Responses by Jason Jones, creative director; and Cole Stevens, associate creative director, 50000feet.
Background: The website served to reintroduce the Duchateau brand to the world as a growing portfolio of the most disruptive flooring and wall covering products, acting as a front door of sorts to the lifestyle that’s possible with Duchateau surfaces. The brand refresh extends across an entire ecosystem of communications, including a distinctive, user-first website experience that reinforces the brand while empowering the design trades to source and specify more easily than ever before. 50,000feet (50k) designed and developed the Duchateau site as both a powerful marketing and sales tool that builds on the equity of its unique product offerings, and a digital destination meant to accelerate sales growth, design innovation, new customer acquisition and loyal customer return.
Duchateau asked 50k to help reposition it as a design and fashion brand for luxury trade professionals and consumers. Naturally, it is paramount that the website, Duchateau’s marquee communication platform, do just that. For Duchateau, the brand is about more than just a product—it’s a lifestyle. In this same vein, Duchateau’s customers are design-driven; they aren’t buying a floor, they are buying a luxury lifestyle, which is part of a larger narrative about self-expression, status and taste. Ultimately, it’s about comfort, ease, and bringing beauty into every moment, and Duchateau helps make that possible.
Furthermore, an integrated campaign—which enjoyed a wide-reaching online presence—drove visitors to the Duchateau website, connecting them with a consistent experience from banner ad to home page and from offline to online. The website helped support the introduction of new products as well as several new initiatives that Duchateau launched, including DuGood, a sustainability project that plants a tree for every flooring purchase.
Design core: The website embraces modern sensibilities towards customer experience without compromising hints of playfulness throughout its pages. In combination with the “industrial-strength” use of the Germanic sans serif FF DIN, the UI remains minimalistic and true to its navigational and functional intent. We purposefully reserved color to a monochromatic palette to provide more emphasis to photography—both lifestyle and product. A generous amount of white space presents an open canvas that camouflages the modular and systemic approach to the underlying framework needed across the site.
The previous website was difficult to navigate despite being relatively light in content. The refresh transformed the site from dated to bold and modern, offering a sleek, fashion-forward look to the brand through minimal and subtle design elements, and letting the breadth of product and editorial-style photography speak for itself.
Navigation structure: The website’s navigation menu embraces mobile-first simplicity, even in the desktop experience. While it remains simple and direct across breakpoints, it encourages exploration and the desire to learn more.
Anything else? To enhance the viewing experience, additional transitions were included at the atomic and molecular level throughout the site. The enhancements were either created through CSS or, in some instances, leveraged Masonry, a cascading grid layout library.
The website also offers viewers the ability to preview products within their own environment through the use of the “Visualize Your Floor” tool which can be accessed on every page. This tool was created in collaboration with Chameleon Power, a 3-D/AR/VR solutions provider.