Discover Chesney’s New and Improved Website: Improved User Experience Was At The Heart Of Its Design and Functionality
Mark Smart is Chesney’s Operations Director.
He has worked for Chesney’s for 10 years. Previously Mark was Store Manager for a luxury customized stationery company.
Best thing about working for Chesney’s: The shared passion about the brand and our products
Favourite Food - Asian
Building the new website was no mean feat. It was done in collaboration with Paul Chesney of course and a vast team of supporters and helpers, but the onerous task of putting it all together was on my weary shoulders.
I am sure you will agree it was time for a change and the new website – which was finally up and running on Friday 13th January (!) is significantly better: easier to use, nicer to navigate, faster and far more representative of our luxury brand and vast product offering.
I think the best thing about it is the speed with which it operates. Improved loading times was a primary objective and was certainly helped by moving to faster Amazon web servers. User friendly to a tee, click on a product such as wood burning stoves or fire accessories and there it is without long download times which can be fatal for losing users and browsers. Another aspect we are really proud of is the quality of our photography. We have always taken great pride in photographing our stoves, fire surrounds, accessories and antiques beautifully to convey to our potential customer the exquisite quality of what we produce so that a really accurate representation of our unique collections is portrayed at their very best.
The home page is radically different as you will see. We thought it would be a great idea to have four “fireside stories” on the home page which take the viewer straight into what we are about. Three of these are conveyed through video all of which are a journey into different aspects of the business: the story behind the craftsmanship, the story behind our flagship showroom and then thirdly and very importantly one of our most successful dealers.
The other tab on the home page tells the story of one of our most recent and most successful collaborations with renowned designer Tim Gosling who has just designed two stunning fire surrounds for us which were launched here in the UK and featured in all the press and also in our New York showrooms with a great reception.
When building a website you really have to get into the mind of the browser and think about what they want to see and how they want to see it. For example, the type face has to be easy to read, attractive to the eye and you have to pre-empt the tabs that they will want to click on so that it is all there at their finger-tips without them even thinking about it! All our product offerings are there at the top of the page ready to be viewed: ethanol fires, electric fires, gas and wood burning stoves, gas fires, multi fuel stoves, fire accessories and panels, baskets and register grates and of course fire surrounds. The main objective was to give the website a clean, fresh new look with strong, beautiful images and to de-clutter and make the user journey better and I think we have achieved this.
Our antiques and our architectural stone work have their very own websites, but this new one is for our core product range.
New features still to come are a product filter to enable users to view only certain materials, or products within a price range, or size. Also we hope to introduce our own review page where users can post reviews. We will also be launching a ‘get the look’ and ‘mood board’ feature which is similar to an on-site Pinterest. We will have regular blogs like this one and will be displaying all our press coverage. So watch this space!