Here are three design options for the new Forresters Farm Shop website, take a look and tell us which one you like best, you can leave a comment in the box at the bottom of the post
Design and development meeting
During a meeting with Heidi and Bev at Forresters we discussed the requirements of the new site and how it should help to promote their shop. We talked about the many different features of the shopping cart software and how the home page should be organised. We all agreed on a format that would display the products menu at the top followed by a slideshow and call to action box (CTA) such as a special offers or buy our latest products promotion. Other examples of ecommerce sites I have done for a variety of businesses can be seen here, they all fit within similar layout guides. The new site should also be easy to navigate, clearly display important information and generally appeal to a wide audience of potential customers.
We also discussed ways to encourage visitors to come back and use the website on a regular basis. Ideas such as a special website promotion code for money off purchases and the ability to add their shopping to the basket ready to pick up from the shop when they arrive. We could also take advantage of seasonal promotions like “Christmas Turkey Orders” or “Valentines Meal Deals” where customers could view options and prices before they decide to buy. Site-wide links to all the main areas of the website lower down on each page were also agreed to be important. Overall a bright, friendly retail oriented look and feel to the whole site was decided to be the best approach.
Farm shop website reasearh
Having designed and built websites for a variety of business over the past twelve years I have not yet done a site for a farm shop! I therefore needed to search and study they way other similar businesses up and down the country tackle their eCommerce. One of the common things I noticed people tended to do was use green and other nature related colours in their pages. Another was the use of large high quality images showcasing their best produce. Overall these websites are bright, have clear menu buttons and encourage viewers to click through for more information about particular products or special offers.
The design process
Following extensive research of similar businesses and how they display their content I began the design process with a good amount of inspiration. I started by selecting suitable typefaces for each layout, block display fonts for the headings and simpler sans serif fonts for the body text. A good place to start I always find is Google fonts where you get a great selection of typefaces all free and easy to use. After that I start playing around with colour pallets, mixing and matching to see what works best. I had to keep within the corporate colour spec already used by Forresters to a certain extent however the dark green and bright yellow worked well with the other colours overall.
Once I had chosen the fonts and colours I began working on the grids for each design. All three basically feature a common header, content and footer area for the home page. I kept the header and footer areas fairly consistent from a grid point of view but changed things quite a bit in the content area of each. I decided to create a slightly formal design for the first, a more radical for the third and something in between for the second design. I’m really pleased with how all three turned out, they all have their own merits in my opinion but its thankfully not up to me to make the final decision. Below is an overview of each visual for you to cast an eye over before you decide on your favourite.
- 1) I used Sanchez Regular as the main display heading font on this option, a white background, straight corners for all the box elements with orange and yellow for as the highlight colours.
- 2) Rounded corners for all the block elements, menu buttons, a white content area against a bright green lawn effect pattern background, full width slider and centred content makes this design the more symmetrical of the three.
- 3) A big blue sky with a grassy footer background along with bright bold colours make this the most adventurous of them all. All the colours work really well together to make this a bright, fun and professional looking layout. The Christmas orders box looks great and the fonts used here are Bree Serif and Georgia.
So please tell me what you think, take another look at the designs above if need be and then leave your comments below. Just a simple “I like design number ?” or even better leave an explanation about why you like a particular visual, what you don’t like and how you think they could be improved. All feedback and opinions are welcome so go on, don’t be shy and tell us what you think!
Thank you 🙂