This was a personal concept for site redesign of the Bookloft, a large independent bookstore based in Columbus, Ohio. Looking to create sense among thirty-two rooms of books, the focus was on creating a site that prioritized user-centered design through easy navigation and visual consistency.
Research focused around observational research, competitor audits, and A/B testing. As a result of these different tactics, it was found that many users would get lost on and ignore the website entirely. With the target audience being middle aged and above from the surrounding communities, many are restricted to visiting on the weekends. Through the large focus on physical sales, many aspects of online usability didn’t have the time or dedication put in to tap a potential market outside of the immediate brick and mortar location.
Many of the shoppers who came relied on word-of-mouth and kept coming back for the unique atmosphere and nostalgic feel that reminded them of a Scholastic Book Fair. This inspired the lovingly worn colors that match many shelves found throughout the store.
An equally sentimental typeface was needed to match and resulted in the use of Baskerville. Popular in book designs, it has a long history that draws the same familiarity that viewers would come to recognize. Supporting this is Helvetica Neue, a secondary typeface chosen for its high legibility and contrast to Baskerville’s transitional serif style.
Icons and UI elements were created to bridge printed elements into the digital space. Consisting of soft corners and thick, even strokes, the icons exist to provide easy identification among any busy background.
The site redesign features minimal noise and easy navigation to find anything the user may be looking for. Keeping the physical store first remains a priority, but use of the resulting prototype has been met with more positive impact and usability by potential shoppers than before. The Bookloft site redesign provides an easier experience for those looking to explore what the store has to offer.