How to manage the many moving parts of e-commerce site design

An apparel e-retailer will talk about guiding design at IRWD 2013.

Katie Evans

As retail sites become increasingly sophisticated, the design and production process required to get an e-commerce site off the ground also turns more complicated. Sam Barnes, director of e-commerce at Laura Canada, will discuss how to put together and manage a web site production team to create a successful site in his session at the 2013 Internet Retailer Web Design & Usability Conference Feb. 11-13 in Orlando entitled “Creating Your Design Dream Team: Making sure all voices are heard."

“The good news is that with this (web site) complexity comes very focused expertise and a set of best practices at each step of the process,” Barnes says. “Getting the most out of all your key vendors, while keeping senior stakeholders focused and providing sign off when needed is more than half the battle. And trust me, there will be battles, so understanding the limitations and biases of all of your key personnel is important when you reach disagreement.”

For example, he says art directors may not agree with site architects, or project managers will often push for the fastest way to get the job done. “Different perspectives and specialties will dictate different opinions on the right path,” Barnes says. “My approach is towards a holistic view, which is essential if you want to provide a superior user experience and meet your customers’ needs.”

The editors of Internet Retailer invited Barnes to speak because as director of e-commerce at women’s apparel retailer Laura Canada, Barnes has worked with various groups of employees to create a successful e-commerce site. In his professional experience, Barnes has learned who should have final authority on design and usability and how to coordinate and manage an in-house or agency creative team.



e-commerce, IRWD 2013, Laura Canada, online apparel sales, Sam Barnes, site design