Dakota Floors

dakota floors

My Role: •User Experience Design •Web-Design •Programming •SEO

How can a brand that relies on tradition, effectively update their web presence without alienating their traditional customer base?

1. Defining the Project Scope
dakota floors analysis

Interview – Discovering the Problem Set

The first step is to interview the stakeholders and provide a basic analysis of the company needs.

Initial Analysis

Dakota Floors could benefit from an update to their website to maintain their long-standing tradition while staying modern in both technology and the marketplace. The website should focus on the local market to build new brand recognition, reinforce current brand strength, and build on the long term presence of Dakota Floors in the South Dakota community. The website should only reflect high quality with top standards, but offer some access to discounts and affordability. New products, such as ‘green’, can be promoted to demonstrate the diversity and forward thinking of the company.

Three main goals are established to guide the remaining design process:

  • Attract new customers to make contact
  • Attract new customers to visit the store
  • Reinforce the current strength of Dakota Floors
2. Build the Site Architecture
dakota floors site-map

Site Structure

A clear and simple site architecture provides fast routes to product pages.

dakota floors hierarchy

Simple wireframes for the homepage set the stage for a fully responsive site. The hierarchy flow ensures all information is available on mobile devices and traditional screens of all sizes.

3. Visual Design
dakota floors visual design

"Balance High Quality and Affordable" is the key insight based on research and interviews. A basic low fidelity wireframe defines which elements belong on the pages. The start page is the most crucial because it is the most viewed.

There are three main goals for the start page:

  • To provide location and hours for anyone wanting this crucial information
  • To feed people further into the product pages where the visitors become invest time in the company and products, which raises the value of Dakota Floors
  • Make accessible the feeling an in store visit provides

Based on stakeholder interviews it is clear that a mix of high quality and affordable is crucial to strengthening their market share. The choice is made to mix a hard call to action yellow banner feel with classic wood and quality flooring imagery. The effect builds on their local campaign use of signs.

dakota floors mockups

Concept mockups show the visual and structural concepts together. The balance of images shows off quality product. A video produced in-house gives the personal touch to reinforce company tradition.

4. Coding and Technical Integration
dakota floors code

Dakota Floors takes advantage of HTML5 and CSS3, and uses media queries to make the site responsive. To ensure the local market can fully access the information by using javascript to 'modernize' the capabilities of older browsers. A website that functions on all devices is crucial to maintaining legacy customers.

5. Implement the Final Design
dakota floors results

The final product is completely responsive and meets the goals set forth in the initial analysis.

Lessons learned:

  • It is possible to combine affordable and high quality
  • New technology does not need to get in the way of tradition
  • Personal contact is very important to local business

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