ROLE : Photography,  UX/UI

YEAR: 2015

Look book photography and redesign proposal for lifestyle and fashion brand Officine 904.

Officine 904 is a fashion and design studio specialized in bags and accessories. Based in two of the most touristic Italian cities, Pienza and Venezia, the young brand has built a solid business in just four years. In the spring of 2014, the two founders, Silvia and Paolo, approached me to shoot their latest lookbook in Pienza.

During my stay, Silvia and Paolo, shared their difficulties in growing online sales and their dissatisfaction with their current website. Their online presence was in need of a fresh spin so I decided to take the challenge and dived into a redesign exercise.

The first OFFICINE 904 store was opened in 2010 in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Pienza. The massive touristic influx in Pienza allowed the couple to grow the flagship store sales at a rapid pace and open stores in Venezia, Warsaw, New Zealand and Singapore.

“Our designs are inspired by Italian culture and history. The bags and accessories are made by Tuscany’s craftsmen’s and all materials are sourced exclusively in Italy.”

To start off I spent a few days within a brick and mortar store to identify buying behaviours. I collected details such as the questions customers were asking, the amount of time they spent in the store and the reasons they choose a specific product over another one.

I also conducted several interviews with the two founders, a franchisee and a sales representative to get more insights into the buying process from their perspective.

Key Insights

The interactions between costumers and the sales team were fundamental for successful purchases. The large majority of clients made an average of two visits to the store before buying anything and asked many questions before any final decision. I observed a pattern in the questions clients made: many of them were concerned by the leather origin, the cleaning methods, the quality of the product and the story behind the designers and designs

“Clients ask a lot of questions before buying anything. They want to know where the leather comes from, who the designers are…They don’t know the brand and the product. We are here to help them make a informed purchase.”

Sales representative, Officine 904 Pienza Store

User testing

After collecting insights of buying behaviors in Officine 904’s brick-and-mortar stores, I analyzed how users interact with their present website. The goal of these user testings, was to identify the main pain points to address during the redesign.

Once I got a better understanding of the pain points and main issues I should tackle, I started by drawing some sketches to quickly determine the new site map and the dwelved into wireframing.

I restructured the navigation, stripped down the homepage to the most essential content such as the latest collection lookbook, and added a short founders bio to the homepage.

In doing so I wanted to focus on the products as well as on the makers, thus creating a real connection between the buyer and the people behind the product.

In the shop section I streamlined the navigation to make it easier to browse between items and filter them.

To translate the in-store experience and replace the sales rep knowledge I introduced new content to single product pages. Each single product page contains detailed information of the product material and origin, care instructions and finally an editorial section on the inspiration behind the design.

I had shot all the lookbook images with a new website in mind. I wanted them to be as minimalist as possible to allow the product to shine. 

To create contrast with the bold patterns and colors of the bracelets and scarves I shot all images against a white background with only natural lighting and purposely left a lot of white space in each frame.


The Homepage

The homepage evokes the impeccable design and craftsmanship of the products by playing with large images, a clean background and subtle touches of bold colors.

MacbookPro OneMacbookPro One

The about page is a short introduction to the founders’ story, the process of making a bag and their recently opened restaurant. Users can navigate to each sub page would they want more information.

MacbookPro ThreeMacbookPro Three

Product Page

The actual website product page is simple and easy to use but lacks a lot of information. To replace the advice of the in-store sales team I included in the single product page a section dedicated to the product design inspiration, the material origins and care instructions. To entice further sales three other recommended products are now available at the end of the page.

MacbookPro TwoMacbookPro Two

Final Thoughts

The in-store experience, sales team knowledge and personal touch are hard to replicate online, but they can certainly be translated through clever storytelling, well thought user experience and good aesthetic.

The project is not without its faults, as my first redesign it made me realize the amount of work and time that this type of assignment demands. I hope that this short exercise will inspire Officine 904 to further embrace the digital space.