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Camberwell Shopping website launched

Posted 8 September 2010 by Sean Fishlock (Datalink)

We've just helped launch Camberwell Shopping (www.camberwellshopping.com.au), a site we designed and built for the Camberwell Traders Association.

When I met with the Association Manager, Kerry, last year, it was obvious that something needed to be done quickly with the traders association website. We were first approached by Camberwell in 2005 with the brief of enabling them to manage the content and store directory amd search engine optimising the Camberwell Centre site that had been built back in 2002 by another company.  Even then the design was looking dark and tired but at the time our scope was limited and did not include redesign.  Instead we had hosted, supported and maintained a site that was increasingly showing a decade of age.  As a result, Camberwell had never experienced our web design capability.  Understandably they had reservations.  I had developed a very clear vision for the website, working with Kerry to redesign the content structure for the site. However turning this into a shared vision required putting pen to paper and pitching a "wireframe" mockup to with the stakeholders to get the green light to proceed. 

Anyway here is the final result:

New Camberwell Shopping Homepage

There were many challenges to overcome with this project.  Firstly the branding of the organisation had been out of synch with the website for some time.  Secondly the homepage had become overwhelmed with numerous banners for different promotional messages, yet the site wasn't doing its job of connecting to consumers.  The maps were hand illustrated images that were not suited to the digital medium.  Then there was also social media, which the association was just beginning to test the water with and explore using Facebook, Twitter and holding competitions to better engage consumers.  Another slightly unusual problem of too much traffic.  The site was doing so well with search engines and had increased 300% over a couple of years, drawing hundreds upon hundreds of visits a day.  However it was also causing headaches for administration staff as it was generating many misguided enquiries from consumers which were meant instead for affiliated but separate organisations (Food Market, The Well and Sunday Market).  Analysis of the web trends revealed that many of the site visitors should be using these sites directly instead.  While in all honesty the website was due for a rethink, we effectively had scope only for a refresh.

My suggestion was to incorporate a search engine and social media strategy that would engage consumers and a key to this was rebranding the domain based on more consumer-centric keywords.  Based on our research, Camberwell Shopping was chosen as the new brand to replace Camberwell Centre.  I worked with Kerry to redesign the content structure and menus for the site.

The first step was the graphics and our designer did a great job translating my wireframe and incorporating elements from print collateral to come up with a fresh and vibrant new look.  The colour scheme is consistent and the use of whitespace lends itself better to readability on the screen.  The effect is like teeth whitening, brightening and lifting the entire site.  Visually the key component is the content slider, which solved the problem of banners which added some visual interest and animation.  Space for banners was reserved for the three affiliated websites.  A super-footer was included making sure that links to important pages appeared throughout the site along with links to Camberwell's social media pages.

Jenny Joseph built the site in a short timeframe using our designer's graphics and upgrading the content management system and improving the store directory in the process.  The design store directory search was integrated into the homepage.  An innovative new feature of the website is "Shop View", a virtual tour of the shops in conjunction with online maps.  Working with Chad from street-directory.com.au we were able to come up with a solution for integrating the maps and shop views for each business into the site.

Since the launch of the site we have had positive feedback and the number of misdirected enquiries has reduced, saving administration time and costs.

Before Image - before
After Image - after
Click to zoom

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