Three years ago when we did our first web project for GreenStar the average user visiting and then directly leaving (bounce rate) went from 75% leaving to 58% — or 450 more visitors a month staying — a huge accomplishment achieved through our focus on accessibility.
For this project we focused on the six aspects of user experience (UX) — making the site more functional, reliable, usable, convenient, enjoyable, and meaningful; through this we met several defined goals outlined below.
Marketing is storytelling. Businesses live in spectrum’s of differentiation. GreenStar is a truly unique slice of the market, community owned and value driven, so how can the website help share this story? It starts with UX.
In this phase we meet to discuss the project, sync on goals / outcomes / priorities, and begin to gather data needed for a successful project. Pre-kickoff prep includes content strategy, a tailored questionnaire, and in-depth research into your business model.
At every step of the way, working with us is an open collaboration. We share with you a login to our project management platform Trello to let you be (to whatever degree you would like) a part of the dialogue and give you visibility into our work, internal communications, and timelines.
Our process is about delivering value, building trust, and empowering your organization to take the reins of your tech!
We base our design on 3 perspectives — your business goals, our collaboratively defined outcomes, and user experience.
User experience (UX) leaves a lasting impression with your brand and fosters engagement. UX isn’t everything, but a website is nothing without it. A site needs to be quick to load, work just as well on mobile / tablet as it does desktop, be easy to understand / use / navigate, be reliable, and leave the visitor satisfied with what they came to your site accomplish — this is the foundation of UX.
We keep this phase lightweight by designing live with our suite of tools and CSS. This saves a substantial portion of your budget to use for discovery, design, data analysis, content strategy / support, and smooth project management.
This lightweight approach and our utilization of pre-made software is one of the strongest reasons we deliver quality at our solid price-point.
We do all our prep and launch on your server or ours. Your project includes free emergency support for the sites lifetime (typically 3-5 years).
We offer hosting, ongoing maintenance, and content management. You will be trained on content updating / website management and we encourage most teams to take this in house.
Adding 5 Years To The Sites Lifetime
One of our biggest value adds was moving from a stagnate theme onto the Avada Framework, the best selling WordPress product with 400,000 purchases as of March 2018. We do all web projects on this framework, it is lightweight but robust, makes updating content easy, it speeds up our process so we can shift our budget to other areas, and because of Avada’s high continual income they can invest in rapid development of the framework.
Having a framework which is constantly being updated adds ongoing value to any project. We expect to see it take on emerging technology like Progressive Web Apps from Google, which makes website more app like — adding features such as push notifications, improved SEO, and near instant loading.
High Return on Investment
Having the frame of how can we get the most out of every dollar spent adds an important lens to our work.
Our project proposal outlines how we accomplished this. We prioritized designs based on their page views, including how much a visitor is likely to scroll. We prioritized by how much value a page adds to a visit, like the sales page or expansion project.
The marketing team makes a lot of flyers for the 3 stores, we found a great way to organize and share these on the site, adding value to work that is already being done.
“I was born on a farm and raised with values of up-cycling, budget living, minimalism, and resourcefulness. My father was our mechanic, carpenter, midwife (I know), and for better or worse, barber. I love bringing these values of radically resourceful self-reliance to every project.” – Sam Foust, Founder of Fresh Ink
Life can be overwhelming when you open a new store, plan expansion of your largest location, decrease labor hours in your department by 40 hours, and feel the pressure of meeting growth goals.
We get that, so we found ways to minimize time needed from GreenStar’s team.
We launched the site a week earlier than initially projected to help with an upcoming special vote. We organized content, minimized need for check-ins, wrote some content and selected photography.
The new ways of updating content saves time, and allow the design to stay in tact when new content is needed.
Content is queen as they say (well, the patriarchy doesn’t 😉 ).
Good content understands and speaks to each defined audience. It speaks in their language. It relates, is fun and personable, easy to read and digest, and brings value to the viewer’s life.
We helped with selection of photography, wrote subheadings, and recommended a storytelling and values page. We pruned content, grouped and simplified similar content. We used rich readable fonts and large imagery on every page to increase engagement and clarity of message.
We prioritized designs for the store expansion project, which uses $2,500 preferred stock investments from members to help move to the new location, the feeling of the expansion page is important and our quality of work will likely lead to more investments.
Over one hundred newsletter sign-ups were made over the first month of the sites launch, bringing more people into the store and into the know. Our top menu makes it very easy to find, contact, and visit each location.
GreenStar has a lot of information to share and we found ways to share more information to more relevant audiences. We raised engagement with the site to allow for a new avenue to share their story, values, and mission.
We dug for constructive criticisms and ideas for revisions, but essentially all of our client feedback was appreciation. Our project went about as smoothly as any of its size could have, we have internal growth points and system improvement we plan to take, but all things said and done this project had an excellent outcome.
We are thankful to get to work with the wonderful team at GreenStar, and for our years of projects together.
By The Numbers
- 5% lower bounce rate
- 2.75 second avg load time
- 15% more pages viewed per visitor
- 22% more time spent on site per visitor
- Clicks on flyers for sales / events / news up 315%
- Just 15 hours needed by GreenStar’s team to launch
- 950 page views on special vote page in first month
- Content management features which are easy to use and ensure 0 outdated flyers, news updates, or job postings
- 121 newsletter sign-ups the first month — which is over a 3,000% increase from website conversions
“Sam! Thank you for a swift and painless re-launch, it looks great… Y’all are AWESOME! thank you, thank you, thank you” – Scott Lawhead, Marketing Manager
“We will absolutely provide a testimonial. Also, Brandon [general manager] sent me an email yesterday saying how amazing and easy to navigate the new website was and I told him I’d pass the praises on to you.” – Alexis Alexander, Marketing Assistant Manager
“I checked it out and it looks great, with many new features that improve navigatability, ease and focused attention.” – Diane Hamilton, Human Resources