Project Brief & Approach
Lazerian.co.uk is the new website of Liam Hopkins, a Manchester-born designer and furniture maker. Based in a former hat factory in Manchester, the creative practice is focused on the creation of contemporary handmade furnishings through playful investigation of materials and processes, and seeks to imbue objects with a bit of soul. It was paramount that the website design and ecommerce functionality was implemented that none of this charisma and personal aspect was lost and that Liam’s personality was conveyed.
It was important that the Lazerian website put the products at the forefront but acted more like an art gallery than a typical shop-window e-commerce site, allowing the client not only to sell products via the site but also to use it as a portfolio to show creations that are one-offs, experiments, or not for sale alongside the main range.
Large product shots were used as backgrounds for each of the individual product pages, with typical e-commerce functionalities such as colour swatches, size options, prices and descriptions held in unobtrusive transparent overlays. These overlays can also be hidden, allowing pages to be displayed in a gallery format. By using this approach, the products are given the maximum emphasis and can be shown in high detail without making the user click through thumbnails, which is particularly important given the nature of the product range.
Product images are accompanied by a series of photos taken from a disused Victorian mill; its architectural forms inspiring many of Liam’s creations and adding tone to the site.
The final result was achieved using accessible HTML and CSS, giving the impression and visual impact of a Flash site but allowing a more effective SEO strategy to be implemented on the site.
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