NatureScapes is the most comprehensive, longest running online resource for nature photographers. As the sole designer for 9 years, I developed the brand by designing the company’s entire online experience. The different design facets include website design, eCommerce, customer experience, email marketing, SEO, and analytics. Working on many different design problems presented the opportunity to not only improve the overall user experience for customers and clients, but also increase trust, organic traffic, revenue, and customer loyalty.
By designing with user feedback and data, I improve customer shopping experiences through visual design as well as implementing new processes, systems, and standards. As a company with close relationships to its customers, I gained a breadth of knowledge in every area of the business to create designs centered around the customer.
Below is the design process for the online store. Check out my email marketing portfolio for a sampling of customer journeys and how I grew email list sign-ups. To see how I increased website traffic and conversion rate, view my SEO portfolio.
Version 1.0 of the store went live with only the basics in place and the goal of making improvements. After launch, I observed patterns to determine what to strengthen first to improve important areas like navigation, conversion rate, and organic traffic.
The process of preparing pages to receive customers was an undertaking for our small team. To launch, Version 1.0 of the store went live with the basics in place and the goal of making continuous improvements.
After launch and gaining traction, I analyzed sale and traffic patterns across product categories to determine what to strengthen first to improve conversion rate and organic traffic, keyword rankings, ease of use, and customer satisfaction.
My first goal was to improve user flow from the landing page with an approach that would help customers find what they are looking for while placing higher value categories front and center.
When writing content for store product pages and categories I always perform keyword and competitor research to determine action that helps customers. Volume, opportunity, and difficulty are all considered.
To improve user flow, I researched to learn how customers were using the website. I also wanted to understand how big box stores and direct competitors were organizing similar categories, presenting products, and how they compared.
Above is a persona for a unique customer in the online store based on customer feedback. When designing web features, emails, and promotions I think about customers like Sarah.
Pictured are a few wireframes showing updates for the main landing page as well as improvements to main and sub categories.
Once a strategic plan was in place, I created wireframes to communicate it visually to my team.
First, I examined the BigCommerce theme to learn how the template was set up and how to make modifications to the underlying code. That way I understood what changes were possible and the limitations.
Using written content and a list of ideas, I created wireframes for the store home and category pages and explained my analysis and suggested approach. I was sure to include some reusable elements for consistency and development speed.
Afterwards, a few modifications were implemented before approval and starting the visual design.
Using the wireframes as a blueprint, I designed the interface of the new pages focusing on simplicity.
My intent was to present all pages without distractions in an easy to understand and clear format. Strong graphic elements and a stylized web font are present throughout for branding consistency.
NatureScapes offers nature photography workshops and tours to premier destinations around the world. If a photographer wants to learn new skills alongside a professional, attending a workshop or tour at a location based on their interests is an excellent learning experience, with the first part of the journey on the website.
As part of the website’s responsive design phase, I recently re-designed the entire Workshops and Tours section which is currently in development. Design upgrades included updates to landing pages, trip detail pages, and information pages, as well as a brand new registration system and waiting list feature.
Below is the design process and prototypes for the forthcoming Workshops and Tours section. Also related, check out my email marketing portfolio for the customer journey flow for travel email marketing. To view page #1 SEO optimizations, see my SEO portfolio.
Version 1.0 of the Workshops and Tours section has been in place for many years, requiring an upgrade for improved experience and usability on devices.
The current Workshops and Tours section has been in place for awhile and required an upgrade.
Above is a persona for a client based on those the company talks to daily. During the re-design phase of Workshops & Tours, I introduced features to best serve new clients like Henry.
Pictured above are wireframes for the new travel schedule, trip detail page, and other new pages including the improved registration process.
Once a plan and outline was determined, I created wireframes as a communication tool for stakeholders and the developer.
Since the new design was largely based around the existing website to address problems and introduce new features, I wireframed screens for every section.
The wireframes also served as a planning tool to get feedback from the web developer. By seeing the wireframes first, they could provide feedback ahead of time on new features like the payment process and offer other suggestions. Some ideas, such as having a client sign-in area, were scrapped.
View a clickable prototype on your desktop, tablet, or mobile via InVision. InVision prototypes can take awhile to load, depending on your Internet connection. You can also preview desktop screens by clicking a thumbnail image in this section.
Visually, my goal was to create a responsive design that tells a story, solidifies trust, and conveys the personal service received when selecting NatureScapes as your travel provider.
On the technical side there were some major changes along with an improved user experience, registration process, and search engine optimization. To name a few:
SHIP is a volunteer, non-profit organization that addresses urgent needs of hundreds of Frederick County, Maryland K–12 public school students experiencing homelessness.
I volunteered to plan, design, and develop a website to raise awareness, attract volunteers, and simplify the donation process. I also wrote a user/style guide for their team. Giving back to the community through design was immensely rewarding.
SHIP provided me with statistics on area poverty rates, background information, the logo, and site content. I researched non-profits and assembled a photo board for inspiration.
After wireframing, reviewing ideas with the team, and making changes, I created the visual design around their content. I was inspired by their existing logo and used motivational stock imagery to protect children’s identities.
Post-launch, I designed and wrote a user/style guide outlining design attributes and how to make updates and gather form submissions. I also included their server and Google Analytics information so they would have it in one place.
I recently gave this website a refresh, so I did what I do best! I worked hard to complete the re-design during free time.
The website as you see it now is an iteration from a design created and built around 2014–15. Pictured are the first set of wireframes that helped shape its current design.
Nature, serenity, and style was the source of inspiration for my website design. I created a logotype, color palette, assembled media assets, and finalized page content before building.
Finally, a personal website isn’t complete without a matching business card. I designed the card and selected MOO to print them on luxe paper with a blue side seam. Fantastic quality!
Designing and illustrating cards is one of my favorite creative outlets. Pretty onto Paper is my side project, which features some of the cards and printable designs I’ve made. The website also complements its Etsy store.
The collection grows every year as the holidays arrive and I have time to create more designs. This is an exciting work in progress!
Working from my own vision as a personal project, I created a mood board with images, fonts, and colors fitting my style. From there, I developed a color palette and logotype.
After wireframing ideas and deciding on the best direction, a visual design was created around the color palette and style theme surrounding the mood board.