Extremis, an international family business that produces design furniture, was experiencing difficulties in addressing all of their target audiences, being end users on the one hand and architects, designers, retail dealers ... on the other hand, on one and the same website. The website was not easy to navigate and customers did not easily find what they were looking for. To get all target audiences as fast as possible to the right information, Extremis made an appeal to Duke & Grace. We gave their website a clean and spacious front-end as well as an intuitive and powerful back-end. Together, we ran in sprints every two weeks to achieve the top-notch website that Extremis has today - and that with the help of our unique 4S methodology (strategy, story, system and scale).
Our job was to translate the existing strategy into a UX concept, that was both technically and visually strong. The ideal scenario had to focus on B2C as well as B2B needs - a challenge we did not shy away from. We had to inspire them, inform them and help them take the next step. When zooming in on their specific needs, we noticed that end customers were looking for inspiration, while e.g. architects needed very specific information, like technical drawings, in order to be able to meet the specific standards asked for in tenders. That's why we made a significant modification to the website: we made a distinction between 'collections', where end customers can find the inspiration they are looking for, and 'products', specific pages per product with all the technical details that an architect could need.
Everything is linked to everything: collections, products, blog posts, references … For example, when you choose the Hopper collection and you scroll to the bottom of the page, you will only see references that contain the tag ‘Hopper’ with a dedicated picture of that Hopper (instead of a picture of another piece of furniture). This deep level of interlinking resulted in a lower bounce rate and better SEO-performance.
For Extremis, it was also important to let the stunning photography speak for itself. Basically, the whole website is photo-driven, as they really want to inspire all target audiences. That’s why the design of the website needed to be clean, spacious and timeless to prevent overkill.
To roll out the UX concept, we opted for the in-house content management system Harmony. Choosing for Harmony had some clear advantages: As we have in-house developers, we can pivot pretty quickly. For example, we can implement custom tags to track every valuable interaction on e.g. their configurator, a tool that allows the visitor to completely customize a product with the price automatically updating with each adjustment, in no time. And it allows Extremis to easily create new pages themselves that will be 100% in line with the rest of the website, as the system comes with a unique template library, allowing the users to choose from specific building blocks to build up a page.
Thanks to ‘the golden couple’, being UX technicity and UX design, the website visitor can now find whatever they are looking for very easily and quickly. The website is enjoyable to scroll through and easily readable. Simple on the outside and complex on the inside. To frame the complexity of the website, we have gathered some numbers for you:
And all of that in four languages: Dutch, English, French and German.
As Extremis asked for an integrated approach, we combined Strategy, Story, System and Scale, also known as our unique 4S methodology. This integrated approach asked for a very close collaboration, both internally as externally. That’s why we decided to implement the sprints methodology: every two weeks, we sat together with Extremis and presented them what we had worked on for the past two weeks. They could adjust whatever was on the table, which allowed us to iterate quickly. To make sure everyone knew what was expected from them, we used the RACI model to define four different roles (the Responsible, the Accountable, the Consulted and the Informed) and decided which role had to be present at which sprint. Since our collaboration was so agile, we were able to change gear smoothly at each stage of the website development.
“Thanks to the agile approach, we could work in a transparent and efficient way. The collaboration with Duke & Grace resulted in an easy-to-navigate and visually appealing front-end and a user-friendly back-end that gives us the flexibility to further optimize the website to the needs of all our stakeholders.”
Marketing Manager at Extremis