Featured Project: Mondo

Digital Strategy
SEO Strategy
Ecommerce Design
Web Development
Google Analytics Integration

From humble beginnings under the stairs of the Alamo Draft House in Austin, Texas, Mondo has grown into quite the pop culture phenomena.

More than merely a brand, Mondo is a movement. Their one-of-a-kind movie and video game-themed records, posters, figures, and pins are collected, hoarded, and traded by fans all over the world. With their pop-culture cred set, they needed a partner to bring their story to life on the ecommerce front.

One Design was brought in to completely overhaul their ecommerce website, designing for and building on top of the Shopify platform they were already using. Together, we created a thoughtful user experience strategy designed to satisfy the unique needs of three different customer groups.

Mondo’s new home, product category, product detail, gallery, and blog pages

A pop culture ecommerce experience built by fans for fans

Mondo hoped to expand beyond their current fan base of pop culture enthusiasts with two new potential customer groups—one, browsers who were familiar with Mondo but didn’t shop often. And two, consumers who had no knowledge of Mondo whatsoever and had been sent to the site by family or friends. Beyond posters and vinyl, they wanted to make their lesser-known products like pins, collectibles, and tiki mugs more accessible to these audiences as well.

Where everyone is welcome

Growing in all three categories presumably meant designing vastly different experiences within the Shopify platform, a platform Mondo wanted to continue using. But first, we needed to learn about these groups. Cue the research…

Predictably, the current superfan customer base wanted to get in and out. Fast. Their highest priority? Shopping for the limited edition and highly coveted new products that Mondo releases once a week—this became The Drop.

Casual browsers—our second target—wanted to shop for similar products together, and get a healthy-sized list of “you may also like” recommendations to help acquaint themselves with Mondo merchandise. Collection-based navigation was the solve for this group.

Net-new Mondo customers needed to not only shop but build some foundational brand knowledge. Directing traffic to new contextual content, the blog, artist detail pages, and the Mondo Gallery was critical.

Unique features for unique users

Our user research directly influenced both UX and visual design. The Drop—a new feature for the fanatics—was designed from the ground up to support their browsing and buying habits. This seasoned user group knew exactly what they were shopping for. There was little need for a superfluous information or explanation—this needed to be a streamlined in-and-out experience.

The Drop

For browsers, top-level navigation called out categories (music, posters, etc.) and collections (Marvel, The 80s, etc.) so they could choose exactly how they wanted to shop. Every product page had plenty of room for details, and Mondo-sanctioned recommendations.

For those new-to-Mondo-newbies, we highlighted blog entries on the home page, and cross-linked to blog and artist detail pages from specific product pages to illuminate the depth and breadth of the Mondo universe.

Scenes from Mondo’s new blog

Customizing the Shopify CMS

Shopify was the solution the Mondo team was familiar with, so remaining on that platform was critical. Unfortunately Shopify offers limited features for advanced content, and we were focused on adding customizations that were not bandaids or temporary fixes. We wanted everything to work as seamlessly as possible, so we extended the CMS to give Mondo flexibility to present products in creative ways—thereby filling the needs of browsers and new users.

Insights gathered from SEO and analytics research factored into the development of collection categories and “you may also like” suggestions. By consolidating the advanced features we created to satisfy Mondo’s superfan customer base into as few locations as possible, the Mondo team doesn’t have to jump through dozens of hoops or navigate a patchwork of plugins to update their content on a regular basis.

It’s silly but also incredibly cool and helpful—the [countdown] clock is regional!
Mondo Superfan

Testing for the win

During the design phase, we conducted usability testing in four key areas: website usability, homepage and featured product content, product detail pages, and The Drop. Participants worked through a list of scenarios, which allowed us to observe behavior and evaluate overall site performance.

The results directly informed our decisions around architecture, content strategy, and visual design. While most participants were able to complete our task list with minimal to no assistance, the concept of The Drop uncovered some challenges. We initially witnessed a learning curve when it came to defining logistics of navigating this feature. However once clarified, participants were unanimously excited by the concept. Accordingly, superfan education around The Drop became a critical part of our pre-launch recommendations client recommendations.

Livin’ the dream

For the group of pop-culture nerds that we are, this project was a dream come true—built by fans for fans. And for those of you not quite as familiar with the Mondo brand, we’ve crafted a solution for you too.

So the only question that remains is whether or not personal shopping counts as legitimate ongoing product testing…

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One Design Company is a research-driven design and development studio. For over a decade, we’ve explored the intersection of experience and technology—where powerful brands come to life. Want to learn more? Let’s chat.

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