‘Shabby-chic’ as a design style is undergoing a huge burst of popularity at the moment in everything from fashion to interior design. Which is lucky for us, because it just so happens to be one of our favorite styles, and an aesthetic that we at Slurpy really like to work with.
Cupcakes are also having a resurgence in popularity, as well as being really quite delicious, so when Louisa from Dixies Cupcakery asked us to do make her an e-commerce website in a shabby chic style and offered us a free cupcake to seal the deal… we jumped at the chance!
Using vintage imagery such as the union jack, bunting and picture frames, we created a design that showcases the delicious products at their tantalizing best and demonstrates the fun loving personality and feel of the business. This beautiful design integrates with a state of the art WordPress back end, with Twitter feeds, polls, slideshows and all sorts of things that they probably never dreamed of when ‘vintage’ was just ‘fashion.’
We start designing a website by asking lots and lots of questions. Questions like ‘what do you want a visitor’s first impression of your site to be?’ and ‘are there any visuals you’ve seen that achieve something similar to what you want to achieve’.
Then we move on to do our own research. We research other websites, fashions, books, artists… anything that will teach us more about the style and what the website needs to achieve. We come up with a style guide, a bit like this one:
The next step involves the design team and the development team sitting down to and discuss ideas, content and technical requirements for the site. The entire group then works together to come up with a wireframe layout of the site. Although this is visually very simple, this is the single most important stage in the creation of a website; the part where the ideas are all put down on paper and the site begins to take shape.
For comparison, here is the wireframe and final design of the Dixies website:
You can see that, although things got moved around a lot in the design process, all of the ideas and features are in place already at the wireframe stage, and the site is beginning to have a personality.
Once the wireframe is signed off by the Client, Photoshop is opened and the designers begin their work.
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