Obakki came to LiFT looking to build on the successes—and some of the failures—of an earlier flash based iteration of an e-commerce engine. The project was ripe with technical challenges, not the least of which was developing a direct connection between Obakki’s web based e-commerce engine and their proprietary database software used to manage their entire product line. Overall, the project turned out fantastically and we got the chance to work with one of my favorite clients.
Assessment + Visual design
To say that the Obakki brand is minimalist would virtually be an understatement, and this made the design phase of this project somewhat challenging. Throughout the design phase we constantly fought to simplify the interface and strip out much of the visual clutter which is so common amongst e-commerce sites. In the end, LiFT was able to achieve simplicity both visually and technically, spending much of our time looking for simple technical and visual solutions to create a clean, elegant e-commerce site. The neutral color scheme and large product visuals keep the focus on the clothing and helps eliminate visual clutter. Ultimately the design and technical treatments of the site help to streamline the site and make for a simple and efficient browsing experience.
Strategy + UX
What makes the site something special is it’s direct connection to the inventory tracking and management software already in place at Obakki. One of LiFT’s primary focuses on this project was creating a solution which a) tracks inventory in a granular fashion (ie. for each size and color option of a product) and b) requires very little administrative time to manage and create product catalogs. LiFT accomplished this by creating a direct tunnel between the two applications and we were able to produce a system which automatically feeds and tracks inventory from both the e-commerce and brick and mortar Obakki Stores.
Technically, our team was challenged from the outset by our choice to use Magento, the new kid on the block when it comes to e-commerce. The first few days were frustrating, as is any first encounter with a new technology, but after pushing through the initial phase of development, the technical side of development went smoothly. We discovered that Magento is a top-notch e-commerce solution, capable of handling virtually all e-commerce requirements. Since Obakki, we have continued to use Magento on other e-commerce sites.
Overall the project has been extremely successful, we were able to build on our knowledge of e-commerce solutions, while providing our client with a top-notch e-commerce solution. A huge thanks goes out to all who were involved in this project, Steve at Hole in the Wall, for his database expertise. Weston at netSIGN for hooking us up with a blazing fast web host. Most importantly though we need to thank Lisa at Obakki, without her vision and leadership the project would not have gone far.