Glasses Direct


Glasses Direct: Redirected.

Glasses Direct is a market leader in prescription glasses — all sold online. They sell fashionable frames for up to 60 per cent less than the high street, putting customers rather than high marks ups first and foremost.

They have history. In 2014 The MyOptique Group, owner of Glasses Direct, served its millionth customer. Over the previous five years the company has averaged annual revenue growth of over 50 per cent, an achievement recognised in December by its inclusion in The Technology Fast 500 EMEA. Recently it raised £16 million in additional funding from new and existing investors to take the brand to the next level.

SomeOne were tasked to make the process of buying online not only more enjoyable, but also a more elegant, curated experience for people to reflect the quality and service of the brand. To take it beyond the purely transactional.

The project called on many parts of their collective portfolio of skills. An entirely new strategic visual brand identity was developed to be deployed across multiple channels — both digitally responsive over many devices — but also through the packaging and entire customer journey.

The website experience was radically optimised, enabling people to get to the products they want significantly more swiftly and accurately. As Dave Dunlop, Creative Director of SomeOne/Else puts it, ‘So many ecommerce sites slump into the merely transactional, here the experience is one of welcome surprise as shoppers find what they want and are inspired to try previously unconsidered options.’ The project took a mobile first approach that will enable the service to work seamlessly across devices.

SomeOne co-founder, David Law, says of the work, ‘Seamless service, personalised transactions and choice are the expected norm — so we installed those as standard, what we added was a way to inspire the shopper. We set out to lift people to make choices they may not consider in traditional optician environments. The Glasses Direct brand is stamping on the old glasses of the establishment and replacing them with a far more elegant solution.’

Gavin Edwards, User Experience Director of SomeOne/Else, says, ‘Choosing and buying glasses online is challenging, we have helped create an immersive experience that removes any extraneous functionality and focusses on the ability to review frames quickly and beautifully. There is nothing like trying on a pair of glasses, it’s a personal and physical experience so our task was to remove any barriers to users getting these glasses in their hands.’

SomeOne worked with film maker Simon Warren to create a series of Animated GIF files that enlivened the traditionally static imagery found on many opticians’ websites. The technique of cinemagraphs was employed to keep pages visually calm, but visibly alive. ‘Just as the brand is mixing up the best of retail and home service, we’ve fused the worlds of film, stills and animation,’ says Warren, who also created a series of still lifes that employ the cinemagraph aesthetic.

Growth year on year

I’m bored to tears by brands that have nothing but a logo to signpost territories. Here we’ve developed multitudes of design cues that gently remind people where they are without leaning on repetitive badging — it’s a far smarter approach that leaves the competition standing still. That was ultimately the job here, to help make people see the service more clearly via our more entertaining methodology.

Tom DabnerLead Designer, SomeOne

A full suite of assets have been developed and deployed — from Lens devices to colour systems, animations, navigation and signature typography to aid brand recognition — including a custom wordmark based on the typeface Portrait by Berton Hasebe. The branding features the signature font of Austin by Paul Barnes, originally designed for Harpers & Queen — adding to the editorial feel of the brand.

The identity has not only been applied digitally, but will also cover vital customer touchpoints such as the Home Trial service, whereby customers can select four frames to try at home for free, as many times as they want. This removes both in store time and sales pressures while enabling customers to also solicit the opinions of friends and family.

The core site is currently live, with a fully responsive version coming online early next year.

of new funding recieved