3 Nicely Designed Shopify Sites in Nova Scotia that we like
Sites that can keep their design clean and simple tend to be my personal favourites. The ones we have listed here are well-made websites that we found that utilize Shopify in some fashion. In our criteria for most “Nicely Designed” Sites, we choose ones that we're able to have little to no load time when changing pages, keep the user stimulated while browsing their sites and felt intuitive to use. Effective use of scrolling to read any necessary information for a product is also a factor to be considered when reviewing these sites. All websites shown are Canadian e-commerce stores in Nova Scotia.
Founded and created in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Halifornia is one of the better e-commerce sites on the east coast. Immediately upon looking at the website you’ll be amazed at how sleek and clean their front page looks. Their use of black and white contrast makes the front page easy to read. Throughout the site, you’ll find that they know how to use the effectiveness of high contrast colours and how to make certain elements of the site pop out. Anything important from the site is given a thick black font to stick out and draw attention while the minor elements use a thinner font. It’s this effectiveness of black and white that makes you appreciate how much attention to detail they put on their site. Making this e-commerce business one of the top contenders for “most modern” looking in terms of website aesthetics and feel.
Any important interactable such as menu links and product items animate in some fashion when hovering over them. The navbar menu links have a simple slide animation for when the user hovers over. The product item grows a bit bigger on the collection page. These smooth animations help breathe life into the website's stylish but simplistic look. Leaving a great first impression when the user enters their website for the first time.
Loading times are seamless because they’ve managed to keep their home page ‘above the fold’, which in my opinion is a nice design choice. Clicking on an individual product’s page might take a bit longer to load, but in comparison, the navbar appears as it never has to reload. Allowing the user to have a clean experience when browsing the site.
There are however a couple of things I could critique about this almost flawless site. There is no “About Us” or any form of a Story page explaining how the company started, who started it and why it was started. I find these pages great for company sites because it makes the company feel more human and it has something for the user to connect to. Even if a user only reads it once or doesn’t read it all it is a nice addition to the site that requires minimal effort. Another critique or even a suggestion would be on the individual product page. I feel as though a tighter experience could be made for the user if the product’s image stayed at a fixed position when the user scrolls down to read the text. That way the user can still see the product when reading about this (you can see an example of what I’m talking about when clicking on the next site I talk about).
LightfootClick here to see the site
Lightfoot is a winery located in Wolfville. Not only do they serve some of the finest wine brands in Nova Scotia but their website isn’t so bad either. While Halifornia holds the crown for “simple and sleek”, no one can deny how elegant and beautiful Lightfoot’s website is. Upon scrolling the front page you get shown a ton professionally done photos of the farm which look utterly breathtaking. They also don’t overuse pictures having fixed positions (the effect of when a picture is moving while you scroll), only a few are selected and spaced out to help the user not feel bored when scrolling down the page. Also throughout the front page are pulsating circles to help grab the user’s attention. Clicking on them will give the user little tidbits of information about lightfoot and their vineyards which is a nice addition to the overall page.
The navbar is hidden away and can be found by pressing the hamburger button on the top right. This is a great design choice because the user can access the navbar at any time without scrolling up and unlike using a fixed navbar, the menu won’t hinder or distract the overall design of the site. The hamburger button also animates fluidly into a cross so the user can exit out of the navbar menu.
When entering the shop you’ll notice how well organized the store is. Ranging from different collections to wine styles. Loading up an individual's product’s page is surprisingly fast given the large-high-quality photos that are shown, alongside a massive amount of information about the product right beside it. Even with a large amount of text, the user can read all information on the item and remain in the view of the user because it’s at a fixed position, overall making the page feel tightly put together.
In terms of suggestions for this site. I find that the site’s front page is a bit long. A lot of users won’t scroll down the whole front page. Which is a shame because the pictures and art are beautiful on the site. I would break the front page into two pages. Any sections starting from the “The Name” header and below should be on an "About Us" page while the rest should remain on the front page. Another minor complaint I have for the site could be found on the “Signature Events” page. None of the pictures shown are at a consistent size. Visually it looks a bit messy (especially on mobile). Keeping the images the same size will provide a more clean and appealing look to the users.
You can find Baie Run in Chester Basin. Baie Run sells pet supplements and natural health products for cats and dogs to improve your pet's health. To ensure that they have high-quality products, they provide a high-quality e-commerce website for pets. The moment you take a look at the front page you’ll be amazed at how clean and professional the site looks. The high-quality video that plays instantly is amazing and very well done. Not many times do you see a website related to pets at such a high calibre of quality. Their choice of blue pops out when used with white and is purposely used to grab your attention to certain elements like buttons and headings. Another thing to appreciate is their use of displaying videos on a desktop device. Many sites like to have the video stretch to 100% of your screen width or pretty close to it, which lessens the quality of the video by having it all pixelated. They also choose to use Vimeo for the video content instead of youtube, which is a plus because their video doesn’t take as much time to load as much as a youtube video.
Their store design is also top-notch. Upon clicking either the canine or feline link you get directed to a page with an adorable picture of a dog or cat. The professionally done photo of the cat or dog is provided with a cheeky dictionary-like entry that goes well with the whole overall charm of the site. Upon scrolling, you will see the products which are tightly organized. There are different ways to view their products ranging from bestsellers, high price to low price and vice versa. Each product is surrounded by a rectangle with rounded corners making each product stick out to the user.
Going into the page of the individual product will immediately be reminded of how well the site uses their colour, as blue or red are chosen to be the background of the description box. Immediately your eyes will be drawn to it so you can get all the information you want from the product. Even when scrolling down you will appreciate their use of simple icons to signify the benefits of their supplements. Making it easier for the user to know if this product is the right choice for their pet.
Even though their blogs are nicely designed, their collection of blogs are designed like the product items with the same styled rectangle surrounding them. This is great because it stays consistent with the style of the website. Clicking on the individual post will lead to the blog page itself, which upon looking at it, you'll find the reading experience very pleasant. So many blogs have distractions on them that make it easy to lose focus on what you’re reading. However Baie Run keeps it to the point so the user’s focus is only the article itself.
“The Where to Buy” section, on the other hand, leaves a lot to be desired. My first main grip is that the search box oddly uses outdated style font which is unusual because that area is the only time it uses that font. It makes me feel like I stepped back into the early 2000s and clashes with the rest of the design, which is so clean and sleek. I also find it an odd design choice in the product page to have the benefits below the item. They could easily be part of the description box which would reduce the amount of time the user has to scroll. Regardless of the minor nitpicks though, Baie Run is a nicely designed website that any customer would enjoy experiencing when shopping on their site.
If you enjoyed reading this article and would like to work with Hopatoo to improve your website for your customer reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org