Image of the Blue Nile site being viewed on a phone.

Blue Nile Customer Experience

A modern approach to celebrating life’s most important moments.

The Ask

With a history of delivering transparency and clarity in the diamond buying process, Blue Nile is the leader in disrupting the jewelry industry. In this spirit, they sought to evolve their online presence to move away from a catalog buying experience to one where they become their customers’ jewelry partner for life. This involved designing and validating a new digital experience that provided the ease and speed of the web with the customer support and personalization of shopping in-store.
Woman embracing her fiancé.
A tablet, laptop, and phone all displaying different pages on the Blue Nile website.

“Growing and attracting modern customer bases is no longer just about having a great product. It takes a customer experience that empowers the user, while hitting critical performance indicators of the business.”

– Dave Fleischman, Chief Product Officer

The Actualization
With Blue Nile focused on the growth of their core business, Smashing’s team of strategists, UX designers, visual, and motion designers worked in parallel to research, design, and test a new customer experience. We initially turned our focus to evolving one line of business – wedding bands. This approach of concentrating on a singular line of business allowed for greater experimentation and exploration.
Smashing redesigned key pages including the home, segment, catalog, detail, top 10, and education pages, focusing on core themes that improved the buying experience:
  1. Building confidence and trust – customer service vastly increases customer confidence and conversion, so we identified what content was influential at critical buying moments and then designed seamless, natural in-line help, along with a redesigned Education portal.
  2. Maximizing SEO and SEM – we worked closely with Blue Nile’s SEO and SEM experts to ensure search results direct shoppers to specific and strategic Blue Nile education and shopping pages.
  3. Harnessing the power of a Design Language System – Perceptual Patterns provided documentation on voice, tone, design principles, typography, color palette, layouts, iconography styles, shapes/textures, spacing, imagery, and motion studies. The Functional Patterns provided documentation of the tangible building blocks of the interface which includes how each building block or component functions.
Beyond the UX, CX, and visual design, Smashing’s team of strategists and designers trained Blue Nile’s team on the redesign process so that the approach could be replicated across the entirety of the customer experience. This included working alongside Blue Nile to update both branding and positioning so that all customer touchpoints maintained a high-level of consistency.
Using the Motivational UX principles of Desicion Making, Adaptive, and Aesthtics
Sticky notes with research information written on them

“With Smashing, we found a design and CX partner that established both a visual identity and back-end design approach that exceeded our expectations, resulting in a 5% increase in conversions.”

– Dave Fleischman, Chief Product Officer

  • Research & Strategy
  • Competitive Research
  • UX + VX Audits
  • Journey Mapping
  • Value Mapping
  • Service Design
  • Diamond Jewelry Consultant Survey + Interviews
  • Customer Interviews + Surveys
  • Six weeks of Iterative Rapid-Prototype Testing
  • Six weeks of A/B Testing
  • Motivational UX™
  • UX Design
  • E-commerce User Interface Design
  • Style Guide and Components Library

Ready to add clarity to your customer experience?

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