ON THE FLY WITH FLY RACING
We’ll admit it: This project was a little scary.
But first, some background.
Working with the FLY Racing team was a true meeting of the minds, and this project pushed us to do our best work faster than we ever thought possible. We’re really proud of the site and we’re so excited FLY Racing trusted us with such a huge task.
For all you non-riders out there, FLY Racing is one of the biggest brands in action sports gear and apparel. They sell dirt bike, MTB, BMX, and snowmobile riding apparel, parts, and accessories all over the world. With an audience that thrives on speed and cutting-edge technology, the FLY Racing site needed to be optimized and include a fast, streamlined shopping experience.
Although they have their own design team, FLY Racing turned to Carew Co.’s team of UX designers for help. Doing work for an in-house design team can be a tricky dance — we wanted to do our jobs, but we didn’t want to step on anyone’s toes.
“I was a little freaked out presenting our concepts to FLY Racing’s talented internal design team. Would the team feel slighted? Would our work get torn apart? Would they think our designs were a good reflection of the brand they created?” says Senior Art Director Thomas Walsh. “In the end, it turned out to be one of the greatest presentation experiences we’ve ever had! The team really understood our process and respected our vision. We left that meeting feeling even more excited and inspired.”
Included in the design of their new website, FLY Racing needed help simplifying the path to purchase, improving the site navigation, and freshening the look of the site. Oh… and could we get it done in just five weeks? Yes, you read that right: five weeks.
Of course, we said yes.
When Art Directors Thomas and Shailey dug into the website, the first thing they noticed was the complete lack of products on the homepage. The site looked and felt like an action sports blog. When visitors did find their way to the products, there were so many steps to purchase that they often abandoned their carts before completing their orders.
We started by prominently featuring products on the homepage. Then with one click you can access the product page, see all the product options, and add the product to your shopping cart. One major addition that has eliminated a lot of shopper frustration is the quick-view modal. Customers can now choose colors and sizes and add to their carts, all without leaving the page. Not only does this eliminate constant back-and-forth navigation, it’s a feature that many people have come to expect from their favorite online retailers.
A couple standout features complete the new, streamlined shopping experience. Whenever a product is added to the cart, the cart automatically opens to show everything in it. Also, we had learned from the FLY Racing team that riders often require complete gear kits. We knew that it was important to show all the related products and SKUs, allowing the user to see and add the rest of the kit without having to search back through the entire list of products.
Thomas is particularly proud of the cleaner, simplified navigation. Product is now categorized by sport, not by type (i.e. helmet, jacket). Each category is backed by an exciting image of the gear in action. Visitors also get a visual reference of where they are at all times.
When it came to overall design of the site, we went against the grain. The action sports industry is very colorful and flashy, so we chose a dark palette that allows the individual products to really pop. Areas like the blog that are not related to shopping are downplayed in duotone until roll over. This simple switch makes the products the star rather than the branded content.