Get ready for a long, toasty winter
Samantha Freda, Former Project Manager
Fall is officially here and winter is just around the corner, so whether you’re prepping for a fun winter adventure, counting down the days until the next Snowmageddon, or just simply enjoy rocking toasty, on-trend winter gear (Patagonia Serenity Leggings, please!), check out the newly launched, 2014 Outerwear video lookbook to see the latest winter gear in action.
By leveraging video and music, the Outerwear site shows you (literally) how the gear fits into the winter-lover’s—or really, anyone who is cold :-)—life this season. The site features apparel and products from the top-notch brands available at DICK’s Sporting Goods, including The North Face, Spyder, Columbia, Patagonia, and more.
This is the fourth shoppable, video lookbook we’ve created for DSG in 2014. At the beginning of the year, we launched a Baseball-focused site. As spring neared, we launched another site dedicated to Running. And in mid-May, we created a third site to celebrate Women’s Fitness.
So what made this site different from the others? In collaboration with DSG, we decided that it would be a time and cost-effective strategy to reuse the 2014 Running site framework for the Outerwear site, rather than crafting an entirely new experience.
This approach had several benefits:
- Straight-forward, crystal clear scope from the beginning (a PM’s dream!)
- We knew all of the requirements, functionality, deliverables—down to the minute details like the shape and specs of the preview tiles—from day one since we had gone through this process before.
- We also knew character limits for product descriptions and share copy; design deliverables; assets needed from the videographer; functionality and interactions; what should be tracked in Google Analytics; etc.
- Cost-effective for the client
- Crystal clear scope = less time planning, concepting, and defining— and more time doing.
- We reused a large chunk of the previous code.
- We were able to reference the previous designs and leverage them as templates.
- Shorter timeline
- A learning opportunity for different designers and front-end developers
- We pulled in a different designer and front-end developer who hadn’t worked on the Running site specifically, and they had the opportunity to learn the ins and outs of how this version of a video lookbook is executed.
As you can imagine, creating a video look book from concept to delivery is quite the creative undertaking. The process goes a little something like this (Cliff’s Notes version):
The client has an idea of what they want. A vague idea of the products that will be featured. A target audience. A budget. A timeline. A general story they want to tell.
Viget takes this information and concepts an execution plan. Identifying the story that will be told. Elaborating on HOW that story will be told. Defining the general look/feel of the site, and how assets such as video and copy need to be positioned. Identifying how many scenes there will be and how a user navigates through the site.
Once the concept is approved we dig into the logistics of production.
There are the obvious steps—like architecting the site through wireframes, designing the homepage, scene landing pages, product detail pages, etc.
Then there are the crucial processes that are less obvious to the casual eye—like defining animations/interaction, defining the shapes and styles of buttons throughout the site, writing the copy throughout the site including the intro, the product copy, and the social share copy.
And then there are the mundane but important steps—like collecting ecommerce links from the client, or putting together product lists which outline what product and relevant information should be featured during each scene.
And of course, as all of the assets are produced, our front-end developers start building the site. They take into account all of the functionality requirements, the browser and device requirements. And then they and the team do a Quality Assessment to ensure all features are working as intended.
Don’t forget one of the final, but most important steps: looping in the digital analyst to work with our front-end developers and client to define what actions and clicks should be tracked in Google Analytics and how to define a conversion, etc., so once the site is live, we can help evaluate the ROI.
So, you see, there are a lot of intricate steps—from planning to production, to collaboration to execution—to making a site come to life.
This time around, reusing the Running framework for the Outerwear site was a smart decision. We were able to shortcut many of the steps outlined above because many of the nuts and bolts had already been figured out. Don’t get me wrong, using the Running framework didn’t allow us to simply Find+Replace assets and call it a day, but it did allow us to allocate our time on pure production to tailor the Running framework to fit the new products and elements of the site, because we didn’t have to spend time defining things like functionality requirements, spec sizes of assets, the character limit of text so that it would work on a desktop, tablet, mobile device, etc.
Being able to think outside the box to help clients achieve success within their timeline and budget is something we take pride in at Viget, and it’s important for clients of all sizes. It’s our job to work with the client to determine the possible solutions which stretch the dollars and timeline available to create a product everyone is excited about and proud to share.
And on that note, I’ll sign-off by saying, look out for my next blog post on the Page Builder, another cool, cost-efficient tool we built for DSG so they can create quick landing pages—with no development required!