Japlene dressmakers recently engaged us to produce a new website for them to replace an old, out-dated site that had been in place for several years. Japlene are based in Headington and create a range of bespoke dresses for all types of special occasions including weddings, christenings, parties etc. They are particularly known for creating outfits for mothers of the bride and have established a solid reputation in the 30 years they have been in business.
Their old website was seriously outdated and did not reflect the business at all. Also, it had very few photos and so the owners were not showing off the full range of their creations.
We started off by defining the audience for the dressmaking and other services offered by Japlene. This led us to defining 7 ‘personas’: these are hypothetical people who represent audience segments, e.g. brides. For each one we documented their circumstances and what they might want to see on the website. We looked at competitor websites to examine how others in the same space were marketing their services and we also looked at other websites outside the space to see what stylistic features appealed to the owners.
With this information we created a Style Tile which encapsulated the static design of the new website. As you can see, we defined a colour swatch, textures, a decorative element, typefaces, type sizes etc. You will also see this is version 7 as this is where we settled after 6 previous iterations. We all felt comfortable with this set of styles and agreed that they would appeal to the intended audience.
Having discussed the structure of the site and how the navigation should be constructed, we got to work on the layouts of the pages, starting in all cases with the layouts for smartphones then moving up to larger and larger screen devices.
Alongside these activities we were working on key phrases that searchers would use to find the Japlene website. Polly and her team were working on creating content as well as organising a variety of photo shoots to showcase the latest designs.
As content started to take shape we were able to define page templates and adjust content to ensure that we were prioritising the most important words and images. It is important that mobile users can see the most important content without scrolling. After settling on the page templates we were then able to start on the build of the site and for this we used a Content Management System (CMS) called Perch. This has some advantages over WordPress making it easier for clients to amend content in more complex layouts. It has some disadvantages too but overall we felt the benefits outweighed the downsides in this case.
Testing across a wide range of platforms, operating systems and browsers was followed by a speedy implementation. AttractMore also set up Facebook page for Japlene and a MailChimp template for newsletter mailings. Training and workbooks for how to update the website and send newsletters were delivered and the client is now successfully updating the site and sending out great looking newsletters.
Japlene now have a website that genuinely reflects the products and services they offer, a site that appeals to visitors by providing relevant information to help them in choosing an appropriate dress and they have a several means of communicating with potential customers (website, Facebook, newsletter). This project has resulted in much greater exposure for Japlene in the search engines and a significant increase in contacts from the site.
This what Polly from Japlene had to say about the website and the process of creating it…
I run a small bespoke dressmaking shop in Headington and decided my current website needed updating. I was drawn to the AttractMore website which I found both appealing and well presented. A meeting was speedily arranged to discuss requirements and was very impressed with the cost effective proposals offered for the creation of a new Japlene website. Working with Roger was a pleasure and we were kept in the picture throughout development and acquisition. I was extremely pleased with the completed website and have instruction manuals for simple updates.