If you've been following our blog or any of our social media, you already know that we're in the process of creating a new hats.com that will go live in June. There are a lot of tedious details when it comes to redesigning a large website, and it requires a lot of teamwork. A great designer is imperative to turning all of the ideas into reality. Beyond the technical skills needed, excellent design also requires a careful approach that seamlessly blends the elements of the website that are working successfully with the new features that need to be added. In other words, it requires a talented person like Kyle McHenry!
To wrap up our series on the redesign of Hats.com, we decided to do a short interview with Kyle. We hope you enjoy getting to know him and appreciate his insight into creation of the new site!
First, let's learn a little bit about Kyle...
Q:What is your favorite kind of hat?A: I have lots of different styles of hats that I wear, but I have to say that my go-to is the traditional baseball cap.
Q: What are some of your favorite hobbies and activities other than web design?
A: Movies, reading, video games, etc. I enjoy taking my daughter to the children's science museum. We sometimes dress in costume as Luke and Rey for local events. I then like to photoshop pictures of us into movie scenes. I enjoy drinking alcohol, but only occasionally. I felt my wife's face before I ever saw it. One of my favorite songs is âYour Love is a Drug by Puffy Ami Yumi. I generally hate sunny days and prefer rainy days, but I love sunny days at the beach. I have an uncontrollable apprehension against dogs because I was attacked by a dog as a child and still have physical scars from it. I wear lifts in my shoes to make me seem taller. I love running, but never run anywhere for any reason... unless it's a short distance and ice cream is involved. I don't actually like my beard; I just don't feel like shaving it. One of my favorite movies is Waterworld. If I could be any animal, I would be a calico house cat owned by Zooey Deschanel. My favorite food is all of it. My least favorite food is chicken and waffles. A group of my friends and I get together to play different types of tabletop games a couple times a month. I was once on the news for having a lemonade stand as an example of what kids should be doing during the summer, leading into a story about a gang of other kids that were busted selling heroin in a nearby park. I have a large collection of comic books. My daughter and I will sometimes spend a whole day playing out one long story with action figures. I also, of course, like hats.
Q: How long have you been at Hats.com?
A: 9 months.
Now, on to some questions about the Hats.com redesign...
Q: How did you choose the new color scheme for the site?
A: The colors chosen are meant to invoke the timelessness of our core products and our commitment to traditional, handmade production using natural materials, matched with complementary themes of our modern age.
Q: What do you think was the most important change made to the homepage?
A: With the homepage, an effort was made to really make it the hub of both our site and our social community, the center of all activity that allows the user to easily find and connect to us and our features.
Q: What do you think was the most important change made to category pages?
A: For the category pages, we wanted to make it easier than ever to sort according to user tastes, get a preview of the information the user needs and options available to them on their search for the perfect item.
Q: What do you think was the most important change made to the product pages
A: The main objective for the product pages was to lay out all the information and options in an easy to understand, but also visually appealing, way. It's our hope that choosing and ordering a product from us is an enjoyable experience.
Q: Was there one issue with the Hats.com shopping experience that you think needed to be addressed the most?
A: Mobile. Today, more online traffic and purchases are made from hand-held devices than ever before. It was very important that we meet this trend and upgrade our mobile site to be just as easy and satisfying an experience as our desktop site would be. I think that we've achieved this.
Q: How does this project compare to past designs/redesigns that you've done?
A: This is a long established company with many elements that were already in place. They needed reorganized and adjusted to better fit into today's world in order to improve the shopping experience of our customers. I've worked on projects of varying complexities and scales, but this one had many pieces to it. When it's broken down, each piece is it's own design that fits somewhere into the whole.
Q: What was your favorite part of redesigning the site?
A: I've just enjoyed seeing it all come together. It started as, more than anything, a desire to have a better mobile experience. I think the result is something that will be easier and more enjoyable for everyone to use.
Thanks for your time, Kyle!