Bringing a global 'specialist' website to life
Cigar Keep was designed by cigar aficionados, for cigar aficionados. The idea behind the website is to enable each member of the community to meet other members, share notes and details of their own personal cigar collections, as well as joining together for online ‘smoke’ (meet) ups to discuss their favourite cigars or just chew the fat while enjoying their favourite pastime.
P.S. In case you didn’t know, a collection of cigars is called a ‘keep’, hence the name!
Imagining, exploring, inventing and implementing a new online concept
With the idea of Cigar Keep being in a few people’s heads, rather than something obvious to replicate from another site, it was a challenge identifying how the website should work and how best to bring it to life on a screen. How much information to show, where to show it and how to make it simple to use, for let's face it, a select group of users across the globe, was a real challenge. We needed to really consider all devices with such an assumed spread of audiences and technology.
Creating and developing an effective specification and wireframe to ensure a powerful user journey
Our development and UX team set about creating a specification and wireframe to outline all of the features needed within the website and the user stories and journeys that were going to be powering the platform. Designing for the community was a key aspect of the project and we were lucky to have some of the leading names in the cigar community in the UK involved in our prototyping.
Once we had created a working wireframe which we were happy with, we set about working on a design for the website to reflect the uniqueness of the cigar world, with many references to Cuba and other countries where the cigar is king.
As part of this process, we worked on many versions of a logo and overall look to help give a real identity to the platform which would be unique in the market.
As this website was a unique offering, we knew that a standard off the shelf CMS wasn’t going to deliver what was needed. We made the technical decision to use an open source framework called Laravel, something our developers are real experts in, to build the functionality needed quickly, easily and securely.
In this project we were particularly....
Whilst we knew we could build this website and make it come to life, we wanted to know how the site was going to generate income in the future to make it sustainable. We know all too well that the best ideas only really work online if they are used and found. As part of our initial conversations, we highlighted many times about the need to promote the website in the long term and helped to shape some ideas on how best to make this happen.
A positive start to a true global community for cigar lovers online
Whilst we had delivered the initial version of the website as per our sign off process, it was clear that version one of the website could be improved. We took it upon ourselves to review the design and various elements of the layout to improve the website beyond what was originally agreed and the result has been something beyond what Adido ourselves and the client expected.
The site launched late in 2021 and then underwent a secondary design phase post launch to make some additional improvements based on data and feedback gathered from the early users of the website.
Post the official launch in early 2022, the site has gone from strength to strength with user logins up 183% and traffic up 242%.
It’s still early days for the website, but we hope that as users discover, share and engage with each other, that a true online community is built that brings together cigar lovers from across the globe now and in years to come.