Luxury paint and wallpaper manufacturer Farrow & Ball wanted a separate online platform for exploration and discovery – where customers could share images of how products looked in their own homes, and browse and curate their own online galleries for inspiration. So we got to work designing and building a new Inspiration microsite – and ended up creating Farrow & Ball’s top referring site.
We took a tablet-first approach to this project based on the results of user research, which found that the majority of Farrow & Ball customers use tablets over computers or other devices. But this didn’t mean we neglected other devices. The Inspiration site is seamlessly adaptive, considering performance across all screen dimensions and rendering fewer images on the smaller interfaces of smartphones, but delivering the same great content and user experiences regardless of device.
Our original design was simply a grid of pictures, but this linear approach just wasn’t conducive to the creativity we wanted to inspire, so we had to have a change in tack. To provide an exploratory feel, content on the redesigned microsite refreshes with every visit, so users find new images each time they land on the page. And to make finding inspiration simple, we implemented a ‘free text’ search filter at the top of the page to refine results by product, colour, theme or room.
The brief called on our solution to increase the number of shares on social media, but we didn’t want users to leave the site in order to do so. To achieve this, we designed the site with social in mind, giving users the ability to ‘like’ photos and curate their own online gallery of images. We also added social media links to the bottom of the page to encourage users to share their inspiration and drive site visits. And, to increase comments and direct interaction with the brand, we removed the need to register to comment by integrating Disqus and Facebook.
Timelines for the project were fairly tight, so we delivered the site via agile methodology in four ‘sprints’ of one week each across a six-week period. Each sprint started with a user story workshop – prioritising the different stories and estimating the target delivery date accordingly. This meant we could deliver a working product based on user stories at the end of each sprint – an approach that enabled the client to see progress continuously throughout the build, and in this case act as the end user to validate usability and the fulfilment of business requirements.
“It’s the highest converting site across all of our referring websites, higher than any of our social channels. On the back of that, we’ve also found that customers are then engaging more with the website. We always see a spike, for example from Facebook, back to the site when we put up a nice picture from our inspiration site. Customers are then seeing that, commenting on that and uploading their own pictures, so there’s a nice circle where we put out content & get more back.”
Jon Darch, Digital Marketing Manager, Farrow & Ball
Finalist for both a Dadi and a BIMA award
Images on the site coming from Farrow & Ball customers, showing strong community engagement
Farrow & Ball's top referring site for both revenue and conversion
Visitors per month