When I came on board, they did have a site up. There was no visual identity established, and just the most basic eCommerce pages you could have.
Hired on in the summer, and with the holidays quickly approaching, our first steps were just to improve what was already there and get all the marketing materials ready for the season.
Ever evolving the brand look and site, we were constantly improving pages and funnels to increase conversion and the overall user experience.
For quite a while there was a strong focus on content, featuring articles by the Gift Gurus and celebrity guests. The landing pages had most of the areas focussed on promoting these features.
As time went on, we began to develop new tools that would help people find the right gifts. We conceptualized fun and playful recommendation engines that assisted people who didn't know what gifts to buy.
All of the recommendation tools increased conversions, but "Shop By Personality" was the most highly engaged tool, and was featured on many news sites. I hired a talented illustrator to create the caricatures to bring the personalities to life.
As time went on, we discovered recommendation engines and gift lists led to greater conversions, so pages were redesigned to feature those tools instead of articles.
The look of the site continued to evolve, and the last looks we had reached during my time there can be seen above. I removed the dots from the logo, as I felt they were too busy. Color depth was added to the site to match the trend at the time, and pages were further simplified to improve usability.
I designed logos for newsletters, which featured a variety of topics such as "Gifts for Geeks" and "Gifts for the Family". I also designed sets of icons in a hand-drawn style to match the Gifts.com handwritten logo.
Additionally, I designed various graphics to promote different seasons and ways to shop, such as "Shop by Color".
There were many different iterations of Gifts.com, not just including the look, but the content and the tools. By paying attention to audience feedback, metrics, and usability tests, we constantly improved the experience, which was the recipe for a successful service.
We not only strove to make the site fun for our audience, but all the teams had fun together as we built the best online gifting experience. Not everything we tried worked, and that's a good thing, because that's how you ideate freely and learn and grow. Keep your mind open and you never know what you may find.