Online Brand and Presence Building

A brick-and-mortar store that specialized in fair trade, hand made, gifts sourced from around the world approached me to help build its online presence. A major requirement for the online store was for it to reflect the ethos and philosophy of the brick-and-mortar store, while making it easy for customers to purchase fair trade products.


I was the only designer working on this project. I performed both the user research and the actual interface design of the online store. In addition, I hand-coded the entire website using HTML, CSS, and custom JavaScript.


  • Being the sole designer, it was difficult for me to switch my time between user research, information architecture, and actual coding.
  • There was limited access to the customers themselves, so for the research, I had to rely on interviews with the store owner.

Design Process

  • Interviewed store owner to understand customer preferences and personas
  • Provided strategic consulting for sales and product positioning
  • Developed online brand for Web store
  • Developed customer scenarios, assessed goals, and outlined tasks
  • Wireframed layouts and scenarios
  • Designed and developed the online store using WordPress and a custom shopping plugin
  • Improved site traffic using Web analytics

Tools and Technology

  • Pen and paper to draw initial sketches and to brainstorm on workflows
  • Omnigraffle to develop wireframes and static prototypes
  • Hand-coded WordPress theme for the shop front
  • Custom HTML, CSS, and JavaScript code