelling schema and informs the wireframing process.
I knew from the previous website and the various needs of the users I spoke to that this would be a very content-heavy site involving finding, downloading and comparing multiple variables for each product line including different fits, fabrics and finishes. The website would need to help support much of the dealer and rep needs but in order to compete with the “Tier A” companies, the interface also needed to have a strong focus on the aesthetics and functionality of the product as well as the case studies that backed up the sales team’s efforts when it comes to impressing end users.
The redesign of the navigation required it to be easily accessible from anywhere within the website, implicitly understandable by each user group and yet enticing enough to make users want to explore the product lines. A combination of a “priority-plus” top level navigation with a “super-nav” on mouse-over allows the user to see photos of each product line making it easier to compare and identify them by putting them side-by-side and also access the most recent Case Studies directly which we identified in our research as a powerful sales advantage. The information that users access infrequently goes under the “More…” link making it still easily accessible but not as prominent so as to give some hierarchy to guide new users to the most relevant content first.
A flexible, layout featuring a mix of large hero images and card-based modules makes the most sense from both a look-and-feel approach and also with an eye to creating a manageable, maintainable development schedule. This also has the effect of helping to future-proof the site against changing content and layouts by providing a flexible set of modules that can handle multiple content conditions as the website and business evolve
A more modern, modular user interface that works well across multiple devices and speaks to the premium quality of the product. Subtle animations, intuitive navigation and premium images all help to position the company in the Tier A group of office furniture manufacturing. The improved organization and navigation help to reimagine the website as a powerful sales tool that can be used all the way down the sales funnel from reps to dealers and ultimately end users.