Bright Ideas: Refreshing OCL’s Website
For most people, their interaction with a light begins and ends with the switch. For architects and interior designers worldwide, however, it’s about drama and human experience with a detailed process involving everything from size to voltage to finish. And when they’re looking for the very best lighting solutions for their projects, they turn to the experts at OCL Architectural Lighting.
OCL designs and manufactures stunning light fixtures forged from reclaimed materials. Last year, the company approached us with an interesting technical challenge. OCL’s portfolio exceeds 200 unique pieces and dozens of configurations for each piece. It was challenging for OCL to organize a substantial amount of product data in a way that didn’t compromise their elegance.
We began with a detailed discovery process. This meant identifying OCL’s customer base and the challenges they face when browsing the website. In analyzing dozens of competitors’ websites, we found beautiful products that were buried under clunky menu systems and unfocused home pages. With this realization in mind, we moved to position OCL’s website in a way that puts its striking designs front and center.
We considered OCL’s audience: architects, engineers and interior designers and thought about the type of experience they’re looking for. People in these fields are searching for their next inspiration, a breakthrough that will fuel their creativity. So when we started thinking about OCL’s website positioning, we found more inspiration in high fashion and luxury brands than the commercial lighting industry. We thought about OCL’s website less as a point-of-sale for customers and more of a design catalog for architects and engineers.
That distinction is clear from the moment you load OCL’s home page. Featuring beautiful, full-page images and a slim, vertical navigation menu, it invites exploration and interaction. There are no pop-ins, no hover-overs—nothing that might clutter the experience of stumbling upon inspiration.
Browsing OCL’s catalog is an equally elegant experience. Click the Products tab and the screen fills with the company’s five product categories. Select a category and you’ll find a grid of products on simple, black backgrounds. We wanted the product selection process to feel personal and guided, so we eliminated distractions wherever possible. Even the search function occupies the whole screen, giving weight and meaning behind the user’s actions. We even snuck in a little homage to a traditional light switch. This took the form of a button to alternate the site between light and dark modes.
Behind the scenes, OCL’s web functionality had to be just as sophisticated as its design. The transition from browsing to configuring needed to be smooth and straightforward. We migrated the site into a new content management system (CMS) that gave OCL the ability to add new products and configurations instantly. Now, customers may click through the product catalog and pick the product they like. They can then customize it to their liking and receive a customized spec sheet. It’s an all in one, streamlined process. For those customers seeking a more personal approach, we updated the site’s Rep Locator tool with Google Maps data to easily locate local representatives and highlight their territories.
We also took the opportunity to add new clarity and structure to the website’s gallery feature. OCL’s website was full of striking images featuring its products. However, it didn’t provide an easy way for visitors to find those products in the catalog. We implemented a new tagging feature that aligns each image with its featured product. This feature allows visitors to filter photos by product line, so users enjoy a more intuitive experience when browsing the gallery.
Flipping the Switch
With a new website combining sophisticated design and detailed functionality, OCL is positioned for continued success in the custom lighting industry. If you’re in a niche industry and struggling to find or connect with your customers, let’s talk. We’ll help you define your marketing challenges and develop a strategy that brings you real results. View our Portfolio for branding and digital marketing ideas.