Art Direction | UI / UX
Buy Native is a Native American database of entrepreneurs and artisans. Through our VIP program, “Everyday Entrepreneurs” by GoDaddy, we reached out to the owner of Buy Native, Lehi Thundervoice Eagle. Lehi, who is a craftsman and artist, founded ThunderVoice Hat Co.
Jillian Johnson, our marketing manager, reached out to him directly through Instagram to build a relationship. His team shortly reached out to build a partnership that would span across 6 months of creating a site from a website builder landing page to a full-fledged e-commerce site through WordPress.
Before designing, we met with the Buy Native team to gather what they envisioned for their site. We started with a website builder site to capture new artisan members and generate traction within the native community. After 4 months of website traffic, they wanted to move toward the next phase in the process, WordPress.
My role as the designer and art director on this assignment was to convey their brand as modern and approachable. The goal was to bridge the gap between the younger and older generation so that anyone who approached the website would feel welcome joining the community.
Research & Wireframing
When researching the user flow for the website, we were inspired by Airbnb, Skillshare, and Yelp’s search engine. The site’s goal was to curate a database of native artisans where the user could search by tribe, location, and industry.
I began with a wireframe to focus on form and function and shared the low-fidelity mockup with the Buy Native team. I purposely removed the color from the design until we locked down the site flow with the team. Buy Native was thrilled and wanted to move toward the next steps for adding visual design to the site to begin development.
Moving into the next phase of the responsive design process with visual design, type, and photography brought the website to life. Unfortunately, although it was nicely designed, website site builder site didn’t appeal to the younger Gen Z audience.
We decided to move in a more modern, clean aesthetic by using subtle native textures throughout the WordPress site and leveraging the photography to sell the products.
When we finished the high-fidelity design, the client was thrilled with the site. Although I didn’t see the project through to completion (I accepted another job during the development phase), working with Buy Native was incredibly meaningful. I believe this database could greatly positively impact the native community when the site launches.
Jillian Johnson (Sr. Marketing Manager), Brandon Baxter (GoDaddy Guide), Laurie Bloom (Project Manager) and outsourced website development.