responsive e-commerce website
While working for Studio Movie Grill, one of the major initiatives that I helped to develop was transforming studiomoviegrill.com from a 2-site solution, (m. & www.) into a responsive and SEO best- practiced, cohesive and uniform site. This responsive e-commerce website is one of the largest-grossing sales tools for Studio Movie Grill.
Externally, it provides each customer with a uniform experience, regardless of the platform from which they are accessing the site. While internally, it helps various departments from Customer Service, Marketing, Private Event and Group Sales, to the Film department to operate more efficiently. The product is a much more robust site with which to engage customers and feature content.
I worked alongside and collaborated with my Creative Director, front and back-end developers, and several Studio Movie Grill departments to ensure that the new site met the necessary business and creative requirements. My primary responsibility was to take the existing skeleton from both www. and m. websites and create a uniform, optimized, intuitive and responsive site. To achieve this, I audited both sites and found areas which had the potential to be optimized, (not only to increase speeds, but with the content and within the confines of the systems as well) to create the best possible customer experience. In addition, I supervised internal and multiple-device- testing throughout the sites development.
How do we create a consistent user-experience and interface across platforms and browsers, in conjunction with business requirements and backend systems?
Who is our target audience? On which platforms is studiomoviegrill.com being accessed the most?
Due to the spike in mobile customer engagement, it was crucial to make sure each customer was having the best studiomoviegrill.com experience, regardless of the platform that they used. Because the site was broken into an m. and www., there was a breakdown occurring between experience and functionality. Additionally, the tablet user was not receiving the best experience at their breakpoint. The existing desktop site was composed primarily of Ajax code, which, while aesthetically pleasing, is not ideal for SEO. Because we were essentially developing a NEW site, a multitude of questions arose: What overall site-optimization opportunities do we have? How do we set ourselves apart from our competitors? Can we leverage the incredible Hollywood graphics/content and extend that into the visual experience that customers have on our site? How can we simplify and improve the existing ticket- sales process? These questions, along with many others, were instrumental in determining exactly what our NEW studiomoviegrill.com needed to become, while also remaining easy-to- use and intuitive.
We began by spending months evaluating the site, reviewing business requirements, examining the limitations of the system, listing the site and determining where we had opportunities for content- optimization. Once we covered these areas of research, we began to design the NEW studiomoviegrill.com with the largest audience in mind first - mobile. Once the mobile experience was completed, we moved on to the desktop-user experience. Upon finishing the desktop, we combined the two to create a hybrid-breakpoint that would facilitate a consistent experience for both mobile and desktop users, while accounting for the tablet-user. Each experience was site-mapped and presented to multiple stakeholders to gather feedback and review. All of whom then collaborated with and assisted us as we made revisions, updates and optimized the functionality of the site with both front and back- end developers.
Through countless collaboration sessions, discussions of site requirements, giant-grid- note pads, PSD files, wireframing sessions, Starbucks coffee walks and a couple of all-nighters - our team produced a powerful, visually-stimulating and robust SEO website which has given Studio Movie Grill one of the industry’s best movie theater website experiences available today. Externally, it has minimized customer service issues and provides customers with a consistent browsing and purchasing experience, no matter the platform. Internally, it allows all Studio Movie Grill departments and locations the platform to create content with a direct link vs. ajax, and it has improved social media engagement, marketing initiatives, ticket sales purchases - along with keeping customers informed of events and outreach efforts.