Deneen Pottery – Website Design & Development

Deneen Pottery – Website Design & Development

Case Study Live Site Responsive Web Design Minneapolis

The Challenge

Things were broken on Deneen Pottery’s website, and they knew they needed a website that would work well on mobile devices. Their products are high quality, handmade in the U.S., and their company is family owned and operated. The opportunity to tell their story visually was a challenge on this website design, along with making a site that captured the attention, elicits trust, and drives action.

The Solution

I created a video-centric design on WordPress. The responsive design was search engine and e-commerce friendly. We included a tool that easily allowed customers to sort the mug styles and glazes to find what they want. Altogether ‘conversions,’ or amount of actions we wanted customers to take, went up by 82%. As a freelance WordPress designer and developer in Minneapolis, smaller companies come to me partly because I can do both. This means lower costs for you, and more affordable web design.

Key Numbers – 6 Months After

Decrease in Bounce Rate
Keywords Ranked For
Increase in Conversions

From the client

“By listening to our wants, understanding our needs, and finishing at budget right on schedule made this just a wonderful experience. Working with Tim was definitely a high point – you could tell that he was having fun. We began to expect the unexpected especially with the streaming video on our homepage. That in itself highlighted one of our needs which was to convey the ‘handmade’ aspect of our process.”
Niles Deneen, Deneen Pottery

Awards & Mentions

Horizontal Interactive Award - Gold Winner Internet Advertising Competition - Outstanding Website Awwwards - Special Mention

Relevant Posts on my Blog:


I had such an amazing experience working on Deneen Potteries website, that I’ll have to curb my enthusiasm as I write this. The site turned out phenomenally because we had the same vision all the way through. Me and my confidants determined what made this business so special(Handmade Mugs by a Family Owned company in the United States) and just hammered that into every aspect of the site. This website became a perfect melding of Conversion centric, easy to use web design and beautiful, impressive graphic design.

Pushing the limits, and showing off

The truth is, playing it safe doesn’t help your clients stand out in a crowded market. The entire premise of the Deneen Pottery redesign was to show off the handmade aspect, and push the limits technically to make a site that’s almost entertaining and definitely fun to look at and interact with.

Visitors can find what they need quickly

It took a bit of time to really get to the bottom of what Deneen’s customers were looking for, but with some User Testing, and time really talking candidly with Niles Deneen we determined some very specific things were crucial for people to be able to do quickly and easily. In this case that was to find different mug styles and glazes easily, and to get a quote. Other items were given strong secondary consideration, but equipped with these priorities we laid out the site and started with a strong base.

Differentiating them from their competitors visually

What makes this client different from their competitors in their customers minds? I keep that as my focus all during visual design. With a full-width video background that shows a potter as the wheel and mug’s going into the kiln these website had the assets to make a distinct impression.

Think about development while designing

Pulling out all the stops from the beginning me and the information architect, Emily Rommel started having an eye on how we would develop the site with it’s somewhat unusual functionality.

Following through

A site could have the strongest visual design in that phase, but as it goes into development it loses something. I believe the opposite can be true though, sites should look way cooler in the browser because of strong interaction design. Mockups just don’t even show the full strengths of Deneen Pottery, and I believe with an eye on development and interactivity throughtout projects this is alway possible.

Post launch enhancements

No site design/web promotion is done after initial launch. Beyond that there are many things that this site could still benefit from, such as building out templates for landing pages for new promotions. My whole philosophy behind my web design strategy comes from the book ”Convert!: Designing Web Sites for Traffic and Conversion’, which suggests continually building out your net of content to help bring people in. There are always opportunities for this kind of ongoing promotion, and I love thinking of new ways to bring in traffic.


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