GSD Website & Catalog


The GSD site is something I’ve wanted to update for quite a while. Cycling through seasons, however, was crucial to helping me better understand the problems that needed to be addressed. In the static pages of the site, I am aiming to clearly note what we do, the items we encompass in our product line, who we are, who we serve, and touch on trends that inspire us. In our competitive market, I wanted
to ensure a solid visual feel for our products without sharing too many designs. The in progress catalog portion will include our entire line, but will only be viewable by customers. See it live at

Understanding the catalog

Bringing our catalog online is a huge aspect of the entire site, hence being the foremost call to action.

Currently, we soley print and hand bind our catalogs. We do so biannually and create custom ones for each of our clients. This is clearly inefficient on the design end, but this process also effects operations and perhaps most importantly, our buyers.

We spend countless hours on tedious customizations to cater to our buyers’ specific needs and uniquely desired looks. While this is great in some respects, it becomes a huge bottleneck as the production turnaround grows. It is also cumbersome for our buyers when they relay the items they’re interested in. The only way to communicate the products they want today is for them to call us and run through their selected items page by page. Yes, this is painful to type.

Dividing the problem into smaller parts

This transition to a digital catalog is crucial to get right. With much more research and many more iterations than the static site, I really wanted to break these problems up.

My first goal was to update and build the static pages in order to ship value quicker. I researched for the catalog in the interim, and am currently iterating on wireframes.

Catalog problems to tackle

  • How can I streamline buying from GSD to make the workflow more efficient?
  • How can I appeal to multiple use cases by making sure they can view the catalog in a way that suits their needs?
  • How can I maintain customization and unique collections for various price points and client preferences?

The audience

Our buyers are my primary concern. They build entire collections to fill their shelves and replenish or restock gaps in their product line.

I posed surveys and interviewed several of our current buyers. I wanted to provide a way for them to shop or query our product online in a format that was unattainable in print. There was clearly ample opportunity for this. Because of the several different reasons for buying, I began to categorize filters that best addressed their potential and actual needs.

Overcoming print limitations

I created several use cases for the catalog in order to better define how to approach layout and filtering options.

Allowing our customers to search by collection helps them visualize ways they can set their store for a season. In this way they can better view what goes well together all at once. Other users seek to merely fill gaps in collections they’ve already built. Their need could be better met if a buyer had the option to sort our product by item type or material.

Accounting for several use cases was a problem we couldn’t previously solve in print. With each printed catalog we were forced to choose one layout option and typically opted for spreads by seasonal trend or seasonally by material. From the feedback I’d received, this had previously been incredibly limiting for GSD, and sometimes confusing and/or frustrating for our buyers.

Future challenges

One of the challenges I’m still working on is customization. I’d love to create personalized collections catered to trends our individual customers develop. One of the problems with this is that it depends on our customers already doing that trend work and creating that vision. If they don’t, we may look to create trends specific for their market in the future.

I’m really excited to continue to develop this portion of the site and create more opportunities for GSD.