Responses by Dominic Forde, design director; and Jonathan Nicol, digital director, Forde + Nicol.
Background: Salus Body is an Australian skincare company with a commitment to creating environmentally friendly products sourced from local ingredients. Our brief was to create a website that reflects the brand’s fresh, contemporary approach. Since this is an e-commerce website, the user experience needed to be frictionless too, so smooth navigation flow was an important consideration.
Design core: We utilized Salus Body’s extensive image library to help tell the brand story in a visual way. To do that, we paid careful attention to how the interface builds so that images and design elements are smoothly revealed. We also implemented “sticky” feature images that follow users as they scroll. Subtle touches like these make the user experience more fluid.
Salus Body’s photography and color palette informed many of our design elements and site style. We developed a visible grid for the site that evoked the feeling of the bathroom tiles used in brand photography. During our typographic research, we found that faithfully reproducing the type selections used in the brand's packaging didn’t translate that well to the screen. Instead, we selected a clean and neutral typeface—Untitled Sans by Klim—that didn’t compete with the existing typography in the packaging and would display well on screen at a variety of sizes.
Challenges: E-commerce projects always present interesting challenges. Every merchant seems to have at least one unique requirement that tests the limits of the underlying platform! On this project, the ability to sell both physical and digital gift cards took careful planning.
New lessons: The site runs on the Shopify e-commerce platform, and although this isn’t the first Shopify project we have worked on, we gained a much deeper understanding of the platform’s content management features. In particular, we used “theme sections” to empower content editors without having to compromise our design.
Navigation structure: The site’s navigation has been streamlined to prioritize product discovery and fast checkout. Secondary content is tucked away in fly-out menus, and a cart drawer lets customers quickly manage their shopping basket and proceed to checkout. We also knew it was important for each product to have a unique URL. The previous Salus Body website grouped multiple products on one page, which made it hard to share and promote them.