Featured Project: Hangout Lighting
- Website Design & Development
- Digital & Content Strategy
- E-commerce Design
When opportunity knocks, get the dang door open quick as you can. In the studio, sometimes that knock is a new branding or website project; sometimes it’s that plus a reality TV show. Hangout Lighting—a lighting business that helps customers design custom fixtures—was the second variety.
Turn the brand wattage to eleven
In April, Hangout Lighting approached us after they were selected to be a part of CNBC’s The Profit. They needed a website redesign to kick their online business into a higher gear, and—with an air date slated for July—they needed it fast.
After years spent in the Etsy trenches, Hangout Lighting had recently switched their e-commerce platform to Shopify. It worked, but it could work better and they wanted to use some of the investment from The Profit to that end. But they liked that their brand was scrappy and felt like a bootstrap business, so we set out to update and renovate without losing that DIY identity.
Update without undoing
Transforming an e-commerce website with 100+ SKUs is no small feat, but that was simply the first task on the docket. Hangout Lighting also wanted to add some zing to their brand look and feel, while making their site significantly easier to use. And finally, a linchpin for the new site would be a way to promote the personality of the team and present their highly curated design point of view.
With an incredibly ambitious timeline driven by the network’s schedule, we decided on an MVP approach. The "Minimum Viable Product" structure strips the project down to its essential elements, getting to the heart of what matters most. We work towards a specific, limited end product from the get-go. For Hangout Lighting, this boiled down to the core buying experience and brand personality.
A bright and shiny new POV
Shopify’s standard features made it easy for ODC to get Hangout LIghting’s initial e-commerce site up and running. While it’s not always the most convenient to customize the user experience in this type of platform, we were able to design a few unique touchpoints to update the brand look and feel quickly. This included some pretty substantial changes: new color palette, branding style, and custom illustrations to hone in on their fun, fresh personality.
Next up, we worked with Hangout Lighting to overhaul and reorganize their inventory. We reshot and maximized the size of product images to ensure each fixture was easy to find and looked great and laid some content strategy groundwork to guide users through the experience and direct them into a purchase lane.
Finally, we added a dedicated “point of view” section to the site. The staff now use the “Journal” to talk design projects they're particularly excited about, with big beautiful photography to inspire future clients. Each team member has their picture on the site and clients can put a face to a name, and see the actual humans who are making their fixtures.
Hangout Lighting hit their episode air date with a website that’s not only easier to use but speaks to who they are as a company, traffic to their site in August increased by over 50%, and we got the pleasure of helping them with a splashy TV debut. We also got a little screen time ourselves. So that was a kick.