During 2015 and launching in early 2016, Charles Tyrwhitt replatformed its full ecommerce offering over to Demandware. This meant a huge shift right across the business, including a full visual overhaul of their website. As lead designer on this project I took a lead in shaping a lot of the visual decisions, working alongside our head of UX and development teams to deliver the best experience we could, within the limitations of our previous site experience, and under budget and on time.
From a technical and delivery standpoint the project was a massive success although there were unfortunately many areas in which the visual presentation and creative had to suffer to ensure we completed all objectives on time. Although what we achieved through this project, and since the replatform, was a vast improvement on Charles Tyrwhitt's previous offering, not enough headway was made on offering a much more up to date, flexible and easily merchandisable site. There was certainly a lot of scope to take the site fully responsive, and offer a lot more engaging creative, and a much more user friendly and accessible experience, with those changes now being looked at across the board for Phase 2.
The goal with this visual update was primarily to provide a minimal and clean canvas to allow product and brand imagery to really shine through. Part of the exercise moving forward now is taking that blank canvas and building upon it with an internal design system, a more fully featured editorial and content offering, and a website that meets all accessibility criteria (as it currently does not).
This project taught me a huge amount concerning not only web design as a product, team and project management, but also future proofing, designing for flexibility, and making sure to always back up design decisions with data and facts. The end result may not have been exactly what we planned for or expected from the outset but the result more than achieves the goals that were set from a functional and technical standpoint. The opportunity to evolve and reshape this based around automated merchandising and workflow, the implementation of an accessible and user friendly design system, and more detailed and concise analytics and data capture going forward is very exciting.