The Wavesound site was created as part of one of our most challenging projects. We were delighted to earn the opportunity to work with American audiobook company, Recorded Books, and redesign websites for sister companies Wavesound and W.F. Howes as part of the project. The three websites were designed and developed alongside each other, and were launched within a matter of weeks of each other. Although there needed to be a large amount of consistency between the sites, it was still essential to bear in mind that there would be differing needs between them.
Wavesound is the Australian sister company of Recorded Books and their British company W.F. Howes, therefore it was necessary for us to create a site which mirrored the excellent reputation of the company. As the home of large print, audiobooks and digital services, it is unsurprising that there is a large number of products on the website. This meant that navigating the site had to be as easy as possible.
The project commenced with an in-depth discovery phase which was essential in order to understand the needs of the client and the users of the site. This was done with an extensive analysis of the site, as well as in-person and virtual workshops and meetings to get to know Wavesound closely so that we could design the perfect site.
We chose Kentico as the platform for the site as it provides the ability to add custom elements. An example of this is that the site worked within the Kentico API using AngularJS. This allowed the capability to handle discounts in real time, which would be impossible otherwise. Additionally, the new site is responsive, meaning that it works perfectly across desktop, tablet and mobile so that users can have an enjoyable multi-device experience and switch between devices during their journey.
Improvement of the user experience was the main driver of the project. Wavesound are in a competitive industry and aspects such as a poor website experience make it easy for organisations to fall behind. A personalised experience was one way that we could make visits to the site enjoyable for users. To do this, it was necessary to implement functionality for users to be able to create an account and have a different experience of the site depending on their role – compare a librarian to a library visitor for example; both users would require something different from the site.
Another feature which tailors the website experience to the user is the implementation of Recommended Titles, which are based upon publications that the user has previously viewed. Users also have the ability to create a wishlist, which they are able to save so that their selections are still visible on their next visit to the site. Additionally, site navigation was improved to reflect the hierarchy of titles. Users have the ability to browse by genre, best selling authors, imprints and more. This makes the experience far better for the user, as it makes it easier to browse by section or find something specific.
In the interest of creating a platform focused on user experience, optimising the search function was essential to make it as easy as possible for site visitors to find what they are looking for. A search query now returns results which are accurately ranked by relevancy; this, combined with the implementation of suggestive search, means that users can now easily find what they need with the minimum amount of effort. Furthermore, the site was created with an advanced search option, which makes it easy for users to find what they’re looking for if they have a specific product in mind. Logged in users also have the option to save these searches, which they can return to at any time.
As well as improved search functions and navigation of the site, the checkout process is now also far easier. Users can set a budget limit to their cart so they are notified if they exceed the amount specified. Additionally, users can share carts with other members of their library, as well as submit carts for approval, which is an extremely useful option for B2B customers. Another beneficial option of the website is that users are able to save their carts and return to them at a later time to complete their purchase.
The digital transformation of Wavesound has given them a way to provide customers with their excellent, industry recognised products with ease. The needs of the customer have been met by providing a great user experience.
We’ve received fantastic client and user feedback on the new Wavesound website. We have also made a tangible difference to the company, as in the first two weeks since the launch of the website, sales exceeded the highest month in the previous 12 months.
What do Wavesound say?
Paul BradleyEDI and IT Project Manager
“Distinction have worked professionally and with great commitment with our Project Team on a complex and challenging project to deliver two contemporary B2B websites for our W. F. Howes and Wavesound organisations. The websites have been welcomed by our customers delivering smart functionality to enable them to view and order our entire catalogue of available physical and digital products more proficiently than before. In addition, it has benefitted the organisations and our internal resources with a number of time saving efficiencies regarding web order processing and administration. After the first 2 weeks since Go Live the value of sales on both sites have exceeded the highest month in the previous 12 months.”