UX, UI, Project Management
Raffles is one of London’s oldest nightclubs, having first opened in 1967, they wanted to pay homage to this era and the club’s heritage by drawing design inspiration from the late 60s.
Raffles approached me to develop a new, captivating website to go alongside their nightclub’s refurbishment. They were not happy with their current site as they did not feel it reflected the direction they were moving in as a business. They gave me a large amount of creative freedom when it came to the aesthetics of the website which I was told would be echoed throughout their digital brand identity.
The predominant challenge I faced was the budget to execute the project to the standard they required. Even though a well-established nightclub, they had to reduce the budget in the visual design phase to a relatively lower one because they weren’t open due to Coronavirus.
The solution: Where we would have liked to create a custom-built website using HTML, we decided to build the website using the CMS WordPress. This would help cut the overall cost of development while keeping the site solid and scalable. From there we then had to see what was feasible from our initial ideas and fashion alternative designs and transitions to any that weren’t possible on WordPress.
After interviewing the key decision-makers within the company I had a much clearer understanding of the strategic objectives of the new website. The main ones being;
From here I being to research competitors within their industry as well as similar businesses that lead the way in innovative platforms within ticket sales. Taking aspects of what I thought would work well within the scope of this project as well as looking for functionality to avoid.
I began to create a high-fidelity wireframe, mapping out all the necessary pages then homing into the features and functions within each page and how each page would interact with one another.
I constructed the information architecture such as there was a minimal level of difficulty to immediately access relevant information. The information was then divided into pages and these were then placed in a hierarchy which was discovered during the initial research. I then added them to three main categories; header menu (always present), main menu (one click away), clickable text within pages (specific user flow in correlation to the information).
When coming to the visual design I wanted to create a strong initial impact, so after running through a number of variations for the landing page we decided on having a full-page carousel along with sophisticated transitions to give it a high-end look and feel and help entice the users into understanding the mood of the club.
For the overall aesthetics of the website, we wanted to go for a dark, upmarket look while putting to use their pre-shot in-house photography which showed off the interiors of the club. This best represented the image they convey as well as adhered to their already well-established customer base.
To inject a level of superiority against their competitors I came up with a number of high-level interactive transitions that pushed the boundaries of what has been done within their London-based competitor pool.
Optimising the site for mobile is a fundamental part of any website development. Due to the complex nature of the site, we decided to develop a stand-alone site for mobile devices. This meant I had to freedom to design the layout and interactions as I felt most beneficial for the client and the user. Re-designing more complex pages to have a more minimal and functional feel when browsing on a mobile device meant the user had a much more satisfying overall user experience.
As always, this was the case of strong collaboration with their stakeholders and in-house marketing team to clarify the business goals and finding ways to reach them by means of design appealing to the target audience and unveiling the benefits of the service they provide.
We designed and developed an industry-leading website that gets its users to interact and engage showing them what Raffles is all about; it’s heritage, the talent and its prestige. All while not over-complicating the user experience and keeping strong funnels to high-priority call-to-actions.