- Increase the amount of brides-to-be with a generous amount of images, customer service options, and improve on the general appearance of the site to a more modern look
- Remain the top source of bridal gowns in the industry by providing more images on the website
- Fully engage the viewer of the gowns and details through rotating 3-D photos
I began my research through a series of meetings with the Kleinfeld’s Bridal Digital Advisory Team. The members of this group helped me to understand the main points they were experiencing, the needs of the many groups acting within the organization and the characteristics of their viewers, prospective clients, and all those who interact with the organization.
Following the meetings, we toured the facility, and was explained the client’s overall process as well as the many departments, that Kleinfeld’s has to offer. We spoke with the veil department manager, as well the accessories & Kleinfeld’s Paper department manager. During our tour, we observed visitors and noted prominent decor and displays. The site tours gave us a good understanding of the physical space and a sense of what visitors find most interesting about the facility. We saw firsthand how much visitors, particularly prospective clients, were excited to see how many services that Kleinfeld Bridal offers on their facility . We wanted to reflect this sense of discovery and wonder in the new site.
As a part of our research, we also surveyed the online presences of other attractions, local competitors and bridal-focused content providers on the web, in an effort to understand the market.
The discovery and planning process led to an exhaustive set of recommendations ranging from UX and technology to content, engagement and messaging. Our approach boiled down to identifying and understanding the key audiences and then reimagining the site from a user-centric standpoint.
This involved the development of numerous personas and use-cases, which in-turn helped reduce the overall page count by approximately two-thirds when compared to their previous site. By doing so, information could be shaped in a more compelling fashion, while also making content easier to access and faster to scan.
In researching other online presences, we discovered that many sites had great homepages but fairly lackluster content presentation—like a book with a great cover, but little beyond that. We wanted the site to reveal more as visitors went deeper into it—like the facility, the website should constantly wow and reward visitors with quality content. At the same time visitors should be directed—with clear calls-to-action—to visit the facility, make a donation or get involved.
Kleinfeld Bridal wanted to increase the website views as well as the amount of prospect clientele (since that drives a large part of their revenue) but, at the same time, they didn’t want to be portrayed solely as an attraction. They emphasized that a large part of their revenue is used to maintain the location, provide stable employee wages and provide more than ever bridal gown options that every before.
With this in mind, we aimed to present content from the private & local designers, the fashion shows, & buyers to provide
a balanced yet compelling manner. In order to achieve this, we had to overcome a number of obstacles that the original site presented:
- Sprawling content (out-of-date, irrelevant, redundant) diminished core messaging
- Unclear content grouping and a weak navigation system made it difficult to find information
- Lack of a central blog made it problematic to post fresh content regularly
- Poor integration of microsites did little to highlight varying initiatives and properties
- Lack of mobile experience frustrated on-the-go users
- Inconsistent visual language made the site looked generic and unfinished
To highlight Kleinfeld Bridal of Manhattan’s various digital properties, and to make the main site easier to explore, the navigation system was totally reworked. A global navigation bar neatly packaged all of Kleinfeld’s micro links . The main site’s navigation system implemented a nav bar menu, helping visitors find information that’s located several levels deep. Task-based user testing and anecdotal observations helped us iterate and refine the navigation and content structure. For mobile users, a separate mobile site was created since they didn’t have one to begin with. The mobile site was pared down to the basics, focusing on bridal gowns, appointments and location information—it was built for speed (minimal load times) and ease-of-use (generous target areas for links and large text for readability).
In addition, Jan.Car Group developed a strong visual language to give the site a highly distinctive look and feel. Inspired by our visit to the Kleinfeld’s location, we wanted the site to establish a tone that is lively, beautiful and awe-inspiring. Much of this was achieved through a strategic use of Kleinfeld’s rich content and photography. As visitors dig deeper into the site, they find more information. Clear typographic hierarchy, markers and cues—especially in the form of icons and buttons—help guide visitors on their journey through the website.
Since the site is currently being updated I am unable to show a finished product, but our plan is to increase user engagement has dramatically. Average page views and length of visits have doubled, while bounce rates have notably decreased by 34 percent. Online ticket sale volume has quadrupled. On a practical level, this translates into increased revenue that Kleinfeld Bridal puts towards its business, inventory and employee initiatives. When visitors return home from visits to the boutique, they can continue their journey of discovery on the site—it’s a valuable digital resource of the ultimate bridal experience!
With this experience being told through the step by step process, I hope future prospects will enjoy the online experience just as much as an in store experience would be.