Each year, American Crew puts out a call to determine the best stylists in the world and subject them to a fierce head-to-head challenge. By the end, the best representation of the American Crew Man is left standing, winner of $10,000 and a place among the industry’s finest, with press and exposure that can transform a career.
Inheriting a three year old site, we were tasked with redesigning the coolest contest in men’s fashion.
We wanted users to progress through a linear journey that began with asking them a simple question: “Do You Have What it Takes…” The entire site was a click or scroll away for the user, and a button to enter the competition followed them down the page.
Research has shown increased engagement when using photography of people whose gaze is directed in a specific direction. People tend to follow that line of sight, so we strategically used photography next to important content in order to draw a users attention.
Without contestants there isn’t much of a competition. We provided a persistent sign-up call to action in the navigation on desktop and a pinned button to the bottom of the screen on mobile devices to always make sign up obvious and easy. A lot of information needed to be collected during the signup process in order to ensure qualified entries. The process was broken down into three steps: Personal Information, Products used, and Photo upload.
The sexy portions of most sites are the front-end, consumer-facing pages, but this site had two distinct audiences: stylists throughout the world who were vying to be recognized for their talents and the internal team at Revlon that would be judging the contest.
We put as much work into making the control panel for the judges as easy to use as the homepage, knowing that the majority of the use was actually happening in areas that only users with passwords would see. There were details in every aspect of the site, from the way it was architected to the pixels that displayed on screen, that needed the polish typically reserved for a site’s homepage.
Google Translate is great in a pinch, but it’s not reliable enough to depend on. With a global audience, we used human translations for every word on the site. We created a design that was flexible enough to display each of the 6 languages using varying amounts of space. This prompted an over-abundance of caution when placing content to make sure variations in language didn’t overlap or cause sections to be misaligned.
With fashion sites, there’s always the temptation to go over-the-top with splashy UX choices. We’ve found those are just distracting to the user, though. The goal of this site was to get stylists to enter the All Star Challenge, so every design choice we made was meant to entice them to submit their best look. A lot of projects get derailed by trying to do too many things at once. If the goal isn’t clear from the outset, it’s almost impossible to create a cohesive site that offers the user a purposeful and valuable experience.