Natalie Raynes Blanton is an accomplished pianist and music instructor. She developed skills as a classical musician, but discovered that her real passion was in music for the church. With a masters in education, and years of experience teaching successful school choirs, she has developed courses for musicians at all levels. She has also written songs for the church, recorded piano solo albums and arranged a large number of congregational accompaniments.
Natalie already had a website that made these courses and products available, but it was in need of a facelift. The user experience and navigation required a more modern and clean look with readable page layouts and images that fit together more cohesively.
Developing the Look and Feel
The goal was to make her website/online store more navigable, create consistency with her branding, and to build page layouts that were stylized to convey “class” and “professionalism”, reflecting the excellence of her work.
The header and footer came first and, with the logo, established the color scheme and initial direction. For the rest of the page layouts, flourishes, high contrast accents, and attention to detail help to convey “class,” while the sans and handwritten fonts keep the look and feel from becoming too “stiff.” Inspiration for other visual elements was also drawn from the king of musical instruments – the piano itself.
The Shop—Improving UX
Revising thumbnail images for each of her products was a major part of the design process. Most of the products are digital, not physical, meaning the thumbnails aren’t photographs. Not only do these new thumbnails help the site look more consistent, but they also improve the user experience, helping shoppers to identify the products more quickly. Icons visually distinguish products that use the same name, and unique layouts help to define categories.
The Canva design tool was perfect for thumbnails. The documents are shareable, allowing Natalie to create, revise, and easily export thumbnails as products are added or updated to the site.
Another major user experience enhancement is the ability to filter products in the shop and category pages. Effective filtering is particularly helpful for selling sheet music and soundtracks from various difficulty levels and albums.
Be sure to check the site out, give it a tour, and take in the beautiful new build! And while you’re at it, enjoy a bit of southern culture by playing their latest album release, A Life of Worship – The Raynes Family, available on your favorite music streaming service 🙂