Collaboration & technologies for a positive user experience: a case study

Have you ever thought about the work that goes into web development?

Consider not only the appearance of the website, but the functionality.

  • How does it behave?
  • Can you find the site through Google?
  • Can you find information on its web pages?
  • Can you quickly search within the site for what you want?
  • Can you access it on your computer, tablet and smartphone?

All of these aspects (and many, many others) contribute to the User Experience(UX), which reactively reflects on the perception of your brand. After all, a professional website bespokes a professional business.

Austockphoto is one such brand, which supports photographers, designers, agencies and organisations by providing an archive of true Australian images that resonate with authentic experiences.

Competing against stock conglomerates like Shutterstock and iStock, Austockphoto needed an innovative website that would stand out from the crowd, and núcleo and Boheem were eager to work with the client to think outside the box and develop a site that would stimulate engagement and revenue.

AIMS.APPROACH

ACHIEVEMENTS.ADVICE

AIMS

  • Build a user-friendly website to showcase the image database in a compelling and emotive way.
  • Optimise the site to ensure positive UX across all devices and platforms.
  • Develop seamless functionality to increase purchases and drive more traffic to the website.

APPROACH

The vision of Austockphoto is to offer the quintessential, the everyday and the beautiful; accordingly, we wanted to create for them an online experience that is eye-catching and bold, in addition to being streamlined across all platforms.

With dedicated design and software team members, núcleo would typically produce both the creative and the technical aspects of the website. For this project, however, we worked alongside our friends at Boheem, a design and branding agency in Sydney. Our two agencies have joined forces on several occasions, with our collaborative projects receiving great feedback from clients.

On this occasion, Boheem completed the design work, leaving the web functionality and user experience in the capable hands of the núcleo website developers.

In order to build a fully-responsive and customised site, núcleo’s savvy software team used a PHP Framework alongside MySQL and a sophisticated deployment process with various Javascript techniques thrown in. Put simply, these techniques allow us to create a streamlined experience on a densely-visual website, while still providing easy access to the viewing and purchasing of images.

Here’s a little more detail about these tools:

PHP: (which refers to Hypertext Preprocessor) is a widely-used server scripting language, often used to make dynamic and interactive websites.

Framework: A software framework is a universal, reusable software environment that provides particular functionality as part of a larger software platform to facilitate development of software applications, products and solutions. Using frameworks such as Symfony, Laravel or Yii can guarantee that top level features are integrated into the software, for example security and coding best practices.

MySQL: With proven performance, reliability and easy-of-use, MySQL is the world’s most popular open source database. Several high-profile sites, including Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, use MySQL to save time and resources when powering business-critical systems.

Javascript: Is a high-level, dynamic, untyped, and interpreted programming language. It is widely used to build interactive web pages that don’t rely on a page refresh to perform simple tasks. It also is used to create web pages that are very dynamic and move outside the box of how a web page is typically built.

ACHIEVEMENTS

For Austockphoto, a sleek and comprehensive design was crucial. We delivered a digital solution that centred around simplicity, accessibility, and pleasing visuals.

núcleo is a full-service agency, which means we are able to internally complete a wide range of marketing services. Thus, the Austockphoto project was another enjoyable opportunity to work with our fellow branding agency Boheem and further strengthen our professional connections.

Thus far, user feedback has reflected highly on the site’s usability, which allows viewers to flick or scroll through the image database easily. Multiple points of purchase also help to improve UX.

The process of building this website was a great one for our team, and will undoubtedly improve our future developments. Notably, it was during this project that we began using Unfuddle. This powerful ticketing system allows us to track tasks, issues, bugs and so on, and thus make improvements for a clean and cohesive site. We look forward to adding this tool to our arsenal for exceptional web development.

ADVICE

While we only began using Unfuddle halfway through the build, it was a valuable tool that provided numerous advantages for both the client and our team. We have gained knowledge and experience from this project, and are even better equipped to provide digital solutions for our clients.

The success of this project was derived from collaboration and thorough planning. With seamless design and optimal functionality, the Austockphoto website is a fantastic addition to the artistic community.

“We are so pleased with and proud of the site we now have. It’s been easy and enjoyable for both photographers and customers alike to interact with.” — Austockphoto, January 2017

 

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