Summit: Social Responsive Theme for VOD platform
Most of the original themes offered on the platform were designed and developed for an actual client and therefor specifically tailored to their wishes. More often than not the majority of the clients that Intelivideo was on-boarding afterwards were mostly just retro-fitted on those themes and were hard to customize.
One size fits all? Not usually.
The big difference between designing a website and a theme is that you don't know the client you are designing it for, so how do you avoid making the same one size fits all mistake? Finding the commonality with the clients currently forced on ill-fitting themes.
Nice to meet you (soon).
Once the main client focus of the theme has been established, we need to outline how much flexibility and options we want to allow to make a theme feel personalized, but not overwhelming.
Future client meet Summit, Summit meet future client.
Research revealed that the majority of the clients in question were mostly personalities such as fitness trainers with an already active social presence. By testing the theme design with similar types of personalities but different topics of expertise, the target focus was widened a bit to make the theme more inclusive. Target focus market research nudged the direction of the theme design to more of a blog style theme with a very heavy social influence as the social community seemed the common thread with most of these personas.
With the social integration, and optional features like clickable banners allows for promoting and linking to physical inventory off-site, newsletter integration for building a bigger lead base makes this theme suitable as an extension of their brand or to serve as a primary selling point.
The theme is personalized quickly, upload a logo, upload the slideshow image and text, update the bio sidebar with profile image and quick introduction. Once the first product is added the marketing article feed will no longer be displayed.
Give 'em enough hope
With a specific set of features we allow enough personalization for the theme to become their 'own' but not enough that they can sabotage themselves or their brand.
Some of the optional features:
A.) Slideshow (when only one image is uploaded it will be a static banner).
B.) Custom Banner for promotions or off-site linking to physical inventory.
C.) Newsletter Integration collect email addresses through MailChimp form integration.
D.) Social Feeds offer integration with Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
E.) Custom Text Section explain benefits, compare plans etc.
F.) Promo/Teaser Video embed Intelivideo or youtube video.
Testing the versatility of the theme by using different type of test personas and brands
The biggest pitfall with designing themes versus websites is that you don't know who you are designing for and therefor try to solve all the problems with one single theme. But, by focusing on one target segment at a time you can offer specific solutions and more effective themes.
My involvement included UI/UX Design of the theme, Target Research, Front-End Development in HTML5, CSS3, Bourbon.io Neat, Liquid on Ruby with a dash of jQuery.