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The Ecommerce Issue September 2023

Building a customer-oriented ecommerce business through better human interaction

Building a customer-oriented ecommerce business through better human interaction

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Design first: We love how these ecomm sites look and feel

The Help Scout design team shares their picks for best-in-class online shops.

design first art

The design choices you make on your ecommerce site and the creative expression of your products, values, and company story can inspire engagement, loyalty, and trust — ultimately fueling sales and customer retention. 

Looking for some inspiration to drive the power of design on your own online shop? We asked our In the Works design team to share some of their favorite ecommerce sites — and what makes them stand out.

Natalie Cowan, Brand Designer

Dusen Dusen’s site is a delightfully maximalist experience. The bright colors, playful patterns, and quirky interactions throughout their site reflect the joy and whimsy that their products bring into the home. I love how they’ve shirked tradition (no white backgrounds to be seen anywhere!) and have created an experience that is unapologetically bold and brand-forward. I’m inspired to inject some more fun into my own home — maybe starting with one of their multi-striped oven mitts! 

Vacation Inc’s site feels like a tasteful blast from the past. They’ve taken the charm, kitsch, and nostalgia of 80’s pool culture and packaged it up perfectly with condensed serif type and a vintage-inspired aesthetic and photography. I can practically smell the product through my screen as I scroll.  And, I never thought I’d say this, but I’m obsessed with the coupon inspired pop-up that offers you a 10% off code. They’ve really nailed a full sensory experience, playing on nostalgia to sell the summer dream.

Christine Kim, Brand Designer

Graza's site is pure fun! I know EVOO is trendy right now, but it wasn't always. Graza manages to make olive oil cool and accessible to the average home chef. I love their illustrations, the tiny checkered pattern behind their buttons, the random olive fun facts, and the neon yellow-green they use. They pack a ton of information on their site, yet it all feels digestible and never too much. I'm a fan, and it's making me want to go pick up a bottle right now.

Heather Manning, Brand Designer

Rebecca Atwood’s site is so thoughtfully crafted. Every detail throughout the site complements the beautiful hand-painted textiles and wallpapers the company sells. The use of oversized, expressive type and big blocks of color create a unified container for the extensive pattern collection. The layering of images, patterns, and handmade elements makes me feel like I’m in a shop sorting through samples. Such an inspiring site to browse! 

Omsom’s site is the most fun! I love the consideration that has been given to the smallest elements — the spinning stars in the nav and banners, the giant cloud buttons, and the product photography. It’s all so good! Omson’s brand is loud and proud and they’ve successfully embodied that boldness at every level of their website.

Matt Plays, Creative Director

Larq makes high-tech water bottles that clean water via a UV-C LED light in each bottle's cap. These high-end, refined bottles are reinforced by a clean, minimal site design. The equally streamlined bottle design is pictured across the site in high-resolution, surrounded by ample whitespace.

The site is primarily white, with most of the type set in a muted navy, and red iconography strewn throughout as an accent. Highlighted product imagery utilizes colors that are desaturated but still poppy to grab attention. Moody lifestyle photography puts products in situ and allows customers to project themselves into real-world environments. All of these choices reinforce a high-end product from a socially and environmentally conscious company.

They're also a values-aligned business: "Committed to sustainability, a portion of every LARQ purchase gives back, funding environmental nonprofits around the world as well as bringing safe drinking water to billions of people worldwide — because access to clean drinkable water is not a privilege, it's a right."

Ugmonk is a small business that creates and curates well-designed, work-related products. They started with apparel and accessories and have branched out into new categories by building a productivity system called Analog and a workspace organization system called Gather.

Their site uses videos, diagrams, and beautiful photography to tell product stories. Rather than "sell vacuum cleaners," the clean, aspirational photos (and 3D renders) "sell a clean house." Their design language is clean, minimal, and organized — visual choices that align with how their products aim to make customers feel.

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Written, recorded, and designed by doers & makers © 2023 In the Works