Digital Strategy | Design & build | Development

The Craft Blog

Designing and developing a fresh website so that Trimcraft could cater to the needs of their community of crafters.​

Introduction

Trimcraft is a well-known name in the arts and crafts industry. Established in the 1970s as a haberdashery manufacturer and supplier, Trimcraft is now predominantly a crafts business. They boast an extremely active online community, with crafters regularly uploading their own projects and interacting with each other in dedicated forums.

The Craft Blog

Brief

Trimcraft is a community of people that enjoy creating, however the old site did not allow for the level of interaction between users that Trimcraft's audience wanted. The design was outdated and the site was difficult to navigate. A new modern and stylish feel was required so that crafters could find what they wanted with ease, as well as to ensure that the design of the site reflected Trimcraft's fun and creative outlook as a brand. In addition to this, Trimcraft regularly update their site, so it was essential to create a platform that new designs, projects and blog posts could be added to easily.

Solution

Trimcraft have two specific audiences: B2B and B2C. The aim of this project was to improve the B2C facing site, which is focused on user interaction and sharing ideas within a community. Project inspiration and blogs are very popular features of this site. This is very different to the B2B website, which is aimed at stockists. With this in mind, the new B2C site was rebranded to 'The Craft Blog' to reflect the fact that it's a creative space and to differentiate it from the B2B facing site.

One main aim of the project was to create a modern-looking, user-friendly site. To achieve this, it was decided that the homepage should utilise a modular grid layout, to create a clean, 'mosaic' style that is easy to navigate for the user. The site now uses a colour palette which complements the vibrant designs that users upload to the site to create a seamless experience between the plentiful user-generated content and the rest of the site. Animation on various icons was also employed to creating a surprising and pleasant experience for the user and to indicate clickable content, further improving the user experience.

As the Craft Blog has a huge emphasis on user-generated content, it was decided that in order to improve the site for users, the forums and inspiration pages needed to be the focus.

One of the most popular sections on their previous website was 'Projects', where users could upload pictures and how-to guides so that other crafters could recreate their designs. When it came to redesigning the site, there was a total of 220,000 projects on the Trimcraft site. To keep the content current, it was decided that only projects uploaded from January 2012 would be transferred over to the new site. These have been renamed 'Inspirations', to provide the user with a clearer idea of what to expect from this section. Navigation has also been improved by including clear categories, themes and colours for contributors to tag their projects with, enabling users to filter results efficiently.

Another user-generated area of the site is the forums section. This section allows crafters from around the world to meet each other and share ideas and inspiration on specific topics as well as keep up to date with Trimcraft news. The forum on the previous site was using open source forum software, which isn't always the most secure option. We decided to implement the forum functionality of Kentico 10, Trimcraft's CMS. This meant that the forum section is now much more secure, so user information is kept safe.

Results 

Site navigation has greatly improved thanks to the new site architecture and modern aesthetic. It has also become easier and safer for users to contribute to the inspiration and forum sections of the site.

Thanks to a much better user experience, Trimcraft have seen some seriously impressive results:

  • 20.29% reduction in bounce rate 
  • 26.53% increase in pages per session
  • 30.47%% increase in page views
  • 19.11% increase in session duration

These statistics are even more impressive for mobile and tablet traffic, which has seen a 42.19% increase in page views and a 44.40% increase in pages per session.

The site is much more engaging and it's easier to navigate, so users are spending a longer amount of time on the site and viewing a lot more content, demonstrating that the Craft Blog site is now matching the expectations and needs of users.