We’re excited to announce CODEMAY just completed it’s largest project to date, and we are so excited to have been a part of it. The redesign & rebuild of RikaStudios.com is complete!
Our journey with Rika Studios started back in August. I was in the middle of a motorcycle trip up the coast of California when I was first introduced to the team at Rika. Our original project was to fix some of the functionality of the original Rika site. Having been built by several different developers, mostly through patchwork to avoid having to start from scratch, the site became more of a problem than a functioning part of the larger Rika Studios brand. After some quick work, we had their site back in working order.
At this point, the Rika team asked what our recommendation was for the site going forward. Knowing the site wasn’t functioning as they wanted it to, we knew there was really only one option: rebuild the site from the ground up so it would function exactly as they wanted. Trying to update the site prior to our rebuild felt like you needed at least a Masters degree to accomplish even a simple task like changing out images. With that in mind, we set out to make the back-end of the site as simple as possible. And, since we were already going to rebuild it, why not take the time to update the design, which had been the same for a number of years.
The Rika brand encompasses much more than simply a high-end boutique fashion store. It also includes a discount brand (R+), a magazine (Rika Magazine), a small hotel in the heart of Amsterdam (Maison Rika), as well as distributing Rika products to stores all over the world. Companies like Condé Nast, owner of such publications like Allure, Glamour, GQ, The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, Vogue, and W, also needed a way to download high-resolution images of Rika’s products to feature in their publications. All of this needed to be housed in a single platform for the Rika team to manage with ease. Before we started, the R+ site was a separate entity entirely. In order to move products from the Rika Studios online store to R+, their team had to re-upload all the product information from one site to the other. Fashion magazines and other media outlets had to routinely reach out to the Rika team to have high-resolution images emailed out. In short, there were a lot of areas to fix.
The first step was the redesign. Our Chief Designer Isaiah Bowling worked with the Rika team to come up with a very simple design that would provide a clean, modern look to a site that was previously pretty cluttered. By going with the simple design, we eliminated anything that distracted from the products of the site. We also created a simple way to navigate through it.
Next, our Chief Developer Jaime May set out to create a back-end that would allow the Rika team to move all of their properties into one platform. From one place, the Rika team could now move any unsold products from one brand to the other with a simple click. The R+ brand would now be a part of the main Rika Studios site, but any time a page displayed products from the R+ brand, the site would rebrand itself to let the customer know what section they were in.
Maison Rika was improved to allow the booking process to be managed through the calendar on an iPhone. The team doesn’t have to log into anything to block of dates on the calendar. By simply adding the events to the calendar on their phones, the calendar on the site automatically updates to reflect the change in room availability. We definitely know where we’ll be staying when we go to Amsterdam.
The Rika Magazine section was made simpler. Before our work, it took roughly 4 different steps to upload the newest magazine, including copying code to paste into another section of the site. Now it’s as simple as uploading images, and some drag and drop to reorder them. The press login section is now a password protected section that can be accessed and images downloaded without the Rika team having to send large files through file transfer systems.
In the end, we are very happy we were able to work with the Rika team on this project. All of us at CODEMAY feel this project embodied everything we love about what we do. I know I’ve said it over and over, but when you have clients that have great products, our job becomes so much simpler. We are excited about our continued partnership with everyone at Rika, and we can’t wait to help them on whatever their next project is.