Daryl Hamilton Photography is a service that helps price conscious women capture and relive significant emotional moments in their lives. It removes the burden of cost by providing quality work at an affordable price. My role was to re-design the website so as to help Daryl's brand look more professional and elegant.
Screenshot of D.H.Photography's original design
The first step was to perform user research in order to get a better understanding of the challenges of the photography industry, as well as to understand Daryl's target market better.
A competitive analysis of 3 local photographers revealed the following findings:
• The website layout should be minimalistic so as to showcase and bring out the photographer's work,
• Social proof is an important component and can be demonstrated through awards, published work, and testimonials,
• Landing pages for the different types of photography services should be designed with that particular user persona in mind (i.e. portraits, engagement, wedding, maternity).
From the competitive analysis findings, I already knew that the new design had to be minimalistic and clean. But what about the website copy? A picture might speak 1,000 words, but well-crafted copy can elevate a brand in the eyes of its audience by making it relatable.
In order to understand the target market's needs and motivations, I executed several 15 minute in-person interviews with women who had recently gotten married and had hired a photographer at a lower price point for their engagement and wedding photographs.
The most important interview findings included:
• These women felt that they already had a lot to deal with and pay for in their weddings; because of this, finding a photographer that provided an affordable service was a priority.
• Second in their list of priorities when looking for an affordable photographer was the quality of his work. They wanted to see examples of his work, and they wanted to see that the photographer's work had some sort of creative flair to it
• Comfort appeared to be a rather big pain point for both women, as they both expressed their insecurities around posing for a camera. They wanted someone they could trust and who could make them feel comfortable as they went through the photography session because posing for the camera did not feel natural to them.
• Both women had a list of specific moments that they wanted to capture during their weddings or engagement photos. They wanted to capture and immortalize the walk down the isle, the wedding party, getting ready before the ceremony, and the guests.
• Regarding the true value behind hiring a photographer, one of the women expressed how when she was going back through her wedding pictures, she was actually re-living the moment again.
After gathering and analyzing the feedback from the user interviews, I created a user experience map in order to map out every interaction and touchpoint that potential clients would have with Daryl's service so that I could better understand the needs of his clients according to their specific context.
Armed with the feedback from the interviews and the insights uncovered through the customer experience map, I developed 6 user personas in order to guide and inform the content, design, and SEO keywords for the different landing pages in Daryl's website
The first step of the design stage was creating the information architecture of the website. I achieved this by running 9 remote open card sorting exercises using Optimal Workshop’s free card sorting tool. The purpose of the card sorting exercises was to inform the structure of Daryl's website based on what potential users would find to be the most intuitive categories and labels as they navigate the website.
Based on the results from the card sorting exercises, I created a sitemap using Adobe Illustrator in order to create a visual representation of Daryl’s website’s hierarchy.
With the website’s structure in place, it was now time to start the design process. First, I created several paper wireframes in order to iterate through many design options. Next, I created low fidelity digital wireframes with Adobe Illustrator for the first round of feedback and testing.
Once the digital wireframes were tested and changes were implemented, I created a UI kit in order to keep visual consistency throughout the website and in order to communicate the website’s visual elements with Daryl.
This project is in progress, check back for updates.
Mid fidelity mockup of D.H.Photography's new design with stock photography (IN PROGRESS)