Blog - News & Views

Home » Archive for the ‘Website Design’ Category

Case Study: New Design and Online Marketing for a Chocolate Franchise

January 5th, 2016

 

Mink-chocolates-logo

Location: Vancouver, B.C.

Industry: Food & Beverage

Website: www.minkchocolates.com

Mink Chocolates is a Vancouver-based franchisor with their own line of award-winning, artisanal chocolates. They sell their chocolates through retail chocolate cafés and an online e-commerce store. Their website hadn’t been redesigned in a number of years so they turned to Sparktank to refresh the look and update the technical standards of the site.

 

Goal #1: Redesign the website.

Our first goal was to assess their website to make it more visually appealing and user-friendly.

Mink Chocolates are more than just a food item. They’re a simple luxury that allows you to celebrate special moments in life with friends and family.

The new website images capture the lifestyle appeal of the brand, with photos of smiling people enjoying chocolate with friends and loved ones. We gave the layout a more modern style, while keeping the overall colour scheme and branding consistent.

Goal #2: Make the website responsive (compatible with mobile devices).

Prior to the redesign, the Mink chocolates website was not designed to work optimally on mobile devices. With nearly 50% of all e-commerce traffic coming from mobile users, Mink understood they needed to make it easy for customers to get information and shop online on any device. The new website adjusts perfectly to work on cell phones, tablets and desktop computers.

Goal #3: Setting up email marketing.

We also set Mink Chocolates up with a new email template so they could keep in touch with customers and website visitors. Email newsletters are a simple way to turn leads into potential customers, encourage repeat sales, and establish stronger brand loyalty with customers.

“Please accept my heartfelt thanks to you and your team. I’m thrilled with the results. Thanks for bringing me into the modern age!”
—Marc Lieberman, President, Mink Chocolates Inc.

 

Ready to get started on your project? Get in touch >

 

Case Study: Extending Premium Menswear into the Digital World

September 4th, 2015

vassihome-sm

Location: Toronto, Canada

Industry: Fashion

Website: www.vassi.ca

Vassi is a high end menswear brand based in Toronto, Ontario. The growing business has built its stellar reputation through word of mouth and by attracting local clientele in the business community.

Despite having well-established retail location, VASSI did not have a web presence. They turned to Sparktank Creative to translate the tactile, premium experience of shopping at the VASSI boutique into the digital world.

 

Goals and Creative Solutions

Before diving into the project, we conducted a Discovery Session with the VASSI team to learn as much as possible about their customer base and business needs. Sparktank’s Discovery sessions are typically filled with illuminating brainstorms and new ideas that get everyone excited about the project. Using a detailed questionnaire, we dig deep to really understand our clients’ businesses and come up with strategic solutions to help them succeed.

Together we identified four goals for the VASSI website:

  1. Communicate their high end sophistication.
  2. Expand their reach beyond their local following.
  3. Showcase their clothing line.
  4. Build long term relationships with customers.

 

Goal #1: Communicate High End Sophistication

VASSI excels in giving customers a premium experience in their retail store and through their physical products. They wanted a website which mirrored the brand’s sophistication and emphasized their customized, personal shopping experience.

On the homepage we showcased a high end video that conveys a sense of sophistication, prestige and sex appeal. We also incorporated imagery and a sleek design to appeal to VASSI’s discerning business clientele.

collections

 

Goal #2: Expand VASSI’s Reach

Superior service and products helped VASSI expand rapidly in downtown Toronto. Their next business goal was to reach new clients outside their local market.

With a new website, VASSI will be able to promote their brand to clients through advertising, search engine optimization, and other online marketing channels. The site also highlights their membership program which encourages repeat customers and rewards brand loyalty with exclusive discounts and other benefits.

 

Goal #3: Showcase Clothing Lines

Naturally, VASSI wanted to showcase their clothing lines on the new website. We created a photo gallery which highlights the variety, craftsmanship, and attention to detail in every product. VASSI can easily update their collections with the simple WordPress onlin

e system we used for this project.

details-sm

 

Goal #4: Build Relationships with Customers

In addition to attracting new clients, the VASSI website is a starting point for building a relationship with customers.

We set up a newsletter template and website newsletter signup box so VASSI could easily send out news and special promotions. Regular communication with existing and potential clients will help turn visitors into paying customers. It can also increase brand loyalty and foster long-term client relationships.

signup

 

Keeping Your Eye on the Goal

A custom website must be crafted to meet the needs of the client. We built the site not only to look good, but to make a statement. The finished product exudes the luxury and quality on which VASSI built their reputation. And as an extension of their brand, the VASSI website will reach more clients and enhance their brand’s visibility.

Next up? An e-commerce website focused on VASSI’s popular line of ties.

“We’re thrilled with the new website. Sparktank worked closely with us to identify our business needs and came up with great solutions to expand our brand. They were very easy to communicate with and went above and beyond to listen to our needs. We’re confident the new website will help us grow our business.”
— Andre Vassi, CEO, VASSI

 

 Ready to get started on your project? Get in touch >

 

Vancouver Film Studios Website Redesign

January 30th, 2015

02_Sparktank_Case-Study_VFS_1(1)

Project

Vancouver Film Studios is one of the largest film studios in Vancouver, Canada. Their website needed a new look and new content that would showcase their top notch facility and environmental stewardship. In addition, having a responsive website that would cater to their growing audience of mobile users was also a top priority. Sparktank managed all aspects of the project including strategy, writing, photography, search engine optimization/social media work, design and development.

Features

A WordPress Content Management System ( allows staff to make their own content updates ).

Responsive Website

360 Tours

Custom built Interactive Facility Map

Company Blog

Custom Photography

 

02_Sparktank_Case-Study_VFS_3

www.vancouverfilmstudios.com

 

 

Culinary Capers Website Redesign

January 1st, 2015

02_Sparktank_Case-Study_Culinary_1

Project

Culinary Capers is an award winning catering and events company in Vancouver, Canada. They needed a website that showcased their beautiful creations and presented their extensive menus in a clear and organized way. The new responsive website work perfectly on all mobile devices and also features a new blog, a venues page, an employment section and more!

Features

A WordPress Content Management System (allows staff to make their own content updates)

Responsive Website

Photo Galleries

Blog

Interactive Catering Menus

02_Sparktank_Case-Study_Culinary_4

“Culinary Capers Catering’s new responsive website presents our food, catered experiences, menus and overall content gorgeously. The feel of the site is fresh and contemporary and visually dynamic. Thank you to the creative team at Sparktank Creative.”
—Carla Felicella – Special Projects, Culinary Capers.

www.culinarycapers.com

Pacific Destinations Responsive Website Redesign

November 30th, 2014

 

PacificDest_website2

 

Project

Pacific Destination Services is an internationally recognized and award-winning destination management company. They offer meeting, incentive and event planning in Western Canada.

They had grown out of their existing website and were ready to make a change to something fresh and new to celebrate the 16th anniversary of the company.

Sparktank worked with the Pacific Destinations team to develop a new responsive website that ensured their site would be viewed correctly on both computers and mobile devices. Their new site is fully manageable with a WordPress CMS, to allow them to easily make additions and revisions as required. To best showcase their work, we added galleries with full sized images to highlight the many fantastic photographs they had available.

Pacific Destination Services also required a blog to share company news and information. We worked with them to create a searchable blog that organized their event & destination news, inspirational posts, media features and awards:

 

pacificdestinations_blog

 

Features

Custom WordPress Content Management System

Fully Responsive (mobile friendly) Website

Project Galleries

Blog

Search Engine Optimization

 

“Once again, you have exceeded all expectations. I am so in love with our website, I can’t thank you enough for your time, creativity, advice, patience and expertise in designing and developing our new and amazing website. This website speaks to who we are, what we do and how we do it.

Since our launch, we have received innumerable compliments. The excitement that it has created for us will convert, no doubt, to future business and great opportunities. It’s a sales tool, a closing tool and an information tool – just what we need! Thank you for taking our vision, expanding on it, animating it and making it a beautiful reality.

You and your team are exceptional. We love what you have created for us. Thank you most sincerely!”

—Joanne Burns Millar – President, Pacific Destination Services

View the Pacific Destinations Website >

Does my business need a mobile website?
NO! It needs a responsive website.

December 12th, 2013

The days of accessing the web from just a desktop or laptop are long behind us. With the advent of mobile devices like smart phones and tablets that feature fully capable web browsers, albeit on smaller screens, website owners need to seriously think about how their sites perform on them. The problem is that people are browsing the web on these devices more so than ever before. Whether commuting, at a coffee-house, or even lounging around at home, the chances are that today most people are accessing your website via their mobile devices a good proportion of the time.

Ye Olde Cell Phone

Back before smart phones were fully web-capable, there were “mobile websites”. The idea behind them was to offer an alternative version of the site for people with tiny little screens, next to no bandwidth, and a complete inability to view anything complex at all. This approach was necessary and the assumption that the user’s device was unable to handle anything else was well founded.

Today, the world of mobile web browsing has changed significantly. Data plans are measured in the gigabytes, our devices have high pixel density color screens,  mobile processor chips exist that can play YouTube videos without breaking a sweat. Most importantly, in a world with pocket-sized smart phones, 10-inch tablets, 7 -inch tablets, etc – you can no longer make any assumptions about  how your site will display in all of these and potentially many more formats.

In fact, we can safely say that we can’t make any assumptions about anything. So your user is browsing the web on his tablet… what makes you think he doesn’t have the bandwidth to display your cheerful photo gallery when he’s browsing over a WiFi network? So your user is reading up on your company with her smart phone, what makes you think she needs a reduced-content no-nonsense summary of your site when she’s sitting in a café enjoying a long lunch and have all the time in the world?

Unless you have a very specific understanding of your mobile viewer base and how they expect to interact with your website, assume only this: They are as willing, ready and able to enjoy your site as you originally intended.

A Responsive Website

Responsive design is to provide continuity between different viewing contexts, remaining completely agnostic to the type of device used and the size of the screen it has. What this means is that the same website has to respond to the environment it finds itself being loaded in, adapting itself to the screen with fluid layouts and with a lack of rigidity in the positioning of its elements.

By not downgrading the experience of your mobile visitors you’re able to deliver them the same quality of information and the same ease of purchase as you would any desktop visitor.

The Boston Globe: An example of a large responsive website project done right

website-responsive-boston-globe

Regardless of the size of the browser window, almost identical content is shown – just in a different way. Those elements that are less important and get in the way of efficient use on a small screen are moved out of the way. It’s important to note that these are not separate sites, they’re the same site with the same content, created only once by the author, responding to the capabilities of the device in use.

The importance of the mobile web user

As of the third quarter of 2011, industry surveys said 7% of all web browsing took place on mobile devices, up 2% from the start of 2011. Mobile usage in general is on the rise, in the same period 25% of mobile users expected to use their device to browse the web at least once in any given day.

Optimizing your site for the mobile user can only boost engagement. According to figures from surveys carried out this year in 2012, online retailers found they could increase engagement of customers by up to 85% and increase sales by 51% just by optimizing their sites for mobile users.

If you don’t think your business can afford to ignore such a large portion of its customer base, contact us today to discuss the most efficient way to get your website onto your clients’ mobile devices.

– Stuart

Sid Dickens – E-Commerce Website Redesign

March 1st, 2013

sid

Project

Vancouver local success story Sid Dickens is best known for his handmade decorative tiles called “Memory Blocks” that have a strong following of collectors around the world. Their e-commerce website wasn’t functioning properly and was causing frustration for their customers. Sparktank did a thorough analysis of the website content, drafted a new website map and presented page layout wireframes that led to a complete redesign of the website’s organization and design.

 

Features

E-Commerce design

Blog design

Custom interactive “Create a Wall” section design

Store finder tool design

Individual customized page layouts

 

Results

The new design maintains the elegance and sophistication of the Sid Dickens brand while making the process of purchasing Memory Blocks online easy.

“Thank you for all your patience and great work. We’ll definitely work with you again.”

– Niedy MacNutt- Sid Dickens Inc.

 

 

Website Redesign for TRI Environmental Consulting

January 3rd, 2013

After over 12 years in business, we had the pleasure of redesigning a website we had created almost 10 years ago for client TRI Environmental Consulting Inc. A true full circle moment! Naturally, website standards have changed a great deal since we built the first website and we were excited to integrate a fresh new look and a fully manageable WordPress content management system into the new website.

“I  have had the pleasure of working with Sparktank Creative in the development of two separate websites.  Throughout both projects, I found Juliette and her creative team to be highly responsive, very competent, and a true pleasure to work with.  They quickly grasped the nature of our business and had many unique and refreshing ideas on how best to display our capabilities within a very reasonable budget.   I have no hesitation in recommending this talented team.”

Noni Brown, Manager Administration and Human Resources, TRI Environmental Consulting Inc. (retired)