Big Cartel

What if there isn’t enough time or resources to get everything done?

Big Cartel

Big Cartel is an online marketplace where makers, designers, musicians and artists build and run stores to sell their creative work.

Competencies used
  • Front-end Development

The Problem

Big Cartel had big plans for their newly launched blog, but not enough time to reach their final vision. They built a bare-bones version of their new blog to quickly get it out to their customers, then partnered with The Scenery to add the finishing touches. With The Scenery’s help, they could take their blog to where it needed to be.

Guiding Principle

Subtle refinements enhance user experience.

The Process

Understand their goals

We started the project by sitting down with their product designer Michael Croxton, Community Director Richard Laing, and Engineering Manager Christy Stout. We walked through the current status of their new blog and exactly their plans and dreams for the site. Michael showed us the designs he had been working on, all new navigation, mobile styles, and organizational/structural changes he wanted.

Devise a plan to work within their system and allow for proper testing

We work how our clients work, and we work inside the tools and environments they choose. With this specific project, Big Cartel chose to build their new blog in Ghost. It was extremely important to both Big Cartel and The Scenery that we come up with a testing solution that would allow the actual blog to be viewable and reviewed before publishing the changes.

We spun up a DigitalOcean Droplet with Ghost installed and grabbed a snapshot of their database. We made changes on a local install of Ghost, deployed them to the staging server for Michael and the team to review, tested thoroughly, then submitted the incremental changes to be pushed live on their servers. This process allowed us to make changes to their blog without the need to access to their Ghost install.

Iterate and deploy small, manageable features and modifications

Big Cartel had quite a lot of changes they wanted to make, and one of the things we decided early on was the importance of small and manageable releases. We decided with the Big Cartel team on a prioritized list and grouped the tasks accordingly. Each task group was completed, tested, reviewed, and released over the course of three months.

The Outcome

Big Cartel got the blog they envisioned without halting production on their actual product.