WWW for fashion: a good plan is a must

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Recently, I improved my skills in creating websites – especially one’s concerning layouts. In an agency I work for, we carry out a lot of web projects. As a project manager I have an opportunity to take a part in creating websites and facebook applications for our clients. As building (and executing) a website is a bit of a challenge for me, I decided to learn more and consequently become better at it. Thanks to that, an opportunity occured and I also had a chance to do a small reaserch, which I called “www for fashion“. Now I would like to share it with you in a small series of posts.

Different types of fashion websites

Fashion websites can be very different, vary a lot. Often there are fashion blogs (just like mine), fashion e-commerces (like www.net-a-porter.com), or social media sites (e.g. fashiolista.com), also there are fashion sites owned by fashion magazines (like vogue.com and this is the most interesting for me), sites dedicated to fashion photography (like fotomody.pl) , or even ones trying to mix all of the above – which are mostly created by designer brands (like Louis Vuitton or Dior). All of those site types have different requirements. I would like to show you the most common problems you may stumble upon and a few things you need to be aware of and sensitise you to have a good thinking of:

How do you want your fashion website to be built?

Firstly and most importantly, you need a good plan. Why? Because you need to know where your business is heading, so the collaboration you have with your agency is fruitfull, and so you don’t spend extra time and money to reach your aims.

To set a trend, one needs to look into the future

A good business-plan and a good vision of the website should obviously include Internet media. When you decide to create a blog, e-commerce, gallery or social site you should think over how you want it to run and what functionalities you would like it to have.

A good plan also includes possible changes in both, a fashion and IT, industries. It may after all occur that the sudden changes in IT may widen your site opportunities or influence your media and real image.

A good knowledge of the industry, a good IT-fashion research, may conclude in you being a few steps ahead your competition.

Such reaserch is valuable even if you leave most of the decisions making to your agency (including operation plan and strategy) – it may happen that a fashion person will spot something that an IT specialist can’t. The fields synergy may result in an innovation. A good research will help you look into the future and answer questions about changes you may want to make in a few months, or even years.

Your plan should also include making a mockup of your website – it may be an interactive mockup (e.g. made in a simple program like axure, which you will be able to click as a real website), or a graphic mockup (e.g. Made in a very simple program like cacoo).

Think what Internet needs you have:

  • As a publisher, a seller, or an executor of the business plan – with which webs and services you should be linked?
  • Where do your readers and clients spend the most time?
  • Which content do you want on your website?
  • Are you going to upload a lot of photos, or a lot of videos?
  • Do you want to sell products, to connect people, or to inform them?
  • What devices do your clients use (biggest fashion publishers have few versions of their sites: a mobile and a desktop, or even a mobile and a responsive design version)?
  • To who do you write?
  • Who reads your website most often?
  • Which language(s) do your readers use?
  • How big market expansion do you plan?
  • And how often do you want to update?

Your plan should also include integrating your website with CI (corporate identity) and developing your CI through the web.

burberry-animation

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Beautiful Holiday Animation by Burberry

fashion-infographic

Next:

more infographics about fashion vs. technology and media

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