Redesigning the SoundGuys Website With a Brand-Consistent User Experience
We all know audiophiles like to get the most out of their…audio files.
There’s a tremendous selection when it comes to choosing the proper sound hardware: from microphones to surround sound systems, there are tons of brands claiming to deliver the single best iteration of an audio device.
Whether it’s music, podcasts, or movies, picking the right tools to supply your good vibrations can be overwhelming.
This is where SoundGuys comes in.
SoundGuys are an independent tech publication dedicated to all things audio-tech-related, providing a consumer-advocate service with unbiased reviews and news and helping headphone hotshots and surround-sound savants get the most bang for their buck.
Their goal is to help people make informed decisions without the hassle of sifting through hundreds of sponsored reviews and blogs.
This sounds like a job for…
Drewl was tasked with renovating the SoundGuys website, delivering an optimised multi-platform customer experience that reflects the brand’s values, as well as maintaining easy control for SoundGuys’ editorial team.
Building on their achievements with the Android Authority website, they set out to give SoundGuys their signature user experience treatment.
Enhancing the User Journey
Drewl wanted the new site design to have a user experience consistent with the SoundGuys brand, reflecting their customer convenience and advocacy values.
To do this, they established two primary goals:
1. Pump up the site speed to Mach 5
2. Fine-tune the mobile experience
With a breadth of content on the SoundGuys site (currently sitting at over 7,000 posts), users needed to be able to navigate through it seamlessly.
Moreover, enhanced mobile speeds meant the website could serve as a convenient and portable tool when shopping in physical stores. Mobile devices have become increasingly used by consumers shopping in-store to compare prices, read reviews, and search for discounts.
With 34% of shoppers using a mobile device in brick-and-mortar stores, enhancing the mobile experience was a way to add that extra value for SoundGuys’ audience.
When crafting user experiences, they use the 7 principles of UX as guidelines and benchmarks. A user experience needs to be:
Building a fast and responsive website addresses several of these factors in and of itself. Consistent speed across all devices makes a website usable, useful, and desirable.
Furthermore, with Google’s Core Web Vitals, speed makes a product findable (which is also a nifty bonus for SEO).
The Need for Speed
- As load time increases from 1 to 3 seconds the likelihood of bouncing increases by 32%.
- On average users will view 8.9 pages on a site that loads in 2 seconds and only 3.3 pages when the load time is 8 seconds.
They’re unashamedly Headless WordPress fanboys, so it should come as no surprise that the new SoundGuys site was built as a Headless WordPress PWA.
But their reasoning for this CMS choice was motivated by more than just personal preference.
Drewl’s primary reasons were these:
- Easier to build a performance-focused front-end for both desktop and mobile
- Maintaining easy editorial access for SoundGuys staff
- Building scalability into the site
However, one of the most significant advantages of this approach was the speed with which they were able to roll out the new site.
A process that involved designing a new site and migrating all their old content over to the new system (over 7000 posts and 20 shortcodes).
Ye Olde Headless Framework
During their work with Android Authority, they built the entire Headless framework from scratch, a process that took over 8 months to complete.
Once they’d built it, however, they had a solid foundation that they could use for future websites.
And that’s exactly what they did.
Drewl expanded on the existing framework, adding new elements and content into a Headless WordPress web app. With this method, they blazed through development and got the SoundGuys website up and running in only 2 months!
Drewl is a WordPress Experience Agency crafting digital experiences that connect brands with their audience.