Chairmaker is a new chair brand created by a Sussex furniture manufacturer to market the finest bespoke contemporary and traditional chairs to trade and retail customers.

Discovery and Strategy

Over the course of several meetings we discussed their project requirements and I explored the company, brand, products and customers. Between meetings I researched their online and offline competitors, and presented the findings to Chairmaker. Out of these meetings we produced a project brief.

The new site should:

  • showcase the expanding product line
  • have a clean, contemporary design
  • communicate the Chairmaker brand:
    • the highest quality chairs
    • bespoke production
    • handmade British craftsmanship
    • a heritage of chair design and manufacturing over 50 years
  • display well on mobiles, tablets and desktops
  • be easy to update so staff can upload new products and edit website pages
  • have a blog section
  • integrate with social media
  • have a print option on individual product pages
The Home page design on the Chairmaker website

Data capture and development

This stage consisted of 5 phases:

  1. Identifying the products, product attributes and content to be captured
  2. Capturing the product data: attributes, images, descriptions, categories
  3. Building a first-phase development website with admin interface
  4. Training and supporting staff as they entered products, images and page content onto the site
  5. Content audit and optimisation (SEO)

Providing staff with early exposure to the admin interface breeds familiarity and confidence without time pressure, and is a great way to test usability and obtain feedback.

Customer focused

A typical Chairmaker customer is an interior designer sourcing the best quality chairs for their clients. Their requirements vary from a unique ‘one-of-a-kind’ statement chair for a lounge, hallway or bedroom, to one hundred made-to-order dining chairs for a restaurant.

A ‘Build Options’ section was added to the Main Menu and as a Tab on products. This explains the different options that customers can select to make their chairs not only bespoke but also suitable for their environment and intended use.

With bespoke products, ‘Add to Basket’ isn’t appropriate. Enquiry forms on product pages, Chair Restoration, and Trade Enquiries pages make it easy for customers to contact Chairmaker.

Design

Because chairs can be colourful and patterned I kept the visual design of the website restrained using a monochrome colour palette, taking inspiration from the simple line drawing in the Chairmaker logo.

Product page design on the Chairmaker website
Example of how the Chairmaker web design displays on iPad and iPhone

"Thank you Jason for our wonderful new website. You have taken on all the things we asked for, and the site looks brilliant. We love the way you have designed the back end to be user friendly. We will contact you again soon to ask you to build another website for us."

Kevin Baker , Chairmaker

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