Cross-Border EC Platform

for Bizen Ware Ceramics

Overview

Bizen ware, with its rich history and earthy allure, has a unique aesthetic that requires a distinct presentation, especially when reaching out to an international audience. The challenge was to design a cross-border EC site that seamlessly caters to international customers irrespective of their geolocation, and curating a visual presentation that amplifies the ceramics' intrinsic beauty.

Role

Creative Director; Art Director; Business Strategist; Project Manager; Web Developer; UX/UI Designer

Objectives

  • To create a platform that intuitively adapts to the needs of global customers, from displaying prices in local currencies to ensuring the website's flow resonates universally.
  • Develop a layout that echoes the tactile experience of exploring ceramics in a gallery, allowing users to immerse themselves in the beauty of each individual piece.
  • To create a digital platform that not only functioned impeccably for an international audience but also exuded an aesthetic charm, highlighting the elegance of Bizen ware.
  • Transform the perception of the ceramics, presenting them not just as products, but as individual pieces of art, thereby resonating with both traditional and contemporary clientele on a global scale.

Development Decisions

Transition to a Virtual Gallery

Our journey began with an e-commerce website on Shopify, tailored to a more traditional design approach. 
However, as our vision for the brand matured, I was inspired to pivot towards a less conventional route: transforming the webpage into a virtual gallery. To bring this concept to life and accommodate the advanced design flexibility we envisioned, we transitioned to WooCommerce after a year.

Evoking Artistry in E-commerce

Given the distinct nature of Bizen ware, our initial emphasis was on the homepage's design. Through the new platform, we curated a showcase of ceramics, aiming to immerse users in an experience that mirrors a stroll through an art gallery, where the intrinsic beauty of each individual piece is celebrated.

Challenges in Art Direction

The dominant brown hues of Bizen ware presented a distinct challenge in photography, especially in appealing to younger demographics. With another art director, our efforts were channeled into a meticulous exploration of colors, striving for the ideal shades that would both uplift and harmonize with the ceramics.

E-commerce Essentials

Beyond the visuals, it was essential to nail the core e-commerce functionalities. I undertook the task of implementing core features, such as payment functionality and shopping cart integration, ensuring the site was not only visually engaging but also user-friendly and efficient in its primary role as an online marketplace.
© Emi Mimura.