Etsy is an online marketplace for handmade and vintage goods.
With over 42 million active buyers, it's the biggest online marketplace of its kind. Etsy Awards is a recurring yearly competition to recognize outstanding products created by Etsy sellers all over the world.
(while employed at Etsy)
Our goal was to create a global competition that both Etsy buyers and sellers would get excited about. We planned on making an open call for sellers to submit their products.
Despite the scope of the project, we were a relatively small team. We had marketing & community people, engineers, and four designers, including me as the Design Lead.
For me as a designer, this project was an interesting mix of brand and product work The competition website would be the centerpiece: it needed a design that would both stick out and be instantly recognizable as “Etsy.” It also needed to translate seamlessly into social media visuals, shareable content, and web ads.
We decided to make a standalone website, with a URL separate from Etsy.com.
Because of technical limitations, we made the awards regional, rather than have one global competition.This meant that each user would see a localized website.
The high level user journey
These two decisions led us to create the following user journey.
We fleshed out some directions for the look and feel and shared them with the marketing team. We landed on a very playful, tactile concept centered around animated letters made out of crafting materials.
Meet the Winners
The design assets
Crafting fun! Using stop-motion technique, we created letters that formed the main visual for the project (spelling the word "awards"), the hero video for the landing page, and the social media campaign.
We made a set of icons that tied into the tactile feel of the main visual, mixing vector illustration with wood texture.
The visuals we created worked as a flexible modular kit for social media assets. We were able to provide a wide range of assets to local Etsy marketing teams and Etsy sellers.
Shareable social media visuals
Participation in the Etsy Awards was overwhelmingly high, which made this project fun and rewarding in the end. It was decided right away that there would be another Etsy Awards the following year.
What worked well was the modular approach that we took with the design: without much modification, we could use the design assets for both the website and marketing.
The biggest challenge was the flexibility that was required from the team working on the project. Multiple local Etsy marketing teams had a say in the design and execution of the website, which slowed down the process.
You made it to down here! Might as well say hi :)
Copyright © 2020 Susi Vetter