Responses from Matt Shapiro, associate creative director, The Republik
Background: The Hanstone Quartz brand is built around connecting to its customers on an artistic level. The target audiences are architects, designers and builders, as well as interested consumers. Our two goals were to inspire at every turn, and to create a fundamentally simple e-commerce experience.
Highlights: The primary technical goal was to give users a clear and simple path to ordering samples of HanStone’s products. Stylistically, the goal was to frame the product in intriguing ways that emphasized the everyday use of the surfaces.
Challenges: We wanted to give each of HanStone’s 60-plus colors their own story and provide a subtle sense of scale without a large resource library. We did a lifestyle-driven photoshoot of each slab, using everyday props and scenarios, to create new—and relevant—inspirational content for each color.
Favorite details: Even though we lacked extensive content, we wanted to provide a story for each color that would help architects, designers and consumers make an educated color choice. In general, quartz looks different when seen across the room or viewed from a few inches away. By showcasing the product from different points, we were able to provide that information without the site becoming cluttered.
Navigational structure: The focus was on streamlining the user experience. Instead of bogging the site down in sub-navigation, we focused on clearly sectioning out content, and giving users the easiest path to find the product they’re looking for. In this case, the navigation became a bold, structural and design statement running across the entire site.
Time constraints: Due to the short timeframe from final design to development, we implemented the site in separate functional phases. This allowed us to see functionality in real time and make adjustments based on live interaction with the site, rather than on a non-functioning pixel layout.