I am proud to share a project I built called Cart Republic. The project was a brain child of a few things from my design process coming together but the final motivation (for spending the time to build it) was a chat I had with Rob Hope who made One Page Love.
When starting an eCommerce design project I do a substantial amount of research. Searching for industry best practices, commonalties between big retailers in the same sectors, most used features, design trends, how retail strategy is converted into digital tactics and so on need to be taken into consideration. This ends up in me tending to have a “reference” folder on my mac and some sort of presentation for clients as part of their education process into the eCommerce journey. After this process is repeated a few times it becomes clear that some brands are more progressive than others, some brands change very slowly and overall industry patterns emerge. Applying these insights and patterns to your clients eCommerce designs will (hopefully) make things easier for customers by providing an easier, more familiar customer journey. It’s also really nice to look back in time at a particular brand and see how they have evolved over time.
Another thing designers don’t often talk about is which eCommerce platform is used for a project. So I wanted a way for people to see and share which platform was used for a given ecommerce project. Then finally I also wanted to give recognition to the designers and developers that are doing great work.
In essence I wanted a tool that would solve my problems whilst working in Ecommerce, something I could use from anywhere, a tool that others could contribute to and benefit from.
I designed the site in Photoshop, but started building the prototype almost immediately. I decided that building a working product and launching it as soon as possible would be the best option, otherwise projects end up sitting in my localhost dev box for months waiting to be polished enough to push live. I built the site using WordPress, mainly because I am familiar with the CMS from previous projects and I can host it easily. It’s also not a responsive site, as it’s designed to use on a desktop while you are doing research, not on a bus.
MVP stands for minimum viable product. Except Cart Republic is far earlier than an MVP as it’s not designed to make any money, yet. If anything it’s costing me money through domains, hosting and time. So the screenshots below represent the first of what will hopefully be a cool project that continues to grow over time.
Let me know your thoughts and comments.