Hey there young designers — and non-designers who have to design things anyway! — there's a tool in your back pocket I bet you didn't realize you have. It's like loose change in your couch; there's a lot more than you thought there was and you sit on it all the time. When you find it though, it feels like finding $20 in those jeans you haven't worn in months!
We can learn a great deal about good design simply by studying the brands that express their style excellently. Today, let's take a look at Warby Parker.
What makes Warby Parker's website excellent design?
You know what they sell right away. The name "Warby Parker" doesn't give away much. But once you hit the home page, it's immediately clear that this company is at least about fashion, if not specifically glasses. The glasses piece becomes clear once the text is read. What's the first word in the navigation after all?
Clear direction. How does Warby Parker want their audience to engage with them? By shopping their selection of glasses. How do we know this? Most of the buttons on the home page direct there.
No option overload. Their priorities are clear: (1) Shop the selection (2) Shop our limited edition selection (3) Home Try-On* (4) Visit a Store* (5) New Special* (6) Charitable Giving Program
Simplicity. White space is one of the designer's greatest tools. This website is clean and clear and simple and features excellent, appealing photography. The eye is easily and strategically drawn to the engagement goals — in almost every section a simple button is a part of that.
There's still more. The footer provides a ton of ways to connect further, in addition to what you might typically put there – address, phone, email. How might you beef your footer up to fit your brand?
What makes Warby Parker's social media style excellent?
Consistency. WP has a recognizable style. They clearly focus on upper-body shots rather than full-body photos and they have a simple, airy sort of aesthetic.
Variety. They play a lot with the fashion, background, and angles of their images. They utilize images without people, like styled shots of glasses on different surfaces.
They also drop some video here and there in all their social media streams. Their videos usually don't specifically feature their glasses!
Playful Engagement. You might see an image of a #WarbyBlue house posted, or a fun .gif of someone playing with their glasses in a "Friday mood." WP finds creative ways to tie a variety of post types to their brand.
Behind the Scenes. WP also uses social media to take their audience behind the scenes in a way their website doesn't. You can get a look at store in a certain city or learn more about their partners in a beautifully done video.
A note on social media engagement by platform. WP has over 83.1K followers on Twitter and their tweets seem to get under 25 hearts and retweets on average. FB engagement tends to be under 100. Instagram is clearly their niche platform. Engagement there is easily in the thousands.
That wraps up the first installment of "Best in Design Style!" What did you learn from Warby Parker, maybe that I didn't even mention? Comment below!
Want to recommend a brand for a design style study? Comment below!