Keeping it simple with do-it-yourself kits

Pushing Darby Smart past what they had in place.

Realizing their vision

Do-it-yourself crafts have been around a long time. But getting all the materials you needed — piece by piece — could be a bit of a scavenger hunt. In the days of internet shopping, you should be able to buy everything you need for your necklace or cat-inspired canister with a simple click or tap. That's the concept behind Darby Smart — selling all the materials in a complete DIY kit.

But before they launched, all Darby Smart had was a logo with two eager co-founders behind-the-scenes. They wanted our help to see their vision through.

Attracting newbie DIYers

Bold imagery help build a community.

We learned early on that Darby Smart hired a talented still-life photographer, which had the potential to have a significant impact on the quality of the site experience. After all, we know that most customers judge a site as trustworthy based solely on their first impression. We knew right then that using impactful photos would pique customers' curiosity and invite them in. Darby Smart grokked our strategy in the first round of sketches.

Images are really worth a thousand words. They speak to the quality of the kits and their simplicity. They show that even newbies can create unique stylish crafts without much fuss or a great amount of materials.

We also knew that new crafters, especially, would be eager to be recognized. We pursued the opportunity for customers to post their unique creations on the site to tap into their self-expression. The showcase would then serve as social proof to the next wave of new customers. It would become a beautiful, self-perpetuating cycle.

DIY designer central

Attracting new talent and content to the site.

Co-founder Nicole Farb was an avid do-it-yourselfer. She scoured the DIY community, popular blogs and Pinterest, handpicking talented designers to contribute to Darby Smart. She envisioned a place where all of her favorite DIY designers could co-live in harmony and attract potential new talent.

We suggested featuring designer profiles on the kit pages. Doing so would give designers their deserved acclaim and foster a personal connection between them and the crafter. Showcasing designers would also help attract new designers to Darby Smart, keeping the site content fresh for returning customers. New designers, new kits would further grow the customer community and drive engagement.

Focusing on conversion, we wanted to motivate the customer to complete the purchase almost impulsively with simple, prominent call-to-action panels. We also created a sense of urgency for buyers by counting down the number of kits available, making the kits themselves more desirable and their respective designers more esteemed.

Setting Darby Smart up for the future

They've been building upon what we created.

Working with the Darby Smart team was a smooth collaboration. Nicole's creative background allowed her to make swift decisions, and co-founder Karl Mendes' developer background came into play as he evaluated technical feasibility of our concepts. From the beginning of the project the team latched onto our iterative approach to design. They even sat down with our Chief Instigator, picking his brain about the design process and advice about maintaining the startup mentality — be scrappy and try new ideas.

In the end, we were able to propel Darby Smart to a speedy site launch and spark their next steps. They have latched onto our iterative mentality and have been able to keep experimenting with design. And it's great to see our initial design take on a new life every time we take another peek at the site.

Their favorite part? Here's what Nicole said:

Visiting ZURB HQ! The first time we saw the UI elements applied to our prototype. And brainstorming with the ZURB team on how to focus on your first adopters and building community around and for them. — Nicole Farb, co-founder, Darby Smart

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