Founded over fifty years ago, Canada goose is internationally recognized as a leading manufacturer of extreme weather outerwear. They are committed to outstanding craftsmanship and as such they keep 100% of production at home in Canada. While its roots will always be in outfitting people for the most extreme conditions it has also become a fashion icon with its outerwear becoming synonymous with winter in urban areas.

Canada Goose was looking to update their primary web presence to make it feel as premium as their products. The focus would be on telling a story about each project and the company as a whole. We would strive to convey the quality and technology of each project through the web. Playground did strategy, design and engineering for the site while working with Canada Goose’s agency Doug & Serge on content creation and creative direction.

Project Goals

  • Mobile

    Many customers were looking for a mobile Canada Goose website to be used as a shopping companion. This site would need to quickly let a user find their jacket and learn about its features and options.

  • Ease of Use

    Canada Goose offers many different product lines for men, women and kids. The challenge was to allow for easy navigation of all these options without becoming overwhelming.

  • Product Stories

    We wanted to tell the story of each project, its features and technology in a highly visual way. The goal was to make browsing the website feel like you were in the store with the product.

  • Flexible

    Canada Goose is always adding new products and categories to its business and they needed a website that could grow with them. We looked to make every detail of the site customizable from a CMS.

The Team

David

Software Developer

Sacha

Interface Developer

Adam

Interface Designer

Dave

Product Manager

Strategy & UX

Before we could establish a sitemap we worked with Canada Goose’s agency Doug & Serge to structure the product lines into a clear hierarchy. This process was critical in creating the clear navigation structure that would power the site. From there we discussed the content strategy of the brand and identified where we could create opportunities to engage their audience. Technical analysis was done on several CMS options at this stage with Wordpress being favoured. Lastly we built out the site maps, wireframes and feature matrix that would inform much of the project.

Design

We knew we wanted the design of canada-goose.com to be clean, modern and fashionable. The goal was to have the products be the strongest elements on every page. We focused on large images and small bodies of text to make the site more visual.

Branta

One of the most complex elements of the design was accommodating the Branta sub-brand. Branta is a fashion focused division of Canada Goose creating stylish modern outerwear. Everyone wanted the Branta pages to feel very different while still being part of the same site. We developed a style in keeping with the black label design of Branta that transforms the site from light to dark.

canada-goose.com/branta

Parlez-Vous?

Ça va?Tschüss

An early requirement of the site was that it support many languages. Since we were building the entire site off a Wordpress CMS we knew that it could be done technically but it posed serious challenges to the design. We were asked to support 4 languages at launch: French, English, Korean and German. We worked with translation teams to ensure that the site's tight typesetting and style was preserved across all languages and that it could be adapted to many more.

Interactive Elements

canada-goose.com/product

We knew we wanted to bring the products to life in a way that would entice the user to learn about key features. The product page is perhaps the best example of this idea, with cinemagraphs of both the fur and down featuring prominently.

Additionally the newly created TEI index that identifies a jackets warmth was brought to life to communicate the technical complexity of these jackets.

canada-goose.com/product

Customer Education & Counterfeit

Canada Goose is afflicted with expansive counterfeiting ailments that plague premium fashion brands around the world. They looked to us for solution to educate consumers about unauthorized online retailers and how they can spot counterfeit Canada Goose garments.

1136

When we started the project there were 1136 known unauthorized online retailers claiming to carry Canada Goose products. That list of unauthorized retailers was growing quickly and getting impossible for a customer to reference. So we turned the problem on its head and only maintained a list of authorized retailers that was much more simple to check against. We built a tool online shoppers could come to and instead of sifting through a list of over eleven hundred unauthorized retailers they could input the url of the site they were shopping and find out if the site was an authorized retailer.

Technology

The primary technical challenge of the new Canada Goose site was integrating the complex design vision into a fast user experience, and client-friendly CMS. They needed to launch both their mobile and desktop site in time for the critical fall buying season. Technology focused on three key projects, the desktop site, mobile site and Wordpress CMS.

Wordpress

After evaluating a few options we chose to use Wordpress for several reasons. The client staff had familiarity with Wordpress, as well, we liked two of the largest Wordpress plugins WP e‑commerce and WPML. We also customized Wordpress a great deal to manage many of the detailed page structures and functions that are not typically supported.

Cloudflare

As canada-goose.com is a media rich site we put a lot of energy into load times and general performance. We worked with Cloudflare and the hosting provider to dramatically improve the load times and stability of the site while protecting it from attacks.

Interactive Elements

The heavily interactive elements on the site provided a challenge with our short development schedule. Creation of the company timeline, Goose People book, Product page, Counterfeit sliders and many other elements were critical to the site's success.

Conclusion

Working with multiple partners requires great coordination. The goal of the project was to be authentic to the Canada Goose brand. This involved using amazing lifestyle photography, video interactive elements and great copy to entice and educate the users. By designing a site that was driven by content and not interface we were able to create a timeless experience that will grow and change with the company itself.