h

Design Ireland

The Brief

As an online platform for Ireland’s leading designers and craftspeople, discerning consumers expect Design Ireland to lead by example in aesthetics and user experience. The Design & Crafts Council Ireland knew their old site had a few rough edges, and ‘nearly right’ wasn’t good enough. They called on Matrix to deliver a premium experience, and we delivered a design for life.

Design Ireland is a magazine-style website that’s run by Ireland’s leading curators and taste-makers in Irish design and craft. It’s not an eCommerce platform, instead focusing on designers and makers, their bespoke pieces, and links to their websites and individual products. After an in-depth website audit, we identified potential improvements in branding, design and User Experience (UX). During a hands-on discovery workshop, DCCI agreed that their old site was overwhelming and needlessly complex. We set about designing and developing a new website with a seamless UX at heart — clear, intuitive navigation and product categories, with a perfect balance of visually enticing product photos and engaging content.

We made sure Ireland’s makers and designers are the site’s real draw, by creating profile pages for them to share the stories behind their art. We were also inspired by their craft excellence, by calling on their chosen raw materials for our own textured visual elements and subtle, delicate animations, with generous white space to showcase each story and piece of art. We never forgot that this project was all about the finer details.

Key Features

  • 01
    New graphic redesign aligns with Design Ireland’s visual aesthetic;
  • 02
    Intuitive interface and presentation, with enticing visual elements and links to external sites from makers and designers;
  • 03
    Fully responsive design;
  • 04
    Improved content strategy — engaging artist stories combined with enhanced SEO;
  • 05
    Engaging ‘Studio Experiences’ and ‘Our Stories’ hubs, so users can get an idea of the vibrant craft and design community.
Goals

Goals

Replace an outdated, unstable and confusing website with a relaunched platform built on UX and design excellence.

  • Raise the digital presence of Design Ireland and its reputation as a craft and design curator;
  • Align with the design aesthetic of the showcased artists and products;
  • Shine a light on Ireland’s craft and design community, through engaging profiles and reports on events.
Process

Process

In-depth consultation and discovery workshops drive an online transformation through pristine design thinking.

  • Discovery workshops to address client goals of balancing aesthetics, functionality and UX;
  • Custom graphic design with a well-defined balance of products, stories and experiences — the people behind Ireland’s craft and design industry;
  • Worked on a greatly enhanced navigation and product categorisation;
  • Rollout and testing of the new custom website.
Results

Results

A new platform that finally matches the aesthetic and smooth User Experience expected of a leading craft and design organisation.

  • A visually striking, informative and user-friendly site that boosts Design Ireland’s online presence and raises the profile of featured makers and designers;
  • A platform that combines functionality, simplicity and a sense of community;
  • Greater exposure and conversions for featured companies and the industry in general;
  • 2,700% increase in traffic in the first two weeks of launch over the same period in previous year.

Testimonial

We’re delighted with the end result of the redevelopment of DesignIreland.ie. From concept through to design and development, Matrix were professional with innovative ideas, solutions and a super responsive and flexible service. They listened to the needs of multiple project stakeholders, and from this developed a best-in-class website design and user experience.

Joanna Sammons

Digital Marketing Manager
Design Ireland